Importance of Academic and Professional Ethics


Academic integrity is the ethical policy or moral code of academia and includes values like avoidance of plagiarism or cheating, rigor and honesty in academic publishing and research and maintenance of academic standards. Academic integrity is the core set of principles and values which underwrites the mission of writing, handwork, honesty and determination of translating professional and personal principles in to behavior. On the other hand professional ethics encompasses the personal and organizational standards of behavior that individual professional are expected to have. The most common components of professional ethics codes are law compliance, loyalty, integrity, accountability, honesty and knowledge (Worldview, 2016).

Importance of Professional Ethics

According to IIT (2016), professional ethics operates using codes of ethics which prescribes the way professionals should pursue their common model so that each does their best at a minimal cost to themselves and to those they care about. Professional ethics gives an individual the sphere of tasks where they know their regular or daily responsibilities. It gives an individual to have responsibility of their own actions. Through professional ethics, individuals are answerable to their own decisions and actions. It also helps a person to control and appreciate their personal behaviors. Through professional ethics, professional gains moral responsibility where they look ahead to and caring about the happenings occurring to them and to others.

Importance of Academic Ethics

ITT (2016) explains that honesty in academic writing is important as it helps students to establish and maintain trust with their instructors. It also helps in the development of positive ethical habits in their future employment. If a student plagiarize or cheat they are at risk of negative consequences such as expulsion or suspension from their learning institutions, grade deductions. Due to the fact that college education prepares people to improve their life skills and knowledge for a successful life and career in future, academic honest will ensure that they get credit for their own work. They are also able to receive constructive feedback of their own work. A stolen work may receive good marks but the student will lack valuable feedback and experience.

Kaplan Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is unintentional or intentional academic dishonest. It may result from recycling work from other coursework, failing to paraphrase or summarizing quotes in personal words, inaccurate citation of other person’s works, failing to give credit to another person idea or work, or anything that falsely represent a person’s work. According to Kaplan University, academic honesty is considered as the greatest value. The university expects students to be solitary owners of their work. According to the Kaplan University Catalog, the Kaplan University Catalog clarifies that plagiarism is; “All work done for the completion of a course must be your original work with appropriate citations or acknowledgements for any sources utilized in the completion of any coursework, project, or assignment. This includes, but is not limited to, discussion boards, computer programs, marketing plans, PowerPoint presentations, papers, and other assignments, including drafts and final versions.” (Kaplan University Writing Center, 2014).

Levels of Plagiarism Consequences

According to Kaplan University Writing Center (2014), the academic dishonesty is a charge that is brought against a student which is written to the provost’s office by the instructor. A database of plagiarism is maintained by the provost’s office together with plagiarism charges files. The student who commits the plagiarism offense receives a copy of plagiarism policy and a letter indicating the action taken. The academic department chair, the course instructor and the academic advisor are informed about the action taken.

The Kaplan University Writing Center (2014) explains that the Catalog University describes plagiarism as an Academic Integrity Policy violation resulting to the following sanction. The first Academic Integrity Policy offense is failing the assignment in which the plagiarizing action occurred. The second Academic Integrity Policy offense is failure in the class which plagiarism occurred. The third offense of Academic Integrity Policy offense is permanent dismissal or expulsion from the university.

Avoidance of Academic Dishonesty Charges

One way of having a plagiarized work unacknowledged or unauthorized collaborative work which expects students to do their own writing and research but they tend to discuss their projects with others. An instructor can detect collaborative plagiarism if students use similar sentences, quotations, phrases. However, this can be avoided by acknowledging the work in an endnote or footnote. Students also tend to pass off another person’s work as their own. This include using, stealing, downloading, receiving, copying, commissioning, borrowing or taking another person’s paper. It is important for student to use one thumb rule that original student work should at least comprise of 805 of any other written assignment. Hence to avoid this type of plagiarism, the student should ensure that all citations points to the reader the exact position of the cited material, whether in an online source, in print or in other media.

