Academic and professional ethics.

Academic and professional ethics

Academic ethics refers to the integrity policies and the moral code that guides all the people involved in studying, writing or using academic materials (Bleeker, 2007). The concept of ethics in academics often encompass issues related to plagiarism and cheating. As a result, it is important in ensuring that academicians maintain a high standards of rigor in their research which narrows town to honesty and credibility.Given the fact that the internet has become a quick source of academic material, there has been a relative increase in academic fraud thus the reinforcement of these ethics will go a long way into reducing incidences of academic fraud associated with cheating and plagiarism. On the same note, there is professional ethics, which unlike academic ethics, refers to an acceptable code of conduct that dictates the behavior of people, corporates and organizations. This group of ethics observes that professionals in all disciples have to exhibit high standards of behavior.The importance of ethics is therefore to ensure adherence to certain set standards that guide and regulate moral issues and activities of all the participants either in academic or professional fields.

According to the Kaplan University plagiarism policy, plagiarism denotes the deliberate or undeliberate act of beaching academic and professional ethics which amounts to academic dishonesty. It is a violation of the Honor Code set by the university. Plagiarism results from an attempt to recycle owns work in another course or another semester, failure to give credit to the author of a given course work, inaccurate citations of another person’s work and failure to paraphrase words that have been stated by another writer. The Plagiarism Clarification clause of the Academic Integrity Policy used at Kaplan University identifies that the students have to ensure that their work has to be original and it should also include appropriate citations and acknowledgement of external sources that have been utilized in completing the coursework, assignment and projects (Elke, 2014). The scope of the policy covers information extracted from computer programs, discussion boards, marketing plans, past papers, other assignments and PowerPoint presentations. The policy further states that plagiarism could also include purchasing of academic papers from online writing companies and submitting the same as owns personal work.Tricia (2012), cites that the most common sources of plagiarism include electronic media, either primary or secondary published materials, and opinions or information that has been gathered directly from third parties.

The three levels of consequence for people who violate plagiarism policies are classified under sanctions where the Academic Integrity Policy specifies the first offense has to be punished with failure in the assignment that has been plagiarized or identified with academic malpractice. The second level of offense will include failure in the class, which has been identified with the academic breach, and the third level offense involves permanent dismissal or expulsion of the offender from the University. It is noted that Kaplan University holds academic ethics and professional ethics at its core and this is the reason why violators are charged as per the University policies after which they are permanently recorded into the University’s databases (Elke, 2014). An offense committed in one program at the University will be carried forwards to subsequent programs that a student re-enrolls at the Kaplan University.

The process of instituting these charges against the perpetrator requires that the course instructor has to notify the student of the charges associated with academic fraud identified in their work. The instructor then has to forward the charge to the Provost’s Office through writing. The Provost’s Office then sends the student a copy of the Kaplan University’s Integrity Policy and a notification that the student has been involved in academic dishonesty (Elke, 2014). The charge is then filed at the Provost’s Office under a specific database for charges against academic dishonesty. The violator that has been convicted for academic violation has the right to make an appeal to the relevant authorities such as an appeal board.

The process of avoiding a charge against academic dishonesty emerges from the realization that academic fraud entails a wide array of academic malpractices of which plagiarism is part. Some academic dishonest may result from misinformation or complete lack of information on how certain things have to be done. For instance, some students fail to understand that failure to reference a given academic work that is not originally there is an offence. As a result, it is highly recommended that the teachers and instructors have to dedicate their time towards teaching the students the different forms of academic dishonesty and how they can be avoided (Sullivan, 2010). On the other hand, the students have to plan their time wisely so as to avoid last minute rushes especially when handling assignments. This is because rushing through an assignment could tempt a student into directly copying content from web pages or participating in collusion. The first step towards avoiding charge is therefore to plan properly and ensure that the assignments are completed in time so that the student can pass it through plagiarism detection software programs that will identify unintentional forms of plagiarism.

The second way to avoid academic dishonesty is by talking to the professor or the instructor. In the event that a student realizes that he or she is time barred, the best decision could be to talk to the instructor on the possibility of granting an extension. This is because it is much better getting a deduction on the final grade because of extending the submission time rather than becoming a victim of academic dishonesty. The third option is to read the syllabus and the course content for each class. A student who reads the syllabus is more informed on academic dishonesty and other relevant information that will be important. This will help in seeking for assistance whenever faced with a dilemma that is likely to result into academic dishonesty such as copying of exams. The fourth way of avoiding charge against academic dishonesty is by understanding the difference between plagiarism and paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is an acceptable academic practice that entails restating another person’s words. On the contrary, plagiarism is the process of presenting another person’s work without giving due credit (Elke, 2014). In order to avoid plagiarism, the students have to learn how to use academic formatting styles such as the American Psychological Association (APA) format or MLA.

Joseph, (2007) states that personal choices have a direct impact on the life goals of a person. This includes the realization that these choices impact on academic and professional careers of a person. Examples of personal choices range from the decision to work independently, the decision to collude during exams, the decision to advance academically, the decision to advance a person’s profession and lastly the decision to influence other people into making personal choices. A person who makes a right decision in each of these classifications is likely to have a good track record which amounts to professional ethics. Therefore the best plan of action for maintaining both professional and academic ethics is the inert belief in self-capabilities. This is because believing in one’s self will enable a person to conduct themselves in a manner that is honest thus preventing them from participating in academic dishonesty.



Bleeker, K. (2007). To Be Honest: Championing Academic Integrity in Community Colleges. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Elke, K. (2014). What You Need to Know about Plagiarism. Chicago: Kaplan University Writing Centre.

Joseph, J. (2007). Ethics in the Workplace.New York: Oxford University Press

Sullivan, B. (2010). Academic Dishonesty in Higher Education: The Impact of a Student Development. London: Penguin Books.

Tricia, G. (2012). Twenty-First Century Forces Shaping Academic Integrity.Academic Integrity in the Twenty-First Century, 2(1), 65–78.