As an undergrad, I was accused of failing to paraphrase one sentence of a research paper correctly (though I cited the source I was getting the information from). The professor said he had no choice but to report me for violating academic integrity policy (and sent out an announcement to the class saying he had to do this to multiple people). I had a few points deducted from the paper because of that but nevertheless received an A in the class.

I never received any kind of communication from the Office of Academic Such and Such/Dean of Such and Such about this violation, and never had to attend a hearing or anything like that. School policy says that students are entitled to be contacted by these authorities if they are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy. The only repercussions I ultimately faced were the point deduction.

Is this incident something I would need to report on a graduate school application when they ask about academic integrity? I am not even sure what my "disciplinary file" might contain, or whether I have one at all, since I was never contacted (and certainly never had a chance to "appeal" or "challenge" the claim, though I know due process is a foreign concept to many private universities).

1 Answer 1


No, you don't need to report it, and in the US it won't be reported either due to privacy laws. The school handled it and it is done.

Move on.

I worry about the professor, actually. If you cited the original it isn't plagiarism in fact. But if you quote it (rather than paraphrasing)with citation then it should be clearly "quoted" using some sort of writing convention, such as quote marks. Paraphrasing "incorrectly" doesn't make sense to me unless you somehow misunderstood and changed the meaning. That isn't academic misconduct of the same sort.

This shouldn't be a future issue in any case.

  • 'That isn't academic misconduct of the same sort.' Not the same sort for sure, but J can imagine (although I've never encountered IRL) an academic integrity policy that defines an offence of "knowingly or recklessly citing a paper as having reached the opposite conclusion from the conclusion it in fact did reach" or something similar. May 1, 2021 at 20:50

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