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Acting with Academic Integrity

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

Research tells us that academic breaches happen when students are struggling with time pressures. Be AWARE of the hectic points in your semester 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.

Be efficient when finding information that is relevant to your assessment task in your critical reading, taking good notes 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.

The Academic Skills Centre is there to help you develop academic skills such as academic writing (paraphrasing, sentence construction, writing essays, reports etc.)

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.

And don't forget the many Academic Skills Workshops available on-campus and online.

Visit the Academic Skills Workshop Schedule for Joondalup and Mount Lawley  or the South West campus Workshop Schedule

Student Hub:

The Student Hub Team can assist you negotiate university life.  They offer one-on-one appointments where you can receive help to develop action plans to assist you be successful in your studies at ECU.  These include 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.

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.

So what happens if you do not act with Academic Integrity

Academic Misconduct results 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 and may result in you being suspended or expelled.

Assessment Task Extensions

There is evidence that many instances of academic misconduct could have been avoided if the student has requested an extension.  Therefore if you are struggling or have a personal crisis then seek out your Unit Coordinator as you may be able to apply for an extension on your assessment task. Find out more about seeking extension for your assignment

By acting with academic integrity and seeking out support to develop academic skills, you set yourself up to graduate with the skills and knowledge for future success from an institution that has a reputation of a quality teaching and research institution.

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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