“Writing has been a major means used by academic staff across the discipline in assessment of student learning in higher education’ (Li, 2007, p. 41). There are different writings where students and researchers used all around the world. Academic writing is one of writings that is widely used in universities and colleges by students, researchers, and other staff members. It is an essential part in students learning and researching. It helps students and the researchers to broaden their understanding on what they learn or the researches they conduct. Academic writing is an essential part that portrays the different skills that are develop and demonstrate over time as critical-thinking and was described as “the exterior sign of an interior process” (Bean 1996, p 20) as cited in (Bair & Mader, 2013, p. 4)
The definition of academic very among different authors and scholars. One of the definitions as stated by (Valdes, 2018) is that academic writing is any written work formally produced in academia. By definition this means that there are varieties of academic writings. The names may vary depending on the lecturer or the coordinator that sets the task (essay, paper, argumentative easy/paper, position paper, research paper, analysis paper/essay). Despite all these names, these writing tasks aim for the same purpose and concept (Whitaker, 2009). The purpose of academic writing was proposed by (Bair & Mader, 2013) as for the development for an argument or position; genuinely written for a knowledgeable audience; and rooted in main sources and scholarly literature.
Academic writing has unique characteristics that distinguish from others. According to (Valdes, 2018) there are four distinguishing characteristics of academic writing.
- Clear and limited – the thesis clearly states the primary focus of the academic paper. And the continuing paragraphs and sentences connect the main focus stated in the thesis.
- Logical structure – all academic writing follows a common structure. Starts with an introduction, body, and a conclusion. The introduction gives the main ideas, lays the scope and state the thesis, the body elaborate in detail in paragraphs by giving supporting statements, and the conclusion summarizes the main points.
- Evidenced-based arguments – the statements must be supported with relevant evidences
- Impersonal tone – the aim of academic writing is to convey rational argument based on a merit judgement. It avoids arbitrary languages.
Fundamentals of Academic Integrity
Fundamentals are guidelines that helps to fully accomplish the outcomes of the intended activity pleasantly. Integrity is a quality of being honest and having a good moral principle. As stated by (International Centre for Academic Intergrity, 2014);
There are five basics of academic integrity; honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. And they believe that with courage, these five basics would build a strong foundation in academy even when faced with adversity.
- Honesty is when the academic community embraces quest for truth and knowledge gained via intellectual and personal virtue in the services of learning, teaching or research.
- Mutual trust encourages the interchange of concepts that in return allows scholarly inquiry to optimize its potential to the fullest.
- Fairness is the amendment of consistent, transparent, reasonable expectations, standards and practices to aid fairness in the relationships between the students and the stuff.
- Respect is to acknowledge the interactive, participatory, and cooperative nature of learning that embrace, value and include the wider diversity of options and concepts.
- And responsibility relies on the base of personal liability in relation to willingness of each person and groups to be role model by maintaining the mutually agreed-upon norms to be accountable for when approaching faults or disorderly conduct.
Courage is when implementing the spoken point in action without fear or favor even when confronted with pressure or adversity and depends on determination and commitment (16-28).
Procedures of Academic Integrity (DWU context)
Embracing the idea of academic integrity is all about being honest in the culture of academic world, to be capable of applying the acknowledgment to scholarly conventions (East & Donnelly, 2012). Divine Word University fully embraces the academic integrity in any academic activities that are organized. According to its policy statement (Divine Word University, 2016)
Both students and stuff are required to perform the highest standards of ethical practice in their academic work and that due credits be awarded to honestly conducted scholarship and severe penalties will be applied for academic misconduct. And also all works of students and the stuff must be their own and original and with proper acknowledgements (p. 2).
The procedure of academic integrity (Divine Word University, 2012) states that if a student violets the integrity policy, proper allegation must be provided as evidence by the stuff who suspected. In the presence of the lecturer and the Vice President of Student Affairs, the accused will be given an opportunity to respond. And that penalty may vary according to the severity of their misconduct. In the case of stuff members, the allegation filed by the stuff member who have suspicion must have evidence. The accused may be given an opportunity to face the appropriate Faculty Committee to respond and that the penalty may vary with regards to its severity. The continuing status of the stuff will be decided by the Academic Board upon submission from Faculty Committee.
