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How to Conduct Academic Research

This guide provides an introduction to the research process.

What is Academic Integrity?

"The International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) defines academic integrity as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility."

                   International Center for Academic Integrity. (2010). In International Center for Academic Integrity: Fundamental Values Project.   Retrieved December  31, 2011, from


According to Davis in Cheating in School, academic integrity also involves courage: 

The courage not to cheat, the courage to confront a friend or colleague who cheats, and the courage to confront instructors, the dean, or the Board of Trustees if they do not take cheating seriously (p. 193).

Davis writes, "For teachers and faculty, student academic integrity becomes an extension of their professionalism. For students, their academic integrity is a sign of respect for their teachers and confidence that their peers will not try to gain unfair advantage by cheating" (p.191).

             Davis, S. F., Drinan, P. F., & Gallant, T. B. (2009). Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do. West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.


"There is no correlation between success and cheating; cheaters do not perform better on exams" (p. 9).

          Houston, J.P. (1986). Survey corroboration of experimental findings on classroom cheating behavior. College Student Journal 20, p. 168-173. Reported in Dowd, S. (1992). Academic Integrity: A Review and Case Study. Retrieved December 31, 2011, from

What is plagiarism and how to avoid it

Dishonesty – Academic

The college considers academic honesty to be essential to all academic performance. Instances of academic dishonesty will be treated as serious offenses of the Student Code of Conduct. Students involved in activities such as cheating and/or plagiarism will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from a course, program, and/or the college.

  • Definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is the appropriation of language, thoughts or ideas of another author without appropriate citation.
  • Definition of cheating: Cheating can be, but is not limited to, a student using or attempting to use unauthorized resources (i.e. electronic technology, notes, books, or other materials not permitted by the instructor); or sharing work with others when independent work is required. Students are responsible to protect their own work and not share with others.

When the instructor has evidence of cheating or plagiarism, the instructor may impose disciplinary actions such as assigning a failing grade to the student’s assignment, quiz, paper, test or the entire course.  Incidents of cheating that significantly impact a student’s grade will be reported to the Student Services department and reviewed by several staff within the Vice President of Student Services office. Incidents will be recorded and referenced in consideration of further college level discipline, up to and including dismissal from the college. Repeated offenses or particularly egregious incidents, as determined by the reporting faculty member, or the Student Services team, will be reviewed by the Academic Integrity Committee to determine the appropriate college level consequences. Please review the Academic Dishonesty policy for more details.

St. Clair County Community College Student Code of Conduct - Exhibit A., 2021;