Academic Honesty

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Long the bane of academia, cheating has become even easier with today's electronic devices. 
Our reliance on the Internet as a vehicle for research poses particular challenges to academic integrity, making it especially important that students understand the ethical parameters under which they must operate to avoid plagiarizing the work of another.

The sheer volume of material and the ease with which students can find it tempt some to overreach; i.e., to claim what they find and use on the Internet as theirs, rather than giving appropriate credit to the source.  Some students plagiarize intentionally and will continue to do so until they face consequences.  Our concern here lies with those students who may not understand just what constitutes plagiarism.  Quite simply, they must ask themselves: Did they bring that information to the assignment from their own knowledge base, or did they find it while researching?  

In "Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age" (New York Times 2 Aug. 2010), writer Trip Gabriel suggests that some students did not realize they were cheating when they lifted bits and pieces from the Internet to use in their papers.  Most readers disagreed.  One teacher offered the following comment: "This reminds me of when I worked in corporate and someone else ate my lunch.  When confronted, he said, 'I didn't know it was yours.' 
            'Yes,' I said, 'but you knew you didn't bring it.'

To be fair, as Gabriel suggests in his article, the lines might be blurred for today's students because they share music files, access Wikipedia, and forward links, so freely using information and images from Web sites might be, to them, a reasonable and understandable extension.  Students sometimes think that if author credit is not provided, the material is up for grabs.  Some argue such "sharing" embraces scholarship because information is exchanged freely; however, taking material from any one source and presenting it as one's own isn't sharing.  It's stealing someone else's work.  One can freely share information and still credit the source—and should make every effort to do so.  If the information stems from research, it must be documented.

Simply put, if the information or phrasing or idea a student incorporates into her paper came from one of her sources, she didn't "bring" it; credit belongs to that source.  Students should understand that 
        •  they must cite material taken from an Internet source—even when it lacks author credit.
        •  while the Internet is "free," the information it provides is not "free" to claim as 
            one's own; any material used must be properly cited.
        •  they must cite material even if they paraphrased it; it is not theirs merely because they 
            put it in their own words
        •  listing the source on the Works Cited page is not enough; students must cite the 
           specific information used within the paper.
   
        


Academic integrity is critical to character development and the educational process.   Students found to have engaged in cheating or plagiarism shall be subject to district and school discipline policies (see BHS Student Handbook).

ACADEMIC HONESTY

(Cross reference to board policy 3201)

 

Policy Rationale:

The Board of Trustees recognizes that plagiarism and cheating are inconsistent with the mission statement of Bozeman High School.  Because academic integrity is critical to character development and the educational process, students must maintain the highest standards of honesty when completing their coursework.  Plagiarism and cheating undermine the ability of teachers to authentically assess student progress and deprive students of the opportunity to learn valuable skills and realize their potential.  Students who profit from academic dishonesty condition themselves to conduct similar dishonesty in college and the workplace.  Therefore, students, parents/guardians, and school personnel are all responsible for creating and maintaining a positive school climate that encourages honesty.  Students found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty, whether through ignorance of the rules or intentional disregard of the policy, shall be subject to district and school discipline policy, which may include academic consequences related to the specific assignment or class.

 

Definitions:

Academic Dishonesty:  A breach of academic standards of academic integrity, includes all forms of cheating—plagiarism, collusion, falsifying academic records, or any other act designed to give unfair academic advantage to the student.

 

Cheating:  Any attempt to mislead or deceive a teacher and/or school administration in arriving at an honest evaluation of learning.  Cheating includes aiding other students in cheating, and using programmable calculations or other technology in a manner not specified by the teacher.

 

Plagiarism:  A form of cheating; the act of using another's ideas, language, or work and passing them off as one's own.

 

 

Bozeman High School's

GUIDELINES FOR ENSURING ACADEMIC HONESTY

 

Students' Role in Preventing Cheating and Plagiarism:

      •   Seek clarification from teacher about expectations for student, parent or tutor involvement, group work, classroom work, and outside projects or writing assignments.

      •   Invest in the writing and thinking process by completing the steps for a project and documenting their own original work; avoid plagiarizing own work.

      •   Refuse to participate in another student's cheating; refuse to provide work for copying or to use for other types of plagiarism.

      •   Demonstrate respect and ethical use of technology in their work.

      •   Credit accurately all sources used in their original work.

      •   Model for peers original thinking and the accurate crediting of sources in their own writing and work.

      •   Consult with teacher when in doubt about any aspects of the problems, implications or consequences of cheating.

 


Sources:  Thanks to the these school districts that contributed, via their web sites, to our efforts in developing these BHS procedures:  Bayside School District (http:// www.hpedsb.on.ca/bss/
Plagiarism%20Policy.pdf) and North Hunterdon High School (http://www.nhvweb.net/nhhs/English/
cheatingplagiarismpolicy.htm).  In addition, thanks to Bozeman School District's Assistant Superintendent Marilyn King for her foresight in developing the Academic Honesty Policy (#3201) prior to these efforts.

