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Academic Integrity

All students must read and understand this guide, and complete the Ready Steady Write tutorial. We appreciate that it is sometimes challenging for students to recognise what good academic practice looks like. These resources are designed to help you understand and avoid academic misconduct as you develop your academic writing skills. Writing with academic integrity, that is, not plagiarising ideas or representing work you have not done yourself as your own, is a key expectation of Trinity students.

At Trinity College Dublin, we commit ourselves as staff and students to acting responsibly and ethically, embracing integrity in all our actions and interactions as members of the College community. Understanding that integrity requires honesty, transparency and accountability, we agree to:

  • Strive to do what we say we will, ensuring that we are aware of our commitments and responsibilities in order to fulfil them, and abiding by College and other relevant policies and the highest standards of conduct.
  • Give credit where credit is due, recognizing and acknowledging the contributions and achievements of others in scholarship, teaching, research and service.
  • Tell the truth, as a community and as individuals, speaking out and listening even when it is difficult, naming problems and honestly acknowledging mistakes.
  • Hold ourselves and others to account for the things for which we are each responsible.
  • Use resources for the purposes for which they are intended and be above reproach in financial dealings.
  • Deal fairly, consistently and transparently with others.

As you progress through your studies in Trinity College Dublin, you will develop and write assignments requiring research. Your ideas will be expressed through words, images, diagrams and other multi-media forms. As you research you will be expected to understand and build upon the work of others.

Practicing academic integrity means that you acknowledge correctly and fully the contributions of others to your own work. Regardless of what discipline you enter in Trinity, the cornerstone of its scholarship is academic honesty.

You are expected at all times to take responsibility for the integrity of your work as you advance knowledge in your field of study.

It is important to give credit to those who you use as sources of information or ideas

Most of your ideas will build on the ideas of others, it is important to acknowledge these sources in your work. Citing your sources shows that you are entering a conversation already begun in the academic or professional community.

Your reader can locate more information from your sources

Provide further reading to support the pursuit of research and reading for other scholars. Proper referencing will allow others to read more about topics that interest them.

You will demonstrate your own breadth of reading and knowledge

Show your lecturer the effort you have put into researching your topic by engaging with reading lists and other sources. Linking ideas and information from various sources is an important part of thinking critically at university level.

Show your reader that your work is evidence based

Your work must be based on research, referencing your sources shows that the points you are making are based in research.

Avoid plagiarism

If you reference your sources correctly you will avoid plagiarism in your work. Plagiarism, both unintentional and intentional have consequences within the University. It is your responsibility to reference correctly

Knowing how to reference correctly is a key skill at university.

Regardless of your department or field of study, understanding academic integrity is crucial. There are a variety of referencing systems and you will be able to find out which one you should use in your course handbook. If you are unsure, always check with your lecturers.

Referencing at Trinity might be a bit different than what you did previously at second-level or even at a different third level-institution; some of you may be studying in Ireland for the first time and may have different culturally-based understandings of academic integrity and when to reference. Whatever your academic background is, it is your responsibility to understand how to reference correctly – there are lots of supports available if you need more information.

Some referencing skills you will need for your assignments in Trinity include referencing the work of others and yourself, using quotations in your work and how to paraphrase. You will also find that keeping accurate records of your reading will help hugely.