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Academic Honesty: Know it. Practice it. Encourage it.

Student Resources

Importance of an Honest Campus
Forms of Academic Dishonesty
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty
Strategies for Doing Honest Work
Additional Resources

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Importance of an Honest Campus

Academic honesty is important to Howard Community College’s mission and vision, and students are encouraged to know about it, practice it in their work, and encourage it in fellow students.  HCC recognizes “the development of ethical judgment as an integral part of one’s education and [HCC] supports the integration of ethical issues into the core curriculum” (College Catalogue).  Therefore, students are expected to not only learn about ethics but also to do ethical work at HCC. 

See HCC's Student Handbook for more information on Academic Honesty.

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Forms of Academic Dishonesty

Some of the more common forms of academic dishonesty are...

  • Use of unauthorized information - Sharing (giving or taking) answers with other students while taking an in-class quiz or exam is definitely cheating.  Also, using unauthorized notes or accessing information via electronic tools such as a cell phone is a serious violation of student code of conduct.  When it comes to take-home exams, be sure that you clarify with the instructor what is and is not allowed.
  • Plagiarism - There are many ways in which a student may intentionally or accidentally commit plagiarism.  Some examples include:
    • Copying and pasting words from sources without accurate and appropriate documentation (citation and quotation marks)
    • Using ideas from other sources without accurate and appropriate documentation
    • Purchasing and submitting written work from online sources
    • Submitting work written by another person as if it’s your own
    • Submitting work written for a another course without consulting the current instructor
  • Misrepresentation of data - Whether writing a lab report or writing a research paper, it is important that you use your data honestly.  Do not misrepresent, misquote, or falsify information. 
  • Unauthorized use of translation tools in language courses
  • Unauthorized collaboration - Dividing up the workload and sharing answers to homework assignments when not encouraged to do so by the instructor are forms of academic dishonesty.  Be sure that you clearly understand the directions.

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Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

David Callahan (The Cheating Culture) speaks to college students about how cheating affects society.

Please see the Student Handbook's Policies and Procedures for detailed information the consequences of academic dishonesty.

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Strategies for Doing Honest Work*

  • Manage your time and plan ahead - Lack of time management is a major factor in a student's decision to cheat. Write out to-do lists and keep track of a calendar that includes all of your plans - family, social, and work engagements as well as your academic obligations. Use the calendars on your phone or e-mail, or try free online tools to stay organized.
  • Talk to your instructor - Time pressure or a lack of understanding of course materials can push a student to cheat or plagiarize out of frustration. Ask your instructor for help or for more time to complete an assignment (if you have a legitimate reason).  All faculty members have office hours and can be easily reached by HCC e-mail. See HCC Staff Directory.
  • Make use of tutoring - HCC offers free tutoring at the Learning Assistance Center (RCF 340) in all subject areas. You can also get help with your writing for English classes at the Composition and Literature Center (DH 210). 
  • In a language course, be sure you understand the instructor's directions regarding translation tools (electronic devices or online tools).
  • Do appropriate group work - Make study buddies but do individual work unless you are directed to do group work by the instructor. Do not give into peer pressure to share answers on assignments that are individual work.
  • When taking an exam, position yourself so that others cannot see your paper. Keep the desk area clear of materials not needed for the exam.  Keep your cell phone and other electronic devices in your bag or in your pocket at all time. 
  • Consult librarians - When doing research, ask HCC's librarians for help.  They're the research experts.   Become a careful researcher - These days, almost everything you do will involve some kind of research.  Become a careful and diligent researcher.  Keep a research log/journal and keep track of where you find what information and how.  When incorporating the research materials into your project or essay, be sure you understand the instructor’s expectations about documentation.

*See suggestions from Dr. Charles Lipson (University of Chicago) in his book Doing Honest Work In College and on his website for more ideas.

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Additional Resources

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