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Student Blog: Mackenzie's Guide to Academic Integrity

Student Blog: Mackenzie's Guide to Academic Integrity

Honesty and integrity for the win!

Academic integrity, let's talk about it! I've always had an extreme amount of anxiety concerning academic integrity. When I was younger, I had an intense fear of accidentally plagiarizing something and getting expelled from school. Believe it or not, that didn't actually happen, because that was slightly irrational of me. Accidental plagiarism didn't end up being nearly as big of a deal as I was afraid it would be, I think it's kinda like how we all thought the Bermuda Triangle was going to be a much bigger threat to our safety. That's a universal experience, right??? Anyways, I used to look at Turnitin as a final boss trying to catch me for any and every subconscious unoriginal thought. Now that I'm in Grad School and have finished my Undergrad, I can confidently say that Turnitin is not a final boss. It's not a boss at all. It's like an annoying spell checker that doesn't possess any common sense at all and will flag you for the stupidest things. It doesn't matter if you cite your quotations properly, it's still going to flag you for plagiarism, but any human grader with common sense will take one look at your similarity score and shrug it off. Moral of the story, if a computer program flags you for plagiarism and you didn't plagiarize- everything is going to be okay! At King's College, we have to attach a specific cover page to all of our assignments, and that alone puts me at 10% similarity, at least, every single time. Turnitin is just one of those necessary evils in the world of Academia, because academic integrity is truly of the utmost importance!

If you're going to school for theatre, odds are there will be beyond a fair share of assignments that the traditional ideas of academic integrity will just not apply to, like at all. Performing a monologue or a song? Academic integrity, who? Now, there is a whole conversation about artistic integrity that I will be talking about in a future post, but for right now I'm focusing on traditional academia.

Plagiarism is stealing. Period. It is absolutely okay to share ideas and opinions with others, but using someone else's words and ideas without properly citing them, is unauthentic and stealing. In fact, referencing outside sources and utilizing quotations that support your work is encouraged, but you ALWAYS have to cite your sources. Not only is it stealing and immoral, but it also is lazy and doesn't add to your educational experience. If you're in college, odds are you're paying a lot of money to be there. Why on Earth wouldn't you want to get your money's worth of education and practice? Make the most of your degree. School is training and preparing you for the rest of your life, so set yourself up for success!

Also, don't even forget about how horrible of a feeling guilt is. Having a guilty conscience is not a good feeling to have, why would you want to be plagued by it? Just do your work the right way the first time, and save yourself a world of pain and suffering. Breaking academic honor codes is something that will stay on your academic record for life. If you get cited for breaching the honor code, that WILL come back to haunt you down the road. Imagine trying to get into Grad School and having to explain an honor code violation. People learn and grow and change, but that is a stain on your record that will be very difficult to erase. The solution is simple, just submit honest work. The feeling of finally submitting that paper that you've worked all semester on and closing all those tabs is SO rewarding when you can be proud of the work you put your name to.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Mackenzie Elisa

Born in Clearwater, FL, Mackenzie recently graduated from Baylor University with her BFA in Theatre Performance, Concentration in Musical Theatre, and a Minor in History. 

She is current... (read more about this author)

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