Strategies to Avoid a Violation
Careful attention to your own academic duties is the best way to avoid allegations of academic dishonesty. If you are asked to do something that you FEEL is wrong or unethical, it probably is. Aiding someone in committing an academically dishonest act is just as serious as receiving the aid. For "real life" scenarios, check out the Honor Pledge violations from previous years at this link: HONOR PLEDGE VIOLATIONS.
The following strategies may help you avoid Honor Pledge violations:
- Check your faculty member's course syllabus for a section dealing with academic dishonesty for that course. There may be special requirements. If you cannot find a written section in the syllabus, ask the faculty member what his/her expectations are.
- Prepare yourself thoroughly for examinations and assignments.
- Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying your exam or assignments by shielding your answer sheet during examinations. In exams, if you feel someone is trying to copy from you, ask the proctor if you may move. This will alert the proctor to a potential problem and help remove suspicion from you as aiding the other student if a claim of cheating arises.
- If you are allowed to take materials into a testing site, make sure no notes or materials are exposed or accessible that could cause one to believe you are using unauthorized aids (cribs).
- This includes cell phones, PDAs, programmable calculators, and iPods. Unfortunately, some students have used these electronic devises as an advantage over other students by entering materials that could be seen as unauthorized aid during quizzes, exams, finals.
- Do not look around, particularly in the direction of other students' papers, during an exam since it may appear you are trying to copy from others. Look up for inspiration, down in desperation, but not around for information!
- Do not lend assignments you have finished to other students. Some students have been accused of knowingly giving unauthorized aid. Do not take this chance. Do not leave your finished assignments in a place where another student might be able to copy them.
- This is especially easy to do when using a community computer. Password protect your files if you need to leave them on a computer that is networked.
- Should there be any doubt, clarify with your instructor how much collaboration, if any, is permitted or expected when working on projects or assignments with other students, particularly computer programs.
- Utilize a recognized handbook for instruction on citing source materials in papers. Two handbooks commonly used at K-State are the APA (American Psychological Association) and the MLA (Modern Language Association) handbooks. These are often used in general education classes. The sciences often have handbooks specific to the discipline. Ask your instructors which they prefer. MAKE CERTAIN you know how to accurately cite sources; most faculty assume you know how to do this.
- Since it is impossible to write everything with complete originality, use quotation marks, footnotes, and parenthetical textual notes to acknowledge other peoples' words or ideas employed in your paper. Again, check with your instructor for proper techniques for citations and attribution if you have any doubts.
- Protect your computer log-in identifications and passwords. Other students could use them to access your work and subsequently implicate you in a cheating case. Again, this is especially sensitive in large-group living arrangements.
- Know that it is risky to electronically copy or transmit a computer program or file to other students. You could be implicated in a cheating incident if someone alters that program and submits it as their own work.
- Consult with individual faculty or academic departments when in doubt.
- Do not pad a bibliography. This means do not include sources in a bibliography or reference list if you have not used the sources in the preparation of your paper.
- Know the difference between PRIMARY sources and SECONDARY sources and cite appropriately.
- Do not use previous papers, lab reports, or assignments used in a course with the intention of copying parts or all of the material. Check with your instructor and get permission before turning in a paper or project you submitted in another course.
- Keep rough drafts and copies of papers submitted in courses since other students may get access to your work and attempt to claim it as their own.
- Do not share your current or former assignments, projects, papers, etc. with other students to use as guides for their work. Such a practice could lead to claims of collaboration if part or all of your work is lifted by another student. Sometimes friendly assistance may escalate into claims of blatant dishonesty.
- Do not give your homework papers, projects,or other assignments to other students to submit for you. They may use parts of your work.
- When completing take-home exams, do not collaborate with other persons unless approved by the instructor. ASK THE INSTRUCTOR.
- Keep your student identification card in your possession or secured. Never loan your identification to anyone.
- Do not make any marks on a graded exam if there is any chance you may submit it for a re-grade. Make all notations on a separate paper.
- Discourage dishonesty among other students and refuse to assist students who cheat. Nationwide studies indicate 70-90% of the student college population admit to academic dishonesty within the last year. K-State is trying to change this culture. Be a person of character and make your education and K-State degree count!
If you are accused of an Honor Pledge violation, call the Honor System office.