Teaching Strategies

Academic Integrity

This page includes sample academic integrity syllabus statements, including general statements and statements for specific course types (e.g. collaborative courses, lab courses, etc.) that could be adapted to any discipline.

General Academic Integrity Statements

Sample #1 

Please familiarize yourself with Boston College’s academic integrity policy, which applies to this course. It goes without saying that I do not anticipate any problems with academic integrity. In the unlikely event that any concerns do arise on this score, I will forward all related materials to the associate dean for impartial adjudication by the Committee on Academic Integrity. (adapted from Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania)

Sample #2 

The Boston College community functions best when its members treat one another with honesty, fairness, respect, and trust. The college promotes the assumption of personal responsibility and integrity, and prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty and misconduct. All cases of academic misconduct will be referred to the associate dean and the Committee on Academic Integrity. For more information, including examples of behaviors that are considered academic misconduct and potential sanctions, please see Boston College’s academic integrity policy. (adapted from University of Michigan

Sample #3  

You are a member of an academic community at one of the world’s leading research universities. Universities like Boston College create knowledge that has a lasting impact in the world of ideas and on the lives of others; such knowledge can come from an undergraduate paper as well as the lab of an internationally known professor. One of the most important values of an academic community is the balance between the free flow of ideas and the respect for the intellectual property of others. Researchers don’t use one another’s research without permission; scholars and students always use proper citations in papers; professors may not circulate or publish student papers without the writer’s permission; and students may not circulate or post materials (handouts, exams, syllabi–any class materials) from their classes without the written permission of the instructor.

Any test, paper or report submitted by you and that bears your name is presumed to be your own original work that has not previously been submitted for credit in another course unless you obtain prior written approval to do so from your instructor. 

In all of your assignments, including your homework or drafts of papers, you may use words or ideas written by other individuals in publications, web sites, or other sources, but only with proper attribution. If you are not clear about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or examination, be sure to seek clarification from your instructor or TA beforehand. Finally, you should keep in mind that as a member of the campus community, you are expected to demonstrate integrity in all of your academic endeavors and will be evaluated on your own merits. Any violations of academic integrity will be processed in accordance with BC’s academic integrity policy. The possible consequences of cheating and academic dishonesty—including a formal discipline file, possible loss of future internship, scholarship, or employment opportunities, and denial of admission to graduate school—are simply not worth it. (adapted from University of California Berkeley

Sample #4 

Honesty, integrity, and personal responsibility are cornerstones of a Boston College education and provide the foundation for scholarly inquiry, intellectual discourse, and an open and welcoming campus community. You are expected to demonstrate academic honesty in all aspects of this course. If you are clear about course expectations, give credit to those whose work you rely on, and submit your best work, you are highly unlikely to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: violating clearly stated rules for taking an exam or completing an assignment; plagiarism (including material from sources without a citation and quotation marks around any borrowed words); claiming another’s work or a modification of another’s work as one’s own; buying or attempting to buy papers or projects for a course; fabricating information or citations; knowingly assisting others in acts of academic dishonesty; misrepresentations to faculty within the context of a course, on an academic assignment, or an academic record; and submitting the same work, including an essay that you wrote, in more than one course without the permission of the instructors for those courses.

Academic dishonesty is a serious offense against the college. Sanctions for academic dishonesty are assigned by a Committee on Academic Integrity and may include failure on the assignment, failure in the course, or suspension or expulsion from the College for multiple academic dishonesty findings. See Boston College’s academic integrity policy for more information about university expectations and procedures. 

For more on recognizing and avoiding plagiarism, see the citing with integrity library guide. (adapted from Colby College

Sample #5 

All Boston College students have the responsibility to know and observe the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

What Does Academic Integrity Mean? 

At BC we advance knowledge by building on the work of other people. We are honest and accurate in creating all academic products and acknowledge the work (words AND ideas) of others in a way which does not leave any doubt as to whose work it is. We do our own work on all assignments and quizzes/exams and only collaborate with others when given permission to do so by faculty. All students will take the responsibility to seek assistance to ensure that these standards are met. 

Where Can You Turn for Help? 

