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Trinity’s Writing Standards

Writing is one of the central activities through which students learn, communicate, and demonstrate learning. Academic writing differs from other forms of writing in that it usually:

  • is appropriately narrow in focus,
  • presents an argument based on sound critical thinking,
  • draws upon and properly acknowledges the work of others, and
  • presents new understanding in an organized fashion.

Unless otherwise indicated by the instructor, all writing in Trinity classes—from electronic bulletin boards, to personal essays, to formal research papers—will be evaluated on the basis of Standard American English, especially in terms of quality, creativity, effectiveness of argumentation, and accuracy of information. In addition, academic writing will be evaluated on the selection and use of appropriate supporting material. Any information not original to the student must be cited in an acceptable format found in the current edition of Kate Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Use of information or material from outside sources without proper citation is plagiarism and is grounds for disciplinary action.


Academic Honesty
Fundamental to Trinity’s mission and purpose statement is a commitment to principles of ethical academic integrity. Every person of the Trinity learning community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times.

Students, as members of this community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles of academic honesty. Violation of honesty standards will result in penalties given at the discretion of the faculty member. Offenders will be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students charged with a violation will have the right to appeal any disciplinary action to the Academic Committee.

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. Examples of activities include, but are not limited to, the following definitions.

  1. Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material, or study aids in examinations or other academic work, or preventing or attempting to prevent another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids. Examples: using a cheat sheet in an exam; altering a graded exam and resubmitting it for a better grade, and so on.
  2. Plagiarism: Using the ideas, data, or language of another without specific and proper acknowledgement. Examples: misrepresenting another’s work (paper, report, article, or computer work) as one’s own original creation and submitting it for an assignment; using some else’s ideas without attribution; failing to cite a reference or to use quotation marks where appropriate, and so on.
  3. Fabrication: Submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise. Examples: making up data; fudging data; citing nonexistent or irrelevant articles, and so on.
  4. Multiple Submissions: Submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement. Example: submitting as your dissertation work done for some other purpose at another institution without the committee’s express prior approval.
  5. Misrepresentation of Academic Records: Misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to Trinity. Examples: forging a Registration Form or a grade report; tampering with computer records, and so on.
  6. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of this code. Example: working together on an exam or others’ assignments intended to be an individual project without the instructor’s express or prior approval.
  7. Unfair Advantage: Attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise. Examples: gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials (either past or present); obstructing or interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise; lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper; continuing to write even when time is up during an exam etc.
  8. Computer Crimes: Damaging or modifying computer programs without permission. Examples: piracy of copyright protected software; hacking; constructing viruses; knowingly introducing viruses into a system; copying programs and data belonging to others, and so on.