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Avoiding Academic Integrity Violations

Conestoga College provides many resources to help students more effectively learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be successful in their program and future career. 

General Tips for Protecting your Academic Integrity

  • Keep all your rough drafts of your assignments and projects (i.e., paper, lab reports, solutions).
  • Always submit your own work. Do not let others or pay others to do it for you.
  • Ask your faculty or lab instructors early to confirm if collaboration is permitted and how much collaboration is allowed. Provide examples to clarify if needed. 
  • Protect your work when completing exams, quizzes, or tests (in-person or online).
  • Check with your faculty or lab instructors to see if you are allowed to submit assignments or projects prior to the deadline. You will need permission from your prior instructor and current instructor. 
  • Do not share your login credentials with any 3rd party to complete course work on your behalf. This can comprise the security of the Conestoga network. 

Collaboration and Group Work


Independent Work and Sharing Course Materials

Writing and Acknowledging Sources

You integrate sources into your assignment by either quoting or paraphrasing.
  • Quoting is using the exact words from the source in your paper.
  • Paraphrasing means using your own words to communicate the idea from the source.
You acknowledge sources by citing them every time you quote or paraphrase them.
  • You cite a source in the text of your assignment by including the author's name, the publication year, and the page or paragraph number. 
You reference the sources you cite by providing details about them in a reference list.
  • Your reference list provides the full details of each source you use in your assignment.
Understand Similarity Scores and how to use them to ensure you've cited appropriately and not plagiarized.


  • Use your own words and paraphrase where you can.
  • If you copy information from another source, it must be properly cited and referenced using APA @ Conestoga formatting. See Conestoga's APA Website for guidance.
  • Do not copy information and change every other word (i.e. do not use software that changes words for you). It is better to copy the entire sentence or paragraph in quotation marks (inverted commas) and properly cite and reference the information.
    • Your professor uses Turnitin similarity scores to determine whether students have properly cited and referenced their sources.
    • Be sure you understand the assignment expectations. If your professor is asking you to put things into your own words, be sure to paraphrase. But remember…
  • You must cite and reference information you paraphrase.

What is a Turnitin Similarity Score?

For Help With Citing & Referencing, visit Conestoga’s APA Website.

The Plagiarism Tree was created in collaboration with the Writing Service. The Decision Tree is to assist faculty and students when reviewing written work. Please use this resource with discretion as it does not capture all the complexities of plagiarism, and it is not a "one size fits all" framework for detecting plagiarism. For additional questions, please book an appointment with a Writing Consultant