Published: Sept. 21, 2021

Sometimes if we’re in a rush to get things done when preparing for a test or completing an assignment, we may unintentionally commit an act of academic misconduct. This can include cheating, plagiarism or helping another student gain an unfair advantage. Whatever our intentions, these actions violate the Honor Code and have consequences. 

Learning to manage our time and asking for help can play a big role in achieving academic success. Here are four things to do to avoid potential Honor Code violations.

Review your syllabus

Faculty include important information in each syllabus, including expectations for their course that you are required to follow. This information will likely be different for each class. 

Make sure you read the syllabus for each of your classes. Being aware of these expectations can help you avoid unintentionally violating the Honor Code. For example, some faculty prohibit students from collaborating on coursework with classmates. And with remote or online courses, be aware of when you can and cannot use outside resources. If you have any questions about the expectations stated in the syllabus, ask your instructor for clarification. 

Start coursework early

Some Honor Code violations occur when students are rushing to complete work. Whether it’s studying for an exam or working on a long-term project or paper, starting as early as possible can help you avoid procrastination and Honor Code violations. Additionally, starting early allows you enough time to ask questions and ask for help during office hours or from other campus resources.

Use a calendar or planner and add important dates from your syllabi. This includes exam dates, project or paper deadlines, presentations, etc. Regularly look ahead at your next few weeks to see what is coming up and which things should take priority.

Complete work on your own

Academic misconduct is any act in which a student gains or attempts to gain an unfair academic advantage over other students. This also includes helping another student gain an unfair academic advantage. 

With every test, paper, project, lab and assignment, be sure that you are completing your own work, unless the written directions specifically allow you to work with others. 

  • You can talk through your work with another student or a study group, but do not share your work. Once you send it to another person, you don’t have control over how it’s shared or used. 
  • Do not search for answers on the internet, unless expressly permitted. With remote and online learning, be careful with using only resources authorized by your instructors for help.
  • Exams, including online and take-home exams, should be completed independently unless your instructor clearly states otherwise in the syllabus or exam instructions. 

Use campus resources

Whether you’re looking for help with citing sources or are struggling with a concept discussed in class, it’s okay to ask for help. Connect with your instructor during the office hours listed on their syllabus, or use campus resources:

Additional academic resources