Published: Jan. 30, 2023

Sometimes if we’re in a rush to get things done, like studying for a test or completing an assignment, we may engage in academic dishonesty. This can include plagiarism, cheating 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 that can help you avoid potential Honor Code violations this semester.

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 lower the likelihood of 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. 

There are also campus-wide Honor Code expectations that are consistent in every class. For instance, resubmitting your own work without faculty permission is a violation of the Honor Code. You also cannot self-plagiarize your own work⁠—meaning you must cite any previously written work that you are using while completing a new assignment. You cannot reuse your own work without that citation. Review the Honor Code and go to your instructor with any questions.

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 reach out to other campus services.

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 dishonesty 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 may be able to 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. If certain online resources are allowed, write your researched answers in your own words instead of copying and pasting what you found online.
  • Nearly any assignment that you submit online could be analyzed for similarity to other sources, so it is important to cite your sources when appropriate.
  • 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. We encourage you to advocate for yourself and your needs to faculty and staff. Attend your instructor’s office hours that are listed on their syllabus, or use campus resources:

Learn more about the Honor Code.