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Academic Integrity: Working Under Pressure

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This guide is part of Academic Integrity at Macalester College. For more information about our academic integrity program, please contact Ginny Moran (

Materials here are available for reuse under a Creative Commons  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA license.

Overview - Help For Avoiding Academic Integrity Problems

Time management challenges and personal integrity often clash. They can create a perfect storm in which you realize too late that you have waited too long to start a project. Most of us hesitate to ask for help or request an extension, because we are supposed to have it all together. Some tips for avoiding this scenario:

  • Expect that a project won't go perfectly and you'll need time to adjust and adapt. Build in a cushion for yourself.

  • Talk to your professor if you're not sure about how much time something should take. If you find yourself spending what seems like an unusual amount of time on an aspect of a project, that's probably a good time to check in.

Being Organized - Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you to keep your research organized. They can help you keep track of where you discovered different facts and ideas, upload and store the full text of the articles you find and allow you to add tags and make notations about your content  In addition, with the word processing plugin for these tools, you can easily insert citations into your papers. Whether you are using the APA, MLA or any of 6000+ other citation styles, these tools can help you properly format it and also create a bibliography of the works referenced during your research.

There are several citation management tools available for use. The library provides support for Refworks and Zotero. You can access and learn more about them on the library citation guide.


Taking care of yourself is an important step in avoiding academic integrity issues. Talk to your professors, supervisors, RAs, or other faculty or staff you trust.

The Center for Health & Wellness can help you find out what you need to know to help yourself de-stress and give yourself permission to do those things. They can also connect you to professional resources if needed. 

Remember, even doing simple things like petting one of our campus service dogs can be relaxing and a de-stressor! 

Case Studies

Informal Case Studies:
Macalester Students Tell Their Stories...

Case studies are a great way to better understand an issue. A group of Mac students who were found to have violated the College's academic integrity policy agreed to share their experience through brief essays. These 'informal case studies' ask the students to discuss their violation, what led up to it, as well as identify lessons learned.

        Improper Attribution & Time Management

        Sharing Responses During Take-Home Exams


Campus Resources

The Macalester Academic Excellence Center offers tutoring to all students. They can help you improve the quality of your work regardless of what class it is for. They can be reached at 651-696-6121 and are located in the first floor of Kagin Commons.


Your subject librarians at the DeWitt Wallace Library can save you time, helping you with searching for and obtaining support materials for your projects, tracking down missing sources ("Where did this quote come from?"), and being a sounding board for your ideas.

Faculty Voices


Faculty Voices:
Asking Your Professor for Help

The Faculty Voices Academic Integrity Video Series provides Macalester faculty perspectives and discussions around academic integrity issues.