Academic Integrity and Ethical and Moral Issues in Education

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When most people think of ethics (or morality), they think of the rules that distinguish right from wrong. When a person has to face a problem, they must consider all kinds of factors and judge whether the solution is right or wrong according to the knowledge they have and whether it is reasonable from the perspective of human nature. This is the most common way to define ‘morality’: distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable standards of behavior.

What is actually definition of Ethics? Velasquez, M. Andre, C. Shanks, T. s. j. J. Meyer, M. (2010) states that ethics is based on what is well founded is that there is no provision for what human beings should do, usually in terms of rights, duties, benefits to society, equity or particular virtues. In fact, ethics is the moral standard for studying and developing a person. Emotions, laws and social norms can deviate from ethics. It is therefore necessary to keep their standards under constant review to ensure that they are sound and well-founded.

Therefore, ethics also means constantly making efforts to study our own moral beliefs and moral behaviors, and making efforts to ensure our standards to do better. This essay discusses about how important are ethics in our academic lives, and how do they affect, whether it’s academic integrity and intellectual property.

In every field of our lives, there are all kinds of issues about morality and ethics. Especially for students, academic integrity is extremely important. Why does it important? There are four different aspects to consider. First, academic integrity is a matter of fairness. Every time a violation is not reported, students who take the easy way out will be rewarded for their actions. Second, while not every test is scored on a curve and cheating doesn’t directly affect your grades, dishonest students indirectly influence the expectations of teachers for future tests, which can make it equally difficult for you and future students to be evaluated. Then, the most dishonest students may also disparage the grades and degrees you earn because they don’t have the skills and knowledge you have but can apply for the same qualifications.

So to care about academic integrity is to care about the integrity and value of your work, and the degree to which you deserve it. The most serious one is the last, cheating and ignoring the behavior of dishonest students can lead to bad habits and a culture of seeing others in a different light. If fraudsters always get away with it, or even get rewarded for their fraud, they get to the point where they stop thinking about what they’re doing. This goes far beyond your college years and could be a problem for you if the person is your lawyer, your accountant, or the CEO of a company you’ve invested in (Luther College, 2017). On the contrary, what is a breach of academic integrity? Violations of academic integrity take many forms. When most people think of academic dishonesty, they think of plagiarism and fraud, but academic integrity is not limited to this, including all aspects of academic life.

Luther College (2017) also claims that for example, someone cheat during exams or help others cheat, and also do not report cheaters, sign someone’s name on a signature form, use unauthorized materials to redistribute, summaries other people’s ideas without revealing their source, get sick or make false claims in order to take the exam at different times. All of this is academic dishonesty, because it has many different meanings. It is important because it has a responsibility to ensure that students acquire skills honestly in the classroom, it also ensures that students learn at a high quality, where learning and work are fairly evaluated, recognized and valued.

The most common issue with academic integrity is plagiarism. In modern society, all kinds of plagiarism cases take place in different occasions, most of which take place in colleges. Greenthal (2018) states that plagiarism has become a huge problem on college campuses as it becomes easier to obtain information from electronic sources, whether intentionally or not. Unlike before the Internet, when a paper was copied and passed on as an original work, you can’t find professors and students with countless tools to check the originality of any article.

In addition, Greenthal (2018) also claims that there are three different plagiarism “Verbatim plagiarism” is the copying of material verbatim from a source without citing the source. This is the most obvious and familiar form of plagiarism. “Mosaic plagiarism” is to put ideas from various resources together without quoting these ideas. It creates an unoriginal fusion of other people’s discourse and presents it as a new idea. “Accidental plagiarism” is caused by laziness or a lack of understanding of the material studied in the submitted paper.

The students unconsciously — even subconsciously — used the same words they had read because they could not explain what they had learned or explain it with their own thoughts and sentences. But can words and ideas really be stolen? Under American law, the expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, protected by copyright law, as is the original invention. Almost all forms of expression that are protected by copyright, as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or computer file). Students cheating in order to get a good degree to make up for their shortcomings, most of which are casual. But they also made a big mistake.

On the other hand, with respect to academic integrity, when you want to borrow material which are written by someone else, if you quote it, you can borrow it openly and honestly. According to UNSW (2013), citations are not just to avoid plagiarism, they also serve other important purposes. Citations allow you to acknowledge the contributions of other writers and researchers in your work.

Any college work that borrows ideas, words, or research from other writers must include citations. Citations are also a way to borrow words and ideas from the author. By citing the work of a particular researcher, you acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of that researcher. As a student (or scholar), you can draw inspiration from the millions of opinions, insights and arguments expressed by other writers, many of whom have spent years researching and writing.

All you have to do is acknowledge their contribution to your mission. Students may inadvertently copy because they do not know how or when to cite a source. First you need to understand why you need a reference, and also how to identify your sources. Whenever you use text, ideas, or information from other sources in your homework, you must provide citations for those sources. Inaccurate quotations or no citations at all can be considered plagiarism. An unquoted task means that every word, thought, and fact is your own working.

A reference is a way of providing evidence to support assertions and claims in your own work assignments. By citing experts in your field, you are demonstrating your level of reading and research. Therefore, printed books are not the only source to be identified. Any text, idea, or information obtained from any source needs to be referenced. According to the above description, as a student, we should always pay attention to whether there are marked references in academic materials, and then borrow others’ materials in a proper way (UNSW, 2013).

There are ethical and moral issues everywhere in life, and everyone has to face more than one problem in their life, but everyone could solve them in a different way, because everyone has their unique insights and different knowledge and upbringing background. I don’t think we should ignore any material copied from elsewhere, and always remind yourself not to use it without a marked reference. As a student, we must obey every rule, because these rules play a big role in our academic life and will affect us all the time in the future.


  1. GREENTHAL, S. 2018. Plagiarism in College – Facts and Consequences. (Online). (Accessed 19 May 2019). Available from: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/plagiarism-college-facts-consequences-35702461
  2. LUTHER COLLEGE. ND. What is Academic Integrity? (Online). (Accessed 19 May 2019). Available from: https://www.luther.edu/academic-integrity/about/
  3. UNSW. 2013. Why is Referencing Important? (Online). (Accessed 19 May 2019). Available from: https://student.unsw.edu.au/why-referencing-important
  4. Velasquez, M. Andre, C. Shanks, T. s. j. J. Meyer, M. 2010. What is Ethics? (Online). (Accessed 19 May 2019). Available from: https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/what-is-ethics/

Cite this paper

Academic Integrity and Ethical and Moral Issues in Education. (2021, Feb 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/academic-integrity-and-ethical-and-moral-issues-in-education/



What are ethical issues education?
Ethical issues in education refer to the moral dilemmas and controversies that arise in the educational setting, such as academic dishonesty, discrimination, and unequal access to resources. These issues require educators to make difficult decisions that balance the needs of individual students with the greater good of the community.
What are the ethical issues associated with academic dishonesty?
There can be many ethical issues associated with academic dishonesty, such as cheating on exams or plagiarism.
What are the issues with academic integrity?
The issues with academic integrity are that it can be difficult to define and that it can be enforced in a way that is perceived as unfair.
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