Academic Integrity

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic integrity represents the core of Grand Canyon University's (GCU) values and is essential to the educational community's success. Each academic policy is shaped by our fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. You are responsible for learning and adhering to GCU's policies, outlined in the University Policy Handbook. For more information, browse through our frequently asked questions about GCU's Student Code of Conduct and policy violation examples.

President's Letter: Academic Integrity

In a community of teachers and students, the principles of integrity and honor are regarded as fundamentals. As members of the GCU community, we expect these principles to be upheld by all.

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A Message from the Provost

GCU's leaders are dedicated to upholding our Christian values and preserving the integrity of our academic community.

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University Policy Handbook

The University Policy Handbook provides information on university policies, services and regulations.

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Using the work of another without properly citing the source is commonly referred to as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and violates GCU's academic integrity policies. It discredits you and the university community as a whole. We encourage you to develop best practices, including:

  • Independent learning.
  • Study skills such as note-taking.
  • Time management.
  • Properly citing all sources and references.

About LopesWrite

GCU takes steps to ensure policies regarding academic integrity are honored. According to the University Policy Handbook, students are required to use LopesWrite for all assignments over 500 words prior to submitting the finalized work to the assignment drop box. Failure to comply may result in no credit.

By using LopesWrite's originality checker and resources, both students and instructors help reduce the occurrence of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. This tool can verify written work adheres to GCU's expectations of original, high-integrity submissions.

Citation and Formatting

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Style standards such as APA, MLA and Turabian provide methods for proper formatting, writing and citing. Proper citing allows the reader to quickly ascertain where you collected your referenced information.

Learning to master citation formats and style can take time. To ensure you are properly referencing and formatting your work, use our style guides and templates. Templates are available through your online classroom.

GCU's style requirement templates and guides can be found in the GCU Learning Management System. Follow these steps:

  1. Log into the GCU Learning Management System.
  2. Hover over the Resources drop down in the top navigation bar.
  3. Select Student Success Center.
  4. Once in the Student Success Center, click on Writing Center in the top navigation bar.
  5. In the Writing Center, you will find style guides, templates, examples and helpful resources for following GCU's style requirements.

Writing Resources

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In addition to the online resources at your fingertips, such as the Student Success Center website, Library and Technical Support, tutoring is available for online students by contacting your student services counselor or emailing [email protected]. On-campus students can contact the Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) Center.

Quick Reference Guide

What is plagiarism? 
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own."

Plagiarism includes:

  • Presenting an idea or product from an existing source as new and original.
  • The exact copy of information from a source without proper citation or acknowledgement.
  • Paraphrasing (putting the author's words into your own words) sources which do not represent your original words or ideas without proper citation or acknowledgement. Paraphrasing must be cited just as you would a word-for-word quote.

In other words, plagiarism is essentially stealing someone else's work and accepting credit for it. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional.

When to Cite:

  • When you quote directly, paraphrase or summarize.
  • When you borrow an idea from another source.
  • When you refer to a point your instructor made.
  • When you find a source on the Internet that gives you useful information.


View Policy Violations Examples

Academic Dishonesty:
As indicated in the Code of Conduct, all students and instructors are expected to possess a high standard of conduct and personal integrity in the classroom. Academic dishonesty is defined as any act of deception in an academic setting.

Academic dishonesty includes:

  • Cheating, attempting to cheat or assisting others in cheating, including dishonest activity or unauthorized use of any resource or materials.
  • Fabricating or inventing any information that applies to an academic exercise or university investigation.
  • Plagiarizing, intentionally or unintentionally, the words, works or ideas of others and representing them as one's own.

* Please note: Grand Canyon University takes these offenses seriously and will uphold the University Policy Handbook rules and guidelines.

Things to Avoid:

  • Over-quoting
  • Copying lectures or textbooks
  • Recycling an old paper
  • Citing the source on the reference list but not in the in-text citation (or vice versa)
  • Wikipedia (this is NOT considered a scholarly source)

Possible In-Class Penalties:

  • Lower or failing assignment grade
  • Lower or failing overall course grade 

Possible University Level Penalties:

  • Instructor reports student to the Office of Academic Compliance
  • Disciplinary Warning
  • Failure of assignment(s) and/or course(s)
  • 15 Week Suspension from the university
  • Two year expulsion from the university
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