If you are ever unsure about any aspect of your academic work: 

  • First contact me (or the TA) with questions about academic integrity expectations for this course; 
  • Review the academic integrity policy for an overview of academic integrity process, with resources for faculty and students; 
  • Consult the Citing with Integrity website for an overview of how to set yourself up for success with academic integrity when organizing and writing a paper (adapted from University of Colorado Denver)

Academic Integrity Statements for Specific Course Types 

Collaborative Course 

​​Collaborative learning—that is, working together on assignments with one or more classmates or other students—can often be a very effective technique for mastering material.  It can also get you into a lot of trouble (collaborating on an assignment that you are required to do by yourself is called “cheating,” and it can put you in front of the Committee on Academic Integrity).  Rules differ from assignment to assignment and course to course, though Boston College’s academic integrity policy provides institutional-level guidance that you should familiarize yourself with. When in doubt, ask. 

Here are some rules and some guidelines applicable to this course:

  • Reading assignments. You can always gather with classmates to discuss readings in advance of class. Doing so is a great way to learn the material.  Keep in mind, however, that reading itself is a solitary act—you need to read cases on your own before you begin discussing them with others.  If you rely on other people to tell you what they say, you will understand them less well.  And studies suggest that when students read material in groups, they actually learn it less well—reading gives way to talking.
  • Individually authored papers. You may ask classmates (or other students) to read a draft of your paper, to identify flawed or unpersuasive arguments, and to mark grammatical errors or awkwardly written sentences.  You may NOT, however, have classmates (or other students) revise or edit the paper for you.  Nor may you allow them to suggest new or better arguments that you did not come up with yourself.  In other words, you are responsible for generating both the content of the paper and its style or presentation, and you cannot allow anyone else to take these responsibilities from you.
  • Joint projects. On these projects, I encourage you to collaborate fully with the other students assigned to your topic.  You can edit one another’s drafts of the background memo, for example.  You can also rehearse your oral presentations, and you can accept suggestions from your partner about how to improve your arguments.  (These rules apply, however, only to collaborations with other students assigned to your team; the rules of individually authored papers apply with regard to other students in the class and with regard to anyone not in the class.) (adapted from Princeton University)

Computer Science Course

Academic Honesty: This course’s philosophy on academic honesty is best stated as “be reasonable.” The course recognizes that interactions with classmates and others can facilitate mastery of the course’s material. However, there remains a line between enlisting the help of another and submitting the work of another. This policy characterizes both sides of that line.

The essence of all work that you submit to this course must be your own. Collaboration on problem sets is not permitted except to the extent that you may ask classmates and others for help so long as that help does not reduce to another doing your work for you. Generally speaking, when asking for help, you may show your code to others, but you may not view theirs, so long as you and they respect this policy’s other constraints. Collaboration on quizzes is not permitted at all. Collaboration on the course’s final project is permitted to the extent prescribed by its specification.

Below are rules of thumb that (inexhaustively) characterize acts that the course considers reasonable and not reasonable. If in doubt as to whether some act is reasonable, do not commit it until you solicit and receive approval in writing from the course’s heads. Acts considered not reasonable by the course will be reported to the associate dean and the Committee on Academic Integrity, per BC’s policy and will result in a 0 on the assignment.

If you commit some act that is not reasonable but bring it to the attention of the course’s heads within 72 hours, the course may impose local sanctions that may include an unsatisfactory or failing grade for work submitted, but the course will not refer the matter to the academic dean except in cases of repeated acts.


  • Communicating with classmates about problem sets’ problems in English (or some other spoken language).
  • Discussing the course’s material with others in order to understand it better.
  • Helping a classmate identify a bug in his or her code at Office Hours, elsewhere, or even online, as by viewing, compiling, or running his or her code, even on your own computer.
  • Incorporating snippets of code that you find online or elsewhere into your own code, provided that those snippets are not themselves solutions to assigned problems and that you cite the snippets’ origins.
  • Reviewing past semesters’ quizzes and solutions thereto.
  • Sending or showing code that you’ve written to someone, possibly a classmate, so that he or she might help you identify and fix a bug.
  • Sharing snippets of your own code online so that others might help you identify and fix a bug.
  • Turning to the web or elsewhere for instruction beyond the course’s own, for references, and for solutions to technical difficulties, but not for outright solutions to a problem set’s problems or your own final project.
  • Whiteboarding solutions to problem sets with others using diagrams or pseudocode but not actual code.
  • Working with (and even paying) a tutor to help you with the course, provided the tutor does not do your work for you.

