Issues: cause, effect, consequences

We'll talk about why academic misconduct happens and how it impacts you and the wider community. We will also offer some strategies for avoiding academic misconduct and discuss what happens if you are accused of academic misconduct.

Academic Misconduct affects us all!

Click on the sections below to learn more about the causes and effects of academic misconduct and learn some strategies to help keep you out of trouble.


Why does academic misconduct happen?


Causes of Academic Misconduct

There are many causes of academic misconduct. Sometimes students feel overwhelmed or unsure about a class, so they might be tempted to tamper, cheat, fabricate, plagiarize, or assist others in academic misconduct.

Some of the causes of academic misconduct include:

Everyone wants to help his or her friends. They'd help you out if you had a problem, right?

So when a friend asks to see your test or the answers to your homework assignment or your paper, it's hard to say no.

But here are a few things to consider:

  • If your friend hands in your work, your friend has not learned anything. Think about it; would you want to work with someone in a job who didn't do their homework in college?
  • You may be accused of "assisting" or helping someone else cheat. That's also considered academic misconduct and it could get you into trouble.

Even when you are working together with a friend or group of friends, it's important that you all do your own work.

Sometimes you are the one who needs a little help. That's OK, but your friends or family can be a little too helpful. They may offer to rewrite some of your paper or "fix" your computer code. That could be considered academic misconduct. You are better off going to the Academic Success Center or the Research and Writing Center for help.


  • If your friends ask for help, don't show them your work so they can "get an idea of how to solve the problem." Refer them to a university resource such as the
    Academic Success Center.
  • If your professor says you can work in groups, you can talk about approaches to solving the problem, but don't do the work together.
  • If your friend asks you to share your answers or your homework so he or she can copy it, say no. It's hard to do that, but it's better for both of you.
  • If you want advice on your homework, use one of the university resources, such as the Academic Success Center.


What are the effects and consequences of academic misconduct?


The Effects of Academic Misconduct

Who is affected by academic misconduct? How are they affected by academic misconduct?

Academic misconduct affects more than just the student found responsible – academic misconduct affects all members of the community. 


What happens if you are accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct?


If you are accused of violating
the Code of Student Conduct

If you are accused of violating the Code of Student Conduct, the university has a process for resolving that allegation (Code of Student Conduct; Section 5.11 Academic Integrity Process). In this process, you have an opportunity to respond and discuss the allegation. In most cases, your situation will be processed by a College Hearing Officer forom the academic college where the alleged violation occurred. In some cases, you may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

There are resources to help you. The staff at Student Conduct and Community Standards will walk you through the process and answer your questions.

See the Student Conduct and Community Standards page on Conduct Processes for details.


The process if you are accused