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Academic Honesty Resources

The University maintains many resources related to academic honesty matters. Two important ones are:

If you are facing an academic honesty allegation from a professor the Senate Policy is your primary resource regarding the procedures to be followed.

The best resource to help you avoid an academic honesty allegation is …

Your Professor

Professors are responsible for maintaining academic integrity in their courses. They set the rules that you must follow. We describe here basic default information that in the absence of other instructions always applies.

All course work is intended to be individual work, and your own work, unless the professor has specified otherwise.

A good rule of thumb when doing research in preparation for producing a piece of work is to take point-form notes as you read. Also be sure you make note of the necessary citation information. Then you can write in your own words based on the notes, and provide the correct reference/citation..

Such notes should not include copy and paste of sections of text. Writing an assignment does not mean ‘constructing’ it by putting together such copied sections and then trying to modify the words a bit.

Many professors use the text matching service called Turn It In. Turn It In only checks that the words you use are your own; it cannot check that ideas and thoughts are your own. It is also open to the criticism that it encourages students to manipulate their words, treating the act of writing as an optimisation game.

Students are encouraged to discuss course topics and to help one another. This is not inconsistent with producing individual work. A good rule of thumb is to take only point-form notes as you discuss topics. Do not collaborate to the extent of writing down sentences or equations together with other students.

When you help another student do not simply hand over your work so they can “see how you did it”. Do not sell or give away your work from a course you completed previously. Check the Senate Policy regarding aiding and abetting!

When doing group work:

When your professor has specified you are to work in a group, you as an individual are responsible for the entire piece of work submitted by the group. If one group member plagiarises work, it is no defence for the others to claim they didn’t know. Groups are students working together, not students working independently and then combining their pieces.

When writing tests and exams:

When writing a test or exam, it is a breach of academic honesty if you ignore instructions or use any unauthorised aids. It is also a breach if you communicate with other students during the test or exam, over any matter at all, including asking for an eraser or the time!

For example, if the professor or invigilator, has said to leave your cell phone in your bag and you are found to have it on your person you are in breach irrespective of whether you have actually been seen using it. If you are seen using it and you claim to be checking the time you are definitely in breach.