Not Reasonable:

  • Accessing a solution in CS50 Vault to some problem prior to (re-)submitting your own.
  • Asking a classmate to see his or her solution to a problem set’s problem before (re-)submitting your own.
  • Decompiling, deobfuscating, or disassembling the staff’s solutions to problem sets.
  • Failing to cite (as with comments) the origins of code or techniques that you discover outside of the course’s own lessons and integrate into your own work, even while respecting this policy’s other constraints.
  • Giving or showing to a classmate a solution to a problem set’s problem when it is he or she, and not you, who is struggling to solve it.
  • Looking at another individual’s work during a quiz.
  • Paying or offering to pay an individual for work that you may submit as (part of) your own.
  • Providing or making available solutions to problem sets to individuals who might take this course in the future.
  • Searching for, soliciting, or viewing a quiz’s questions or answers prior to taking the quiz.
  • Searching for or soliciting outright solutions to problem sets online or elsewhere.
  • Splitting a problem set’s workload with another individual and combining your work.
  • Submitting (after possibly modifying) the work of another individual beyond allowed snippets.
  • Submitting the same or similar work to this course that you have submitted or will submit to another.
  • Submitting work to this course that you intend to use outside of the course (e.g., for a job) without prior approval from the course’s heads.
  • Using resources during a quiz beyond those explicitly allowed in the quiz’s instructions.
  • Viewing another’s solution to a problem set’s problem and basing your own solution on it. (adapted from David Malan, Harvard University)

Foreign Language Course

In the language classroom, common sources of violation of academic honesty (in addition to those listed in the university policy) include use of translation programs to “write” your written assignments, having someone with higher language skills than yours proof-read and correct your written work and thus give it near native speaker quality, and copying information directly from non-English language websites or other texts and submitting this as your own work instead of phrasing the content/cultural information in your own words. Any case of proven violation of academic honesty will result in a zero for that assignment. Depending upon the seriousness of the violation, the Committee on Academic Integrity or I may impose other sanctions. (adapted from St. Louis University)

Lab Course 

As a prerequisite to starting this course, students must sign a pledge to uphold the academic code of honor for this course. It is therefore your responsibility to be familiar with the policies of this course  and to uphold the academic code of honesty as it applies to this course. If you discover that someone is not upholding the academic code of honesty, it is also your responsibility to notify the instructor for the course. 

Below you’ll find some concrete academic integrity guidance. This list is not exhaustive, and situations that are not described below may be considered as academic dishonesty per the discretion of the instructor. 

  • Students are expected to be honest in their academic work. Students may not ask, receive, or share any information from their lab that will give another student an advantage in another lab section. 
  • Students may not share any part of their lab report, in any form (draft or final version), with current or future students in the course before, during, or after your lab time. • Students may not bring into the laboratory room other student’s reports, data, pre-lab procedures etc. 
  • Students taking an examination at a different time than the rest of the class may not share any information regarding this exam with students in this course. 
  • Students may not use any type of calculator or device that will store information, including programmable calculators and graphing calculators. For any calculations, a basic calculator will be sufficient. 

Pre-lab Procedure

  • Students will prepare and bring their original pre-lab procedure. 
  • Students may not copy in any format someone else’s pre-lab procedure, whether currently in this course or from a previous course.

Pre-lab Report

  • Students may not work together to format or prepare the physical properties table. 

Observations and Data Section of the Report

  • The in-lab must be written as the student performs the experiment. 
  • Students may not use or reference, in any format, other students’ data whether the student is currently or previously enrolled in the course. 
  • Students may not bring in data, whether it is from another student, found in a reference, or simply made-up data. 

Calculations and Conclusions

  • Students may not bring in calculations that include numbers. 
  • Students may not use other students’ current or previous information to write their conclusion. 

Declaration of Original Work: 

  • All work submitted will be accepted as the student’s original work unless acknowledged in writing and submitted with the assignment. 
  • Students will sign the last page of their report. The signature signifies: “I acknowledge that I have not collaborated with any other current or former students, or used or manipulated any data other than my own in the writing of this laboratory report.”