What is Academic Integrity?


“Academic integrity” refers to a set of conventions that scholars follow in their work, and which generates credibility, trust, and respect within the academic community. As a student, earning a university degree in a fair and ethical way also involves following these conventions.

Violations of academic integrity can lead to disciplinary actions under York University’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. The most serious breaches of academic integrity involve intentional dishonesty, such as submitting an assignment purchased online or written by a friend, paying another person to write an exam, or lying in an academic petition. However, even attempting to lighten ones workload by colluding with peers without permission may fail to meet the standards of working with integrity.

To learn more about academic integrity or to complete the academic integrity module, visit SPARK


Properly citing your sources helps you, as a student, to uphold academic integrity standards. Make sure you clarify which citation style each of your courses require for all of your assignments with your course director. Please see below for more information on citation and to access our common citation guides.

Commonly used in the social sciences, APA style emphasizes the year of publication, which is placed immediately after the author. To introduce the Bibliography, the word ‘References’ should be centered (not in bold or underlined). Acknowledge authors, whose words or ideas you have used, in two places in your essay: in the ‘References’ section and in the body of the essay via in-text citations.

View SPARK’s APA Citation Guide

View OWL Purdue’s APA Citation Guide

View uOttawa’s APA Citation Guide

Commonly used in the humanities, the latest edition of the MLA Handbook no longer emphasizes the publication
format, relying instead on the following core elements and simplified punctuation between elements. 

View SPARK’s MLA Citation Guide

View OWL Purdue’s MLA Citation Guide

View uOttawa’s MLA Citation Guide

Commonly used in literature, history and the arts, Chicago style includes notes (footnotes or endnotes or both) and usually, a bibliography. Notes are referenced in-text, while the bibliography is included at the end of the document.

View SPARK’s Chicago Style Guide

View OWL Purdue’s Chicago Style Guide

View uOttawa’s Chicago Style Guide

What do I cite?

When researching, you are constantly sifting through facts and resources; it is up to you to find information the supports the argument you are trying to make. That being said, it is very important to know that the information you are finding is accurate and reliable. Each time you support your arguments with researched information, it is important to cite these sources using the proper citation style. However, some facts are so well-known that there is no need to cite them.

Please consult the files below for more information on what to cite.

When wondering whether a piece of information should be cited, it is best to follow these three general rules:

 1. If in doubt, cite.

2. Always attribute arguments.

3. Seek advice from your instructors for further clarification.

View SPARK’s What is Common Knowledge guide

All research materials can me divided into three categories:

Primary Source

Secondary Source

Tertiary Source

Each type of source can help you to prove your arguments, depending on the assignment at hand.

Read uOttawa’s Types of Sources document to find out which type of source is best for your assignment.

Using quotations from other sources is vital to supporting your arguments; however, it is just as vital for your reader to tell the difference between your ideas and another source’s.

Please consult uOttawa’s list of Signal Words which will help you to properly embed your quotations.