Plagiarism: the word derives from the Latin plagiare, to kidnap. Every AUP student is expected to use sources correctly and honestly and to acknowledge in parenthetical notes, footnotes or endnotes all borrowed materials, facts, opinions, statistics and quotations.

If a professor at AUP has reason to believe that you have plagiarized any part of your paper, you may face serious consequences. The AUP policy on academic integrity follows (AUP General Information, Policies & Procedures, 22–23):

The continuous evaluation of student learning is an integral part of the educational process at The American University of Paris as it is at all American universities. Students must demonstrate their knowledge and comprehension through a wide range of academic exercises, which may include written assignments, research, in-class essays, graphical and computer modeling, examinations or oral presentations. For faculty to perform such assessment, students must maintain integrity and ethical behavior in their academic work. The Code of Academic Integrity is the foundation of teaching and learning at AUP. It is an indispensable attribute of serious scholarship, and a hallmark of the university’s mission and scholarly reputation. As members of the AUP community, students are responsible for upholding the tenets of this code, and for being aware of academic policies and procedures. Ignorance of any part of the Code of Academic Integrity and/or AUP policies concerning academic misconduct does not excuse violations.


What constitutes a violation of academic integrity

A number of actions compromise academic integrity and honesty. The most egregious examples of academic misconduct include plagiarism, fabrication and cheating. Infringements of the Code of Academic Integrity are serious and can lead to failing grades or dismissal from the University. Due to the international nature of the AUP student body, a few examples and explanations are provided below for clarity.

Plagiarism. Failure to acknowledge the sources and authors of all borrowed, quoted, copied or paraphrased material (in any format) constitutes a serious violation of academic integrity. All use of, or references to, the work or ideas of others (including books, research, opinions, statistics, internet content, electronic communications), whether published or unpublished, must be correctly cited. Plagiarism includes the use or submission of someone else’s work as one’s own work. It is considered theft and is unacceptable practice at AUP. Plagiarism can take the following forms:

  • submitting research, papers, assignments, quizzes or examinations produced by another as one’s own;
  • submitting purchased material, such as a term paper, for coursework or credit;
  • restating or paraphrasing works without acknowledging or correctly citing the source(s);
  • copying any portion of work belonging to another, without proper citation.

The AUP Writing Lab offers workshops and individual consultations for all students who have questions about plagiarism. Writing Lab tutors are experts in citation guidelines and can explain when, why and where to attribute ownership of ideas and content included in research papers and assignments. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers and other citation guides are available to students in the Academic Resource Center.


Fabrication and falsification

Fabrication is the practice of inventing information, or knowingly submitting dishonest work. It includes the falsification of research, data, quotations, studies or other findings, and thus is an unacceptable practice. Examples of fabrication or falsification include the following:

  • submitting a paper, thesis, lab report or other academic exercise that is falsified, invented or contains fictitious data or evidence;
  • deliberately and knowingly concealing or distorting the true nature, origin or function of data or evidence;
  • falsifying or misrepresenting one’s records, transcripts, experience or coursework;
  • selectively manipulating research and results.



Academic integrity requires compliance with all testing and evaluation procedures so that the results honestly demonstrate a student’s mastery of information. Cheating is the act or attempted act of deceiving, misleading or misrepresenting this mastery and is unacceptable behavior. Examples include:

  • copying from another student’s quiz, test or examination paper;
  • obtaining unauthorized access to testing content before, during or after an exam;
  • using unauthorized aids such as notes, textbooks, PDAs, cell phones or calculators while taking an exam;
  • collaborating on a test, quiz or other project in a manner unauthorized by the instructor.


Additional examples of academic misconduct

Academic integrity policies are important to students’ success and fair treatment. If student work, progress and performance are not measured under equitable conditions, certain students may obtain an unfair advantage over their peers. Additional examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to:

  • stealing, reproducing, circulating or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the professor;
  • encouraging or collaborating with another student to violate the Code of Academic Integrity;
  • stealing, defacing or concealing library or course materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use;
  • tampering with grades, course documents or student records, with the purpose of obtaining an unfair advantage over other students;
  • failing to comply with the Acceptable Use Policy for the use of university computer resources and networks;
  • failing to adhere to university policies for classroom decorum, such as disrupting the class by arriving late or leaving the room while class is in, using or consulting a cell phone during class, talking to a neighbor, reading e-mail or otherwise compromising the learning experience of one’s fellow students.



Students should consider very carefully the penalties for cheating and other violations of academic integrity. Faculty members are responsible for evaluating students’ work, verifying the originality of assignments, and enforcing the University’s standards of fairness and academic honesty. Professors who have questions about the originality of student work may question students about the methods and materials used on a paper or assignment; they may also ask to see notes, rough drafts or other materials. Faculty members also have access to plagiarism detection software. Finally, the Office of Academic Integrity provides guidance, support and mediation to both faculty and students. If a student has violated the Code of Academic Integrity, that student may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:

  • a reduced or failing grade on an assignment;
  • a reduced or failing grade in the course;
  • suspension from the University for one to two semesters;
  • expulsion from the University.

Suspension or expulsion is determined by the provost, and will be enforced in the case of repeat offenses.


Procedure for violations of academic integrity

Incident Reports and Resolution Forms. Minor infractions and first-time offenses may often be resolved between the professor and the student concerned. The professor may choose to consult with the Department Chair, the Office of Academic Integrity or the Provost of the University. Students may consult with their academic advisor, the Office of Student Development, the Office of Academic Integrity or student members of the Honor Board. In order to facilitate these processes, the Office of Academic Integrity provides a faculty-student resolution form. The forms are available online. Resolution forms allow the professor and the student to come to an agreement upon the circumstances and the penalty for violations. If a student chooses to dispute the outcome of a particular incident, the matter will be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity for mediation.

The Office of Academic Integrity

Disputes that are not resolved between faculty and students will be formally handled by the Office of Academic Integrity. The Director of the Office of Academic Integrity will serve as an impartial mediator and will attempt to resolve difficulties and seek resolutions. Faculty members are asked to submit an incident report form to report any breach of academic integrity. Confidential questions and concerns may be sent to

The Honor Board

If a student disputes or appeals the findings of the Office of Academic Integrity, the case can be referred to the Honor Board. Students may request an advocate from Student Development or from the Honor Board at any time during the formal procedures. Honor Board decisions are final. Only the President of the University can reverse an Honor Board decision. A confidential written record of Honor Board proceedings will be kept on file in the Office of Student Development, and a written record of the Honor Board’s conclusions will be placed in the student’s file.

The Honor Board is composed of seven members who are prepared to meet at least once per semester. Its membership includes: two teaching faculty members (appointed by the Chair of the Faculty Senate), the Director of the Office of Academic Integrity, the Dean of Student Services, the Provost, the GSC President or his/her Appointee, and the SGA President or his/her Appointee.

Questions and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns regarding plagiarism at the University, or if you want further academic training on how to avoid accidental plagiarism, please get in touch with the University's Writing Lab staff!