Skip to Main Content
Skip to main content

Graduate Writing: Writing with Integrity

Writing with Integrity

Writing with integrity is of critical importance during your graduate degree and beyond. Integrity is a foundational principle of academia and requires that research is conducted honestly and ethically and that papers present information accurately, whether generated by yourself or others.

Looking for a refresher on what it means to act with integrity? Visit the University’s Integrity Matters page.

While the concept of integrity underpins all academic work, when it comes to writing, students must be mindful of the rules that govern citation, referencing, paraphrase and summary, and apply them in their own writing. In doing so, you will avoid accidental plagiarism.


Plagiarism involves claiming someone’s work as one’s own—intentional or not. While instances of plagiarism may be accidental, the consequences are serious. Fortunately, accidental plagiarism can be avoided by learning how to reference other scholars’ work appropriately, through a combination of citation and quotation, paraphrase, and/or summary.

Students sometimes ask about software that they can use to check for possible plagiarism prior to submission. The University currently does not subscribe to Grammarly or Turnitin; however, students who wish to review their work with an electronic aid may use Microsoft Editor, which has a similarity checker. Before using, students should educate themselves about the limitations of such software. The best defense against plagiarism remains citing, referencing, paraphrasing, and summarizing accurately.

Lastly, be mindful of the concept of self-plagiarism, especially if pursuing publication while in graduate school.