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The Criteria

The level of academic integrity breach is determined by considering three criteria:

1. Expectation

This criterion takes into consideration the level you are studying at, how long you have been at university and what you could be expected to know about writing conventions at your level.

Staff will have expectations concerning your understanding of academic integrity: for example:

• Poor paraphrasing in one of your first essays at Massey University might be detected to contain some areas of plagiarism but if your lecturer has good reason to consider this resulted from your inexperience at paraphrasing, the penalty may be low

• As you advance through your degree you will be increasingly expected to understand the conventions of academic writing and academic integrity. Paraphrasing with no citation is then likely to be considered more serious and is not acceptable.

2. Nature of a breach

The type or nature of a breach is important when analysing the level of breach. The nature may refer to participating in any deceptive practice or misrepresenting the originality or ownership of the material submitted for assessment; for example:

• Cheating in a test or exam - taking notes or using a programmable calculator or phone

• Submitting research data that appears to be fabricated

• Paraphrasing simply by substituting words

• Colluding with other students in these kinds of deceptions or misrepresentations

Some actions are automatically dealt with by specific people e.g. cheating in any examination or test is automatically dealt with by the Academic Integrity Officer/s in your College.

3. Extent of the breach

This relates to the amount of unacceptable material found in an assessment; for example:

• Amount of material that is copied from a source that is not acknowledged as to whom the creator is or where it came from – this copying might have been indicated in a Turnitin Similarity Report

• Material that is very poorly paraphrased and is not acknowledged

• There is no hard and fast rule to apply to the proportion that is unacceptable