Another way that plagiarism occurs is use of improperly paraphrased text which suggests improper reliance to one source which includes; copy and paste plagiarism and mosaic plagiarism. In a voiding this, students should make sure that their work contains a conspicuously different idea with the paraphrase containing the original idea. Jones (2011) states that if it is impossible to paraphrase a text, the student should quote it and cite it. This type of plagiarism occurs due to use of one source, and to avoid this problem, the student should use variety of sources to differentiate their own ideas from that of the author. Paraphrasing may also cause a problem if it is properly phrased but which is improperly cited or not cited at all. According to Jones (2011), this may include papers that have a gross negligence or general citing failure, or improper, misleading, attaching false citations to properly phrased texts may cause plagiarism. However, students can avoid this through by proper phases that are properly cited.

Effect of Personal Value to Their Professional and Careers

Fisher (2016) explains that an individual’s ethics and values guide the decisions that they make in their life. If they make decisions that are against their ethics or values, they may regret them in future. Also co-workers and employees may hinder or assist an individual’s professional through their ethics and values that they demonstrate in the work environment.  Therefore, if a person stays true to their personal ethics and values, it will benefit there career and reputation.

Ethics ground an individual’s behaviour in a sense of wrong or right. Personal ethics originates from the up bring of a person, relationships and experiences throughout their life. Professional ethics roots from an individual’s education or is codified by the profession or the organization that they are in. if a person adheres to the ethical standards and codes; it keeps them out of trouble with law, colleagues, employees, employers and customers. Being ethical can also strengthen the trust that others have towards the person, which will attract support of their ideas, leadership opportunities and corporation at work

On the other hand, values guide a person on what is important with some being more important than others as they impact an individual’s career. For example an individual is more risk averse if he or she puts security and values it more than achievement. This individual prefers to keep the job they have rather than risking everything for a new job opportunity that is better. Contrariwise, if the person values achievement more than security, they may be fine in risking what they have for uncertain better opportunity. Therefore, if a person uses their values to guide them, they may decide quickly on the actions to take and the opportunities to leave or take.

According to Fisher (2016), integrity is built by staying true to ones ethics and values. If an individual comprises their belief for a job, they can reduce self-respect making them to resent their job, their selves and the people they work for. Having integrity strengths a person reputation and relationships in the long run as their career progresses. Upholds personal ethics and values can cause rivalry. Also if an individual is too flexible when their ethics and values clash with their workplace culture, it can have a long lasting effect. Their self-respect, health, ways in which they want the community or their family to remember them should never be compromised. Managers can create success of their employees’ success by thinking of the greater results of integrity and creating results from it.

Plan of Action for Maintaining Academic and Professional Ethics

A high level of professional competence should be maintained together with exercising professional judgement that will benefit persons with exceptionalities together with their plan. Challenging expectation should be maintained for persons with exceptionalities in the development of highest possible learning quality and outcomes of life potential in ways which will respect their language, culture, background and dignity. They should practice collegially with others who provides services to exceptionalities individuals. Meaningful and inclusive participation should be promoted in the communities and school.

Professional knowledge should be used to research instructional data and evidence to inform practice. There should be no engagement or tolerating practices that harms individuals. Active participation in professional organization will be promoted. The program will advocate for professional resources and conditions that will improve learning outcomes.


Academic ethics and professional ethics are important both during academic or learning years and during professional and career life. Academic ethics helps in the development of positive ethical habits in the future employment of students. On the other hand, professional ethics helps an individual in acquiring personal responsibilities in life. The two types of ethics determine the personal beliefs and values that define who people really are in the community or workplace. Therefore academic honesty is not just a law in schools for performance but a tool that moulds the future of a person.


Fisher, C. (2016). How Can Professional Values & Ethics Impact Career Success?. The Nestt. Retrieved from

IIT,. (2016). Centre for the Ethics in Professions. Illinois Institute Of Technology. Retrieved from

Jones, L. (2011). Academic Integri ty & Academic Dishonesty: A Handbook About Cheating & P lagiar ism (1st ed.). Retrieved from

Kaplan University Writing Center,. (2014). What You Need to Know About Plagiarism (9th ed.). Retrieved from

Worldview,. (2016). What is the meaning of professional ethics?. Worldview.

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