Both the accused students’ and stuff members’ determination can be appealed to appropriate boards. The accused students may appeal to the relevant Faculty Board and also a further appeal may be put forward to the Academic Appeals Committee. And also the accused stuff members can appeal to the University Council for their determination according to the academic grievance policy (Divine Word University, 2014).
Application of Academic integrity (DWU context)
The academic integrity is compulsory for both students and the stuff members of Divine Word University Community. In regards to the academic integrity policy (Divine Word University, 2012) it is applicable to every categories of academic packaging organized or prepared by the lecturers, administrators, researchers, the stuff and students despite being for assessment, publications or for presentation publicly. It covers all categories of scholarly activity like spoken or written words, data, images, etc. for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
This policy is a guideline for both the students and the stuff members. The policy is there to give directions so that every piece of information processed for research, assessment, and publication are genuine. According to (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2009) “the intent of the academic honesty policy is not merely to be the ‘police’ of academic violations, but rather to create a culture and climate at the school that emphasizes, and is more conducive to, academic honesty”(p. 75).
This implies that both stuff and students have specific responsibilities. The academic integrity policy (Divine Word University, 2012) state some responsibilities specifically for both academic stuff and the students. The academic stuff has the duty to properly appreciate the ideas of others used in their lectures and other presentations, appropriately emphasized to the students on concepts about how to acknowledge ideas from others used in their works, and to identity plagiarism and inappropriate actions and to deal with in the stance of academic misconducts. And also the students have the responsibility to be well educated about the academic honesty and the penalties taken when they breach the policy, appropriately acknowledge and cite the ideas of others in their assignment prior to submit and that the work must be original and genuine, and make sure not to help other students intentionally in unjust academic actions.
There are different forms of writing practiced in different institutions and organizations. Academic writing is a type of writing used in scholarly literatures, and is widely practiced in universities and other institutions for different courses. This writing follows a specific logic and set of rules. All types of academic writing have three parts; an introduction, body, and conclusion. It may have different names depending on the setters’ intentions like essay, analysis paper, etc. but all accomplish the same purpose; solemnly written for an informed audience. Academic writing has five basics which are honest, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. These basics are accompanied by courage that gives the foundation to withstand the adversity and pressure without fear and favor.
Divine Word University has its academic integrity policy that encourage both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and the stuff members to fully embrace the policy to avoid academic misconducts and dishonesty. Those who fail to abide the policy would appear to specific committees and boards to respond. The penalties vary depending on the severity of their actions. In the applicability of this policy, both the academic stuff and the students have specific responsibilities to take accordingly.
- Bair, M. A. Ph. D., & Mader, C. E. Ph. D. (2013). Academic Writing at the Graduate Level : Improving the Curriculum through Faculty Collaboration. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 10(1). Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol10/iss1/4
- Cavico, F. J., & Mujtaba, B. G. (2009). Making the case for the creation of an academic honesty and integrity culture in higher education: Reflections and suggestions for reducing the rise in student cheating. American Journal of Business Education, 2(5), 75–88. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1052820.pdf
- Divine Word University. (2012). Academic integrity policy. Madang, Papua New Guinea: Author. Retrieved from http://www.dwu.ac.pg/en/index.php/academic-policies
- Divine Word University. (2014). Academic Grievance Policy. Madang, Papua New Guinea: Author. Retrieved from http://www.dwu.ac.pg/en/index.php/academic-policies
- Divine Word University. (2016). Academic integrity policy. Madang, Papua New Guinea: Author. Retrieved from http://www.dwu.ac.pg/en/index.php/academic-policies
- East, J., & Donnelly, L. (2012). Taking Responsibility for Academic Integrity : A collaborative teaching and learning design. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 9(3), 1–13. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol9/iss3/2
- International Centre for Academic Intergrity. (2014). The fundamental values of academic integrity. (T.Fishman, Ed.) (Second). Clemson University. Retrieved from https://academicintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Fundamental-Values-2014.pdf
- Li, L. Y. (2007). Exploring the Use of Focused Freewriting in Developing Academic Writing Exploring the Use of Focused Freewriting in Developing Academic. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 4(1), 40–53. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/jutlp/vol4/iss1/5
- Valdes, O. (2018). An Introduction to Academic Writing. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-academic-writing-1689052
- Whitaker, A. (2009). Academic writing guide, (September), 0–28. Retrieved from http://www.vsm.sk/Curriculum/academicsupport/academicwritingguide.pdf