Most people take pride in their personal integrity. We don’t like to be accused of dishonesty. Colleges have very strict practices on academic dishonesty. If you are accused of being dishonest, you will probably be given an F in the course. You may also face very severe sanctions including in some cases dismissal from the college you are attending.
What are some examples of academic dishonesty? Here are typical situations:
- Copying from another student on a test or on homework
- Turning in a document that was not your work (e.g. buying a research paper)
- Improperly giving credit for the words of others in a document
- Obtaining a copy of a test before it is given
- Misrepresenting the work of others (e.g. putting a student’s name on a group report who made no contribution to the report)
- Distorting information you generated or obtained from another
These examples may see to be obvious but consider these situations.
Case A: You did a paper for a course last semester. This semester, you have a similar requirement for another course. Can you use the same paper?
Resolution A: This would be treated as a case of academic dishonesty unless you had explicit permission to use the same paper topic.
Case B: You wrote a research paper using information you found on the internet. You weren’t aware that the information needed to be cited since there was no identifiable author.
Resolution B: Lack of intent isn’t a justification in this case. You may not have done this intentionally, but using information from another source without giving credit is still an act of academic dishonesty. In all cases, you should cite the source of information.
Case C: You received an advance copy of an exam from a friend. You opened up the attachment that continued the exam but deleted it as soon as you became aware of what it is.
Resolution C: This is an act of academic dishonesty. In cases like this, you should have immediately notified the teacher of the presence of the exam.
Case D: You do a chemistry lab. The data you obtained from the experiment was obviously wrong you realize you did the experiment wrong. You modify the data to give the expected results.
Resolution D: This is a case of academic dishonesty. You falsified information. You should have notified your lab instructor about the situation before acting on your own.
Case E: You and two of you friends work together on a math homework assignment. Each of you turns in the assignment and each of you has the same solution.
Resolution E: You should ask the teacher for his/her policy on working together on assignments. In some classes, group collaborations are encouraged. Whenever you do this, you should indicate on your assignment that you worked with others.
Most students don’t commit acts of academic dishonesty willfully. Rather these acts are the result of making bad judgments when something has gone wrong. Unfortunately bad judgment is treated just as severely as a willful effort to do something dishonest..