Navigating AI and Academic Integrity: A Guide to Responsible Usage

One of the major issues we are all facing today is plagiarism. This isn’t just the traditional style of plagiarism in the past either – this also includes the responsible and ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. As we embark on this technological journey, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of AI, its potential pitfalls, and how to navigate its application while upholding academic integrity.

Understanding Plagiarism: A Grave Concern

Before delving into the realm of AI, let’s address another critical issue – plagiarism. This practice, intentional or not, undermines the foundation of academic integrity. An example of unintentional plagiarism can occur when you use verbatim text from a source without quotation marks, even if you provide an in-text citation. Remember, using exact words from another source without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism.

Additionally, there’s an often-overlooked form of plagiarism – duplication plagiarism. This arises when you submit the same assignment to different classes without obtaining permission from both instructors. Your academic pursuits must prioritize originality, ethical conduct, and respect for others’ work.

AI in Education: A Tool, Not a Replacement

The educational landscape has been enriched with AI tools like ChatGPT, DALLE-2, and CoPilot, offering unprecedented potential for learning and growth. However, it’s essential to recognize that AI is a tool – a powerful one, but not a substitute for research, critical thinking, and the developmental aspects of writing.

Here are key guidelines to ensure responsible and ethical AI usage:

  1. Individual Effort: The crux of your work should be a product of your originality and effort. While AI can assist, it shouldn’t replace your learning, critical thinking, or writing. Relying solely on AI-generated output for assignments isn’t advisable.
  2. Transparent Disclosure: When incorporating AI-generated content into your work, transparency is paramount. Disclose the use of AI when submitting assignments, detailing the specific AI tools or resources employed and the manner of their integration.
  3. Citing AI Use: Treat AI-generated content as you would any other source. Properly cite AI-generated output following the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Correct citation gives due credit to the AI tool(s) used.
  4. Verification of Information: AI, while impressive, might generate inaccurate or false information. It’s your responsibility to verify the accuracy of the content you incorporate into your coursework. Rely on reputable sources, your course materials, and the University Library for reliable information.
  5. Avoiding Misuse: Misrepresenting AI-generated content as your original work without proper disclosure or citation constitutes academic misconduct. Upholding academic integrity is crucial.

Collaborating with Instructors: A Path to Clarity

If you’re uncertain about AI’s use in your classes, don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructors. Their guidance will provide clarity on the boundaries and expectations regarding AI integration.

Striking a Balance

The advent of AI in education heralds both promise and responsibility. By adhering to these guidelines, we can seamlessly incorporate AI into our learning experiences, enhancing our understanding of course concepts while maintaining academic and ethical integrity. Remember, AI is a tool that amplifies human potential – and it’s up to us to wield it responsibly, guided by the principles of learning, growth, and integrity.



U.C. San Diego Library. (2018). Preuss School: Website Evaluation. Retrieved from

Jenny Mark

Jenny Mark is a graduate of California State University of San Bernardino and lives in Southern California. She is a part time professor for Baker College, Southern New Hampshire University, Vista College, and Baker College. She teachs composition, creative writing, and essential college skills. Check out her blog at

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