On Writing with Integrity

Today, it is increasingly easy to use someone’s words or ideas as your own. The Internet contains a plethora of information that a student can submit as their own. With the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) generators such as Chat GPT that can in effect write your report for you, the ability to not write any of your own words is increasingly easy. We implore you, do not give into this temptation. Writing is an incredible way to learn and growing as an academic writer will serve you well in whatever career you pursue. Plagiarism and cheating is often the most tempting when we combine a fast approaching deadline and anxiety. Give yourself the time to plan, draft, write, and revise your reports. Even if you need to resubmit your reports based on the edits you receive, you should still feel proud of the work that you completed to make your report.

Plagiarism is when we take another person’s work and pass their words or ideas off as our own. This can be done by copying the author/creator’s exact wording without using proper quotation marks or citations by taking the ideas presented by someone else and passing them off as your own. This includes having an AI writer create text for you. For example, reading a book by Francis Chan for inspiration on your Bible study and then referencing his unique analysis without crediting him as the originator of that idea would constitute plagiarism. Furthermore, by having a form of artificial intelligence write for you without properly referencing that those words or ideas are not your own is still plagiarism. Just because the source is not a human being does not mean the intellectual property is now yours. Both forms of plagiarism, copying the author’s exact words or copying ideas without proper recognition, are academic dishonesty and are unacceptable for multiple reasons.

First, it is disrespectful to God who commanded you not to steal. One’s intellectual property is of equal value to one’s physical property and is owed the same respect. Second, it is a failure to utilize the gifts that God has given you, and by not using those gifts to their full capacity, you are actively defeating the purpose of being in Ambassador League in the first place. By using someone else’s work or having an AI writer write for you, you are no longer growing as a writer. You are effectively telling us that you refuse to do the work and do not respect yourself as a learner. Third, it is disrespectful to your advisor and a waste of time for you. In a both high school and college, plagiarized papers are given a zero, and repeated offenses can result in expulsion. Headquarters will not accept plagiarized reports, and any plagiarism will need to be rewritten. This means extra time writing for you and extra time grading for your advisor. Neither of these is acceptable.

For more information on writing with integrity, please visit https://calvin.edu/offices-services/provost/rac/writing-with-integrity/how-to-write/.


Ambassador League Plagiarism Paragraph Submission Form

Before you submit your first report, you must submit a paragraph explaining what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Be sure to cover how to properly quote and paraphrase as well as how to cite a source. This shows Headquarters that you understand the importance of academic honesty, not using someone else’s words and trying to pass them off as your own, purposely or not. It also demonstrates your commitment to respecting yourself as an academic writer. In your reports, you do not need to use a specific style of citations or formatting for your bibliography. Any time you directly quote a source or use someone else’s idea, you need to reference the original source specifically enough that the reader will know which ideas or words are not yours and whose they actually are. This includes using quotation marks any time you use someone else’s words. If you are already familiar with plagiarism, you shouldn’t need to do any further research. Just put what you know into a paragraph and send it to Headquarters. Those who have not taken a writing course that covered plagiarism or who are unsure of what is considered plagiarism should take some time to read about plagiarism before writing the paragraph. This paragraph can be written and submitted at https://ssionline.org/ambassador-league/resources/ before the program starts September 1st. You will not receive any points for reports turned in until your paragraph on plagiarism has been submitted.

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Thank you so much for your help!
If you need help, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Aimee Chauvin
Director of Programs