Avoiding misconduct and Using APA

Joseph Reagle

Academic misconduct


If you directly copy or summarize someone else’s words or ideas without acknowledging the source.

Word-for-word plagiarism is … a sequence of 7 or more words from another source, [that] fails to identify the quoted passage, … the full in-text citation crediting the author(s), and … the bibliographic reference. (Frick et al. 2016)

Academic integrity

The promotion of independent and original scholarship ensures that students derive the most from their educational experience and their pursuit of knowledge. (Academic Integrity)

Violations include cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and participating in or encouraging dishonesty.

Violators will receive zero credit and be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Claudine Gay (2023)

Example of Gay’s plagiarism

AIs help and hinder learning

AI-based tools, including ChatGPT, can help and hinder our learning.

Obviously, there’s a strong temptation to skip learning and misrepresent our work, this is academic misconduct.

Using AI tools well and honestly requires careful effort — they can plagiarize and “hallucinate” facts and sources — and the disclosure of their use.

AI policy

  • AI cannot be used for quizzes or exams.
  • All other usage (e.g., understanding, insights, findings, and prose) must be substantively your own and you must include a note or appendix describing your use, including important prompts.

Otherwise, you are:

  • forgoing learning;
  • taking credit for something you are not responsible for;
  • putting forth claims/sources you didn’t know or evaluate.

Showing your work

To show your work is your own, you must be prepared to show:

  1. real-time demonstration of your understanding and
  2. evidence of its progression via versioning.

Versioning is native to GDocs and Pages; MS Word requires use of Northeastern’s Office 365/OneDrive.

Good uses

  • Ask how to cite a web source without an author, in APA.
  • Find compositional errors in short phrases.
    • Remember query but don’t copy-paste: AI prose can include plagiarisms and hallucinations.
  • Brainstorm essay topics or research sources.

In short, ask questions and disclose your use; do not paste its prose.


Correct citation

In examining technology, we have to remember that computers are not the first technology people have had to deal with. Frick (1991) believes that the first technology was the primitive modes of communication used by prehistoric people before the development of spoken language (p. 10).

Reference: Frick, T. (1991). Restructuring education through technology. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.


(Frick et al. 2016)

APA variations

According to Jones (1998), “Silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19).

Jones (1998) found “silky terriers have soft hair” (p. 19); do you agree?

She stated, “Silky terriers have soft hair” (Jones, 1998, p. 19), but she did not offer an explanation as to why.

—See “APA signal phrases” in APA or Hacker

APA misc.

  • use “p. 53” not “pg.53”; “pp. 5-7” for multiple pages; no page/paragraph numbers needed for webpages
  • citations don’t have to be at end of sentence, place them with the author if mentioned earlier
  • collapse repeated citations occurring within single paragraph
  • if quoting a source found in another source, cite as a secondary source: “In Smith’s study (as cited in Flebert, 1993), …”

Also see APA info-sheet and self quiz.