Appendix E: Academic Integrity and the Professional Space

If you haven’t already, make sure you complete all three assigned Library tutorials on Academic Integrity accessed through the following links: 

Depending on where you are in your college career, the idea of “academic integrity” is probably not new. If anything, the library tutorials are probably a review, since academic integrity is typically discussed by most professors. However, let’s look forward and briefly consider what the larger idea of integrity means outside of academia and in the professional workspace.

Integrity is all about how you conduct yourself. Are your actions ethical? Do they potentially cause harm to others, either intentionally or unintentionally? You will need to consider your integrity throughout your career. Let’s apply this idea to the three modes of appeal (ethos, logos, and pathos). How do they connect to integrity issues in the workplace? Below you’ll find a example of someone making a decision that could negatively impact one of the modes of appeal. Can you identify which mode of appeal they are breaking, how they are doing it, and a possible consequence?

Scenario #1

Mateo has a problem. He is trying to put together a pitch for a potential client so his company can get a lucrative construction contract from the province. However, the data he needs to highlight just isn’t available right now. He knows the evidence exists because his friends who do research says it does, but it just hasn’t been verified in a peer-reviewed journal. He decides to include data from a friend’s article in a non-peer reviewed journal, but not directly state that fact in his pitch.

Logos: Mateo is using evidence that has not been verified in his pitch. Yes, it may be from a journal and people in the industry that he trusts, but that doesn’t mean its okay to include in a report.  Additionally, choosing to not mention this to the organization he’s pitching is potentially illegal.  This choice could result in fines for the company and Mateo might lose his job.


Scenario #2

Personal connections are important. Susie knows their value after several years in social work, since she requires them to It’s help her audience connect with her presentation. The problem is she doesn’t really have a personal connection to her field: drug addiction. She is passionate about helping people overcome addiction, but when she talks about it to crowds, she notices that the audience seems to not pay close enough attention because she usually just states facts. So, instead, she decides to create a fictional story of a family member who eventually went to jail for using illegal drugs. She has worked with many drug addicts during her career, so she combines a bunch of their stories in order to make her own. Since the story doesn’t belong to anyone, it’s probably going to be fine, especially if it helps other people seek treatment.

Which mode of appeal is Susie breaking?

Pathos: While Susie’s intention to evoke an emotional response from the audience is good in principle, the way she goes about it is completely wrong. She is, in fact, lying about her personal experience to get the audience to feel empathy. She is by no means the only person to do this, but the consequences can be bad for her career if anyone finds out.

Scenario #3

Martin works a large agricultural corporation that is looking for land to test some of its new seeds. The company is looking for land that they think will be relatively inexpensive to use, and decides to try to reach out to a First Nation on the prairies. He sets up a meeting with the Elders, and in this meeting, he promises that the company will provide the community with the tools and supplies necessary to farm the seeds. Martin also insists that the company has the community’s best interests at heart and this partnership would be a great advantage for their community.

Which mode of appeal is Martin breaking?

Ethos: There is an issue of credibility. Yes, Martin may genuinely believe that partnering with this Indigenous community will be mutually beneficial, and it may very well be, but that does not take into consideration the long history of Indigenous peoples being taking advantage of by government and business, especially within the agricultural sphere. Indigenous Peoples have often been told that something was being done for their benefit, which often resulted in very little positive gains for them. In an agricultural context, when Plains nations were moved to reserves, they were told they would be provided with proper tools and supplies, which is not what happened. Martin’s company may not be directly responsible for this historical legacy, but that does not mean they will be outright trusted by the members of the community.


The modes of appeal are important because they help people listen to our ideas. Also, they identify us a person of integrity who can be trusted to do good work. However, challenges may arise that push us to forget or ignore one, if not all, of those modes of appeal. Ultimately, how we respond to these challenges is what defines us as professionals.



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Effective Professional Communication: A Rhetorical Approach Copyright © 2021 by Rebekah Bennetch; Corey Owen; and Zachary Keesey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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