Plagiarism%20Policy.pdf) and North Hunterdon High School (http://www.nhvweb.net/nhhs/English/
cheatingplagiarismpolicy.htm).  In addition, thanks to Bozeman School District's Assistant Superintendent Marilyn King for her foresight in developing the Academic Honesty Policy (#3201) prior to these efforts.


Parents' or Guardians' Role in Preventing Cheating and Plagiarism:

      •   Promote original thinking in their child.

      •   Refuse to help their child in any form of academic dishonesty by accessing or supplying inappropriate or unethical materials for their child's academic work.

      •   Encourage respect for technology and demonstrate its ethical use.

      •   Invest in their child's work by giving any appropriate and thoughtful feedback and suggestions during the project's steps, including revising and editing.

      •   Model original thinking and the accurate crediting of sources in their own writing and work.

      •   Help enforce any consequences of the violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.

 


 Consequences of Plagiarism and Cheating

Modeled after the Bayside School District guidelines (http://www.hpedsb.on.ca/bss/Plagiarism%20Policy.pdf)

 Unintentional PlagiarismA violation of the plagiarism section of the Academic Honesty Policy (AHP) committed in ignorance. 

Consequences for All Grades — Determined and enforced primarily by teacher with administrative support; will include the following:  warning issued; parent(s)/  guardian(s) contacted; assignment re-done for partial credit; violation logged in student's disciplinary file.

Intentional Plagiarism or CheatingBlatant disregard for and violation of the AHP section pertaining to plagiarism or cheating; pertains to both first and subsequent infractions.

Consequences for All Grades — Determined by teacher; enforced by teacher and administrator; will include the following:  parent(s)/guardian(s) and teachers contacted; conference with student, parent(s)/guardian(s), teacher and administrator; loss of credit for assignment, which could negatively impact course credit; suspension; violation logged in student's disciplinary file.

Consequences may also include the following:

Freshmen and Sophomores — Assignment redone to meet course requirements, but for no credit; infraction noted in PowerGrade and PowerSchool; impact on membership in student organizations.

 Juniors and Seniors — Infraction noted in PowerGrade and PowerSchool; impact on membership in student organizations; denial of honors or awards; impact on college applications*; loss of privilege to participate in graduation ceremony (determined by school board); failure to graduate.

*Note:  BHS faculty are encouraged to review disciplinary files before agreeing to write letters of recommendation.


Understand What Constitutes Plagiarism & Cheating* 

Cheating includes:

•   copying, faxing, e-mailing, or in any way duplicating assignments that are turned in, wholly or in part, as original work

•   exchanging assignments with other students, either handwritten or computer-generated, whether you believe they will be copied or not

•   using any form of memory aid during tests without the expressed permission of the instructor

•   using a computer or other means to translate an assignment from one language to another language and submitting it as an original translation

•   giving or receiving answers during tests or quizzes; it is your responsibility to secure your answers so other students will not have the opportunity to copy from you nor be tempted to do so

•   taking credit for group work when you have not contributed an equal or appropriate share toward the final result

•   accessing a test or quiz for the purpose of determining the questions in advance of its administration

•   using summaries/commentaries (Cliffs Notes, Spark Notes, etc.) in place of reading the assigned materials

•   submitting work you created for one class for credit in another class, without the expressed permission of the teacher

Plagiarism includes:

•   taking someone else's essay or portion of an essay and submitting it as your own

•   submitting material written by someone else or rephrasing the ideas of another without giving the author's name or source

•   presenting the work of tutors, parents, siblings, or friends as your own 

•   submitting purchased papers as your own

•   submitting papers from the Internet written by someone else as your own

•   supporting plagiarism by providing your work to others, whether you believe it will be copied or not 

•   self plagiarism, which is the submission of a piece you wrote for one class for credit in another class, without the expressed permission of the teacher

*from North Hunterdon High School, Annandale, NJ

The Board of Trustees recognizes that plagiarism and cheating are inconsistent with the mission statement of Bozeman High School.  Because academic integrity is critical to character development and the educational process, students must maintain the highest standards of honesty when completing their coursework.  Plagiarism and cheating undermine the ability of teachers to authentically assess student progress and deprive students of the opportunity to learn valuable skills and realize their potential.  Students who profit from academic dishonesty condition themselves to conduct similar dishonesty in college and the workplace.  Therefore, students, parents/guardians, and school personnel are all responsible for creating and maintaining a positive school climate that encourages honesty.  Students found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty, whether through ignorance of the rules or intentional disregard of the policy, shall be subject to district and school discipline policies.