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Acting with Academic Integrity

Five tips to demonstrate good academic practice (and avoid academic misconduct)

Research tells us that academic misconduct often happens when students are struggling with time pressures. Be AWARE of the hectic points such as:

  • When multiple assessment tasks are due.
  • When activities need completing including Group Task work.
  • Your personal obligations, for example work and family.

Each semester take the time to complete a Semester Plan and USE IT!

Keep it close and ensure it includes:

  • Lecture and tutorial commitments, including preparation time.
  • All assessment task submission dates.
  • Time to conduct research, critically read, note taking and pre-write/writing time.
  • Your personal commitments such as work, family occasions etc.

Ultimately you want to submit your best work.

If you require help in completing your semester planner, contact a learning adviser in the Academic Skills Centre at any of the Campuses.

These include the following:

  • Reading efficiently – target your reading.
  • Being able to critically read and note-take.
  • Referencing (both in-text and end-text).
  • Paraphrasing and summarising.
  • Using your academic voice.

Why not complete this Skills Audit.  The learning advisers in the Academic Skills Centre can help you create a plan and advise you how to access resources to develop the skills you are less confident in.

Understand the academic expectations for your learning and assessment tasks.  Completing a Semester Planner can help you identify the larger chunks of work and then divide them into smaller more manageable tasks.  Remember there will also be tasks that are regular and ongoing.

Include taking time to learn, it is not always about the Assessment Task!

This type of Matrix may help you prioritise and plan your semester workload:


Due Soon

Not Due Soon

High Level of Planning


Low Level of Planning


For example:

  1. The Unit exam is at the end of semester.  As this is the beginning of semester it is some time away and currently does not require any planning.  It therefore fits in the matrix of ‘Not due soon’ and ‘low level planning’
  2. However the substantive 3,000 word essay assessment task due in Week 6 will require time for research, critical reading, note taking and pre-writing.  This task requires a high level of planning but is not due soon.

Due Soon

Not Due Soon

High Level of Planning


3,000 work essay

Low Level of Planning


End of Semester Exam

Working through the requirements of your learning and assessment tasks will provide you with a visual of where the ‘hot spots’ will be and enable you to plan and manage these.

NOTE: If you are a new student, then you might want to consider starting the Academic Integrity Module and have it completed before your workload increases.

It is important when researching for your assessment task that you use your time efficiently. This includes keeping track of the information you have found and will use in your assessment task, your critical reading, note-taking and referencing.

“We can’t act if we can’t think and, in my opinion, we can’t think if we don’t read” (Jennifer Bryne - Australian Journalist).

If you have completed the Skills Audit, prioritised your semester workload and created a Semester Planner then you may well have identified that you need some support to achieve the success you are looking for.

While you can seek the support of your Unit Coordinator or Tutor at any time, ECU offers a range of support services, that include supporting your learning, mental health and welfare, and help when things don’t go well.  These include:

Learning Support (for academic writing and STEM support)

The Academic Skills Centre is there to help you develop academic skills such as academic writing (paraphrasing, sentence construction, writing essays, reports etc.). This site includes a current list of workshops and how to meet with a Learning Adviser.

The Library is there to help you learn the skills to find relevant quality information for your assessment tasks. Visit the Library Guides for your subject specific needs or learn about essential library skills in the Library Essentials Library Guide.

If you need help with your studies but not sure where to go click here

Student Hub

The Student Hub team are here to assist you negotiate university life. They can assist with course information and advice, enrolment assistance, including assistance with pre-requisite waivers and setting up your timetable.

Student Success

The Student Success team offer one-on-one appointments where you can receive help to develop action plans to assist you be successful in your studies at ECU.  This includes providing relevant advice to international students.

Counselling Services

The ECU Counselling Service provides a free, confidential service to all currently enrolled ECU students residing in Australia to address any personal issues that impact your studies.

Careers and Employability Services

You can access a range of online career and job search information on CareerHub. Login to CareerHub via the Careers and Employability Services web page, select 'Resources' from the menu, and use the search field to type keywords to browse the Careers and Employability Services resources.  To book an appointment with a Career Adviser please contact the ECU Careers team on (+618) 6304 5899, or email

The Careers page has information about upcoming graduate recruitment programs, employers who are currently hiring, and tips for job seeking.

ECU Student Guild

The Student Guild ensures that the University is aware of student concerns and issues, and works to protect your rights as a student. They can also help by providing academic and financial support, and by offering assistance and opportunities throughout your time at University.

Laptop loans

Some laptops for loan and data-packs (wifi dongles) are available for loan through the Library. If you need a laptop or wifi dongle to assist you to continue your studies, contact the Library Services Centre or call +61 8 6304 5525.

So what happens if you do not act with Academic Integrity?

Academic Misconduct can result in serious outcomes, including being asked to leave the university.  Acts of academic misconduct DO NOT align to the Values of ECU, and are seen as unacceptable behaviours that may result in you being suspended or expelled.

Assessment Task Extensions

There may be instances that are unexpected and out of your control and that may adversely impact your ability to submit an assessment item by the due date. Evidence suggests that in many instances academic misconduct could have been avoided if the student had requested an extension. Find out more about seeking extension for your assignment.

Quick Reads:

Five top tips to succeed in your first year of university

Chisari, M. (2019, February 25).  Five top tips to succeed in your first year of university.  The Conversation. Retrieved from

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