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Academic Honesty

Templates for Course Academic Honesty Policy

1) The most simple model, from an English course:
Academic honesty: All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:

2) A model for courses that involve collaborative work in laboratory or problem sets, from a computer science course:
Academic honesty:

Homework collaboration:
You may discuss homework problems with others, but you must not retain written notes from your conversations with other students, or share data via computer files to be used in completing your homework. Your written work must be completed without reference to such notes, with the exception of class and recitation notes, which may be retained in written form. [NOTE: some instructors require students to report the names of those with whom they discussed an assignment.]

General rule: When in doubt, cite

3) A model from a writing-intensive humanities course:
Academic honesty: Students and faculty at the University must agree to adhere to high standards of academic honesty in all of the work that we do. First-year students read and sign an academic honesty policy statement to indicate that they understand the general principles upon which our work is based. The College Board on Academic Honesty website gives further information on our policies and procedures:

In this course the following additional requirements are in effect:
You are encouraged to discuss course readings and assignments with your fellow students. However, all written work must be done independently and not in collaboration with another. In order to make appropriate help available for your essays, I encourage you to consult with me and with the College Writing, Speaking and Argument Program. The term research paper will require citations and “Works Cited” following the MLA format.

4) A model from a lab manual:

There are extensive guidelines for the boundaries of academic honesty at the University of Rochester (, and this was a point of emphasis during your orientation. In this class, you are held to this mutual agreement.  Nevertheless, there are some unique features of laboratory courses that deserve emphasis so the expectations are clear for all of us.

This lab is a collaborative exercise in learning, as is most of science. Almost all of the projects are done in pairs and we encourage students to freely and openly discuss findings, interpretation of results, etc.  However, the written lab report is an individual product. No two lab reports should have matching sections, paragraphs or sentences even among lab partners. Also not acceptable are matching sections among students that are not lab partners but in the same class, in different classes, or in different years.

Figures and graphs may vary from the rules regarding text. Depending on the assignment, the same figure may be used by the entire class. In other assignments, construction of your own figures may be part of the lesson. Your teaching assistant will make this clear in class.

An important part of academic integrity is distinguishing clearly when information is original and when it is derived from another source. Consider this problem carefully in both written reports and oral presentations. Examination of the scientific papers we read in class will give you a good sense of when and how to correctly cite a reference in a sentence. Oral presentations follow the same general rules as written documents but differ in some specifics. For example, often in a talk one will show data from other papers as background (papers usually discuss other results but rarely show the data). In a case when a slide presents data from another study, the reference should be shown somewhere on the slide. Using multiple slides from a presentation made by another person or group is always unacceptable. Just as for written studies, oral presentations must show an independent contribution by the presenter.

(Courtesy of Robert Minckley)

5) A model for collaboration:

Rules for Collaboration and Use of Sources

Our rules about the ways in which you may collaborate with other students in preparing these assignments are extremely strict and different from many other classes, so pay attention:

  • You may verbally discuss any aspects of any assignment (including ideas about how to do it well) with anyone face-to-face or via phone or video call.
  • You may NOT discuss any aspect of any assignment with anyone, other than the instructor and TAs for the course, via email, text message, chat/IM, online discussion forum, social media post or any other written means.
  • When you verbally discuss (face-to-face, on the phone, via video call) any aspect of any assignment with anyone other than the course instructor or TAs you may NOT take notes on or in any way record any aspect or portion of your conversation.
  • You may discuss any aspect of any assignment via any means with the course instructor and TAs, and you are welcome to take notes on the basis of these interactions.

The intent of these rules is to help you share ideas with other students that can help you to do the assignments well, while preventing you from substituting (accidentally or intentionally) the words of other students for your own in your written work.

As for use of sources, the only written source you may ever use language from in writing an article brief or critique is the article itself. You should always quote any verbatim passages from the article you use.

When we grade assignments, we will check for overlap in the wording used between assignments submitted by different students. If we suspect that you have violated the rules on collaboration or use of sources, we will report this as a violation of the college's policy on academic honesty, and this can result in severe sanctions.

(Courtesy of Stuart Jordan)

6) This one-slide PowerPoint prepared by Prof. John Werren can be used as is or modified to show in class and/or to post to Blackboard.

Download the PowerPoint Slide >

7) These “Academic Honesty Guidelines for Group Projects and Group Reports” can be used as is or modified to fit your specific assignments.

Use in any format (class handout, post to Blackboard, incorporate into a PowerPoint presentation). Download the Word document here.

For more information about academic honesty in the classroom contact:
Professor Beth Jörgensen
Chair of the Board of Academic Honesty
Phone: (585) 275-4265