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ZSR Library Guide for International Students: Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity at WFU

Academic integrity means being honest in your research and scholarship. Understanding what is considered an Honor Code Violation at Wake Forest is fundamental for good research and scholarship.

Examples of violations:


  • Definition: 
    • providing or receiving unauthorized assistance in academic endeavors (e.g., quizzes, tests, examinations, reports, term papers)
    • use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or
    • the use, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff.
  • Avoiding it:
    • Do your own work; don’t copy the work of others.


  • Definition:
    • the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without complete acknowledgment of the source
    • the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another agency or person providing term papers or other academic materials
    • the non-attributed use of any portion of a computer algorithm or data file
    • the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of online material without complete acknowledgment of the source
  • Avoiding it:
    • Cite, acknowledge, and give credit to all sources.


  • Definition:
    • listing sources in a bibliography not directly used in the academic exercise
    • submitting falsified, invented, or fictitious data or evidence, or concealing or distorting the true nature, origin, or function of data or evidence
  • Avoiding it:
    • Be honest when reporting sources used.
    • Be honest when reporting lab and research results.

When faced with conflicting definitions of plagiarism during a case, the Honor and Ethics Council will adopt the definition established for use in the department/course by the department or professor involved in the case. The following definition of plagiarism is from the WFU Department of English:


To put your name on a piece of work is to say that it is yours, that the praise or criticism due to it is due to you. To put your name on a piece of work any part of which is not yours is plagiarism, unless that piece is clearly marked and the work from which you have borrowed is fully identified. Plagiarism is a form of theft. Taking words, phrasing, sentence structure, or any other element of the expression of another person’s ideas, and using them as if they were yours, is like taking from that person a material possession, something he or she has worked for and earned. Even worse is the appropriation of someone else’s ideas. By “ideas” is meant everything from the definition or interpretation of a single word, to the overall approach or argument. If you paraphrase, you merely translate from his or her language to yours; another person’s ideas in your language are still not your ideas. Paraphrase, therefore, without proper documentation, is theft, perhaps of the worst kind. Here, a person loses not a material possession, but something of what characterized him or her as an individual.

If students wish to do one project for two courses, or to draw on work previously done in order to complete an assignment for a current course, they must get the expressed permission of all affected faculty in advance of turning in the assignment. The faculty suggests that approved combined projects should represent significantly more effort than the individual projects they supplanted.

Plagiarism is a serious violation of another person’s rights, whether the material stolen is great or small; it is not a matter of degree or intent. You know how much you would have had to say without someone else’s help; and you know how much you have added on your own. Your responsibility, when you put your name on a piece of work, is simply to distinguish between what is yours and what is not, and to credit those who have in any way contributed.

An online plagiarism tutorial is available here. To navigate the tutorial, begin by selecting “start the self-test” located at the end of the main body of text. 


Undergraduate students suspected of violating the Wake Forest University Honor Code will have their case heard before the WFU Honors and Ethics Council. Procedures of the Honor and Ethics Council can be found here.  If a student is suspended for an academic misconduct charge (ex: cheating, plagiarism, deception), the usual semester for the suspension is the one following that in which the decision is rendered. The time-frames for other non-academic related suspensions are addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

Wake Forest University graduate students follow a formal Graduate Student Academic Honor Code.