1. Research and write the definition of integrity, using either a print or an online dictionary. Record the name of the dictionary or URL website below your definition. ...

1. Research and write the definition of integrity, using either a print or an online dictionary. Record the name of the dictionary or URL website below your definition. 

2. Paraphrase the definition you provided above. 

3. What does integrity mean to you personally? In a paragraph, share one example from your experience where you acted with integrity or when your integrity was challenged.

4. How was your thinking about integrity changed after working through on of these scenarios? Discuss in a well-developed Paragraph.

Asked on by uglylion

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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A good definition of "integrity," taken from the Oxford Dictionary, the URL link for which is below, is as follows:

"The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness"

To paraphrase the above dictionary definition of "integrity," one could simply state that it means "always do the right thing."  A person of integrity is one who lives by a code of conduct in which honesty and an ethical approach to personal and professional relationships is the highest priority.  People with high levels of integrity eschew dishonesty and hypocrisy in their daily conduct, and expect it of others.

To this educator, integrity means exactly what I wrote in the above paragraph.  Having spent a large percentage of my adulthood working for politicians while being surrounded by lobbyists, special interest groups and activists of all kinds, and routinely interacting with foreign government officials whose sole purpose was frequently limited to convincing me that I what I know is right is actually wrong, I placed a very high premium on integrity -- my own and that of the people to whom I was closest.  When considering with whom to work on particular projects, I always leaned in favor of those colleagues and counterparts whom I knew I could trust.  The preface of any discussion of value with those to whom I was closest was summed up in the opening statement, "All BS aside, let's talk."  When speaking with reporters looking for insights into the thought processes of my employers, or looking for background information, I only spoke candidly with those whom I knew I could trust; in other words, I limited myself to conversations with reporters who I believed had a high level of integrity.  

Integrity is important in all areas of life.  We like to know that we can trust the people preparing our meals, fixing our cars, running our cities, states, and country, and in whom we need to confide from time to time.  That, upon moving to a new town, I inquired of neighbors where I could find an honest mechanic spoke to the perception of dishonesty or low levels of integrity in that particular profession.  

My integrity was challenged on a regular basis for many years; that is the nature of working on Capitol Hill. That I managed to retain my integrity and not succumb to the many temptations that avail themselves of people working in Washington, D.C. was a testament, I hoped, to my character.  That I'm now living in Duluth, Minnesota, is testament to the price that can be paid for resisting temptation.  Many times, because of my responsibilities, I could have engaged in unethical conduct that would have benefited me professionally and financially.  The road not chosen, however, involved obstacles that would not have been pleasant, as my former colleague who spent several years in prison for bribing the congressman for whom he used to work would, presumably, attest.

In contemplating a school assignment involving personal conduct, each student needs to look within him- or herself and consider instances of dishonesty or times when doing the right thing was inconvenient and so avoided.  Almost all human beings have regrets about ethically-questionable decisions they made at some point in their lives.  It is what is learned from these episodes that shapes our character.  Choose a moment when you made the right choice for the right reason.  That's integrity.

Sources:
kipling2448's profile pic

kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Okay, your first question submitted to eNotes did not include the now-provided hypothetical regarding "Jesse."  You were provided an answer; it just didn't respond to an example that had not been previously provided. 

"Jesse" is not confronted with a difficult moral dilemma.  Most teachers and professors prefer to see evidence that a student has actually conducted some level of scholarship in preparing a research paper for a social studies course.  The whole point of a "research paper" is to conduct research and cite sources as appropriate.  Therefore, the plagiarism option is not only unethical and in violation of school rules, but is also entirely unnecessary.  Pulling all-nighters, especially as a result of procrastination, is endemic to many students; it is not, however, an excuse to cheat.  Simply quote the sources and cite them in footnotes and not only will the research paper reflect research, it will also not reflect unethical conduct.  Doing as the hypothetical suggests, and copying straight from other sources without attribution is just plain wrong, and the parameters of the hypothetical situation certainly suggests that no academic scholarship should be forthcoming.

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uglylion | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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number 4. How was your thinking about integrity changed after working through on of these scenarios? Discuss in a well-developed Paragraph.

Jesse dislikes Social Studies but needs a good mark in it for a scholarship. Jesse’s Social Studies teacher assigned a major research paper 2 weeks ago, and it is due tomorrow. Jesse does not know how to collect research or how to reference her sources. For the sake of maintaining a high average in Social Studies, Jesse considers copying information from the books she took out of the library without referencing them, avoiding the hassle of providing a complete bibliography.

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Jessica Gardner | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Please note that eNotes educators do not complete students' assignments for them. Therefore, your opinion of how your thinking of integrity has changed must be completed by you with the help of an educator's discussion of what "integrity" means.

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