Published: April 8, 2024

We might sometimes make mistakes when things are hectic, like during finals week. These mistakes could be a true accident or an intentional choice to cut corners. Whatever our intentions, actions that violate the Honor Code have consequences that could seriously impact your time at CU.  

With finals around the corner, here are the most common Honor Code violations and tips to avoid them. 


Cheating includes: 

  • Using prohibited notes or study aids, including online resources like Chegg, when not permitted. 
  • Collaborating on coursework or tests unless expressly permitted by faculty, including using shared group notes to complete exams. 
  • Allowing someone else to complete your work or exam and turning it in as your own. 
  • Copying another student’s coursework. 
  • Failing to abide by specific written course instructions. 
  • Using electronic devices or online sources when not expressly permitted. 

To avoid cheating:  

  • Read your syllabus. If you have questions about what is allowed, ask your professor. 
  • Pay special attention to any collaboration policies.  
  • Know what is expected of you regarding your work.  
  • Consider things like:  
    • Can I use online sources?  
    • Can I use course material, like textbooks or lecture notes in Canvas? 
    • Can I use my own notes?   
  • If you are taking an online or hybrid course, be aware of when you can and cannot use outside resources. If an exam is open-note, that does not mean it is open-internet. Ask your professor if you are unsure what you can use.  
  • Put your phone away and close all other tabs while you are engaged in coursework unless explicitly permitted. Don’t look at other websites, your phone or other technology while taking exams.  
  • Ask your professor or TA for help if you're confused or stuck. 


Plagiarism is submitting someone else’s work or ideas as your own or using paper writing services and technology, such as essay bots or artificial intelligence, whether paid or unpaid.  

It also includes failing to cite your sources correctly. The important thing to remember to avoid plagiarism is to give credit to the source you use. Academic resources like the Writing Center and University Libraries can help. With these resources, you can: 

  • Learn how to properly cite and paraphrase to avoid plagiarism.  
  • Learn how to use someone else’s ideas to support your own opinion. 
  • Recognize when to use someone else’s ideas and when to use only your own ideas. 

To avoid plagiarism: 

  • Cite your sources as you go, including in-text citations and works cited, references or bibliography. 
  • Start early so you have plenty of time to cite, proofread and edit. 
  • Do not copy and paste material into your paper, even if you intend to go back and delete it later. 
  • Ask your professor if and how you can use artificial intelligence in their class.  

Aiding academic dishonesty

We all want to help our friends when they are feeling overwhelmed. However, helping another student gain an unfair academic advantage can lead to an Honor Code referral.  

To avoid aiding academic dishonesty:  

  • Do not share your work with others from when you took the class. This includes essays, spreadsheets, exams or course notes.  
  • If your final exam is not in person, schedule a room on campus or work in your household to take exams alone and in a quiet space. 
  • Remind your friends to use their faculty’s office hours and other academic resources.  
  • Close and lock your computer when you step away from it.  

Other tips

When stress is high, you may be more likely to inadvertently make a mistake that violates the Honor Code. That’s why being prepared and managing your time are critical to your success. 

Practice good study habits by setting up consistent study sessions to review class material and eliminate distractions. Make sure you start early on assignments, papers and studying. Then, you will have more time to ask questions if needed. 

Finally, use campus resources if you need help! Talk to your teaching assistants, connect with the Writing Center and check out other academic support and resources. Your academic department may also have more support options specific to your major. 

Learn more about the Honor Code