How to Avoid Academic Dishonesty

Many incidents of academic dishonesty occur because students do not know the correct way to do something, for example how to cite sources or how to work with information from a website. In other situations, students simply make a poor decision. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid academic dishonesty:

  • Read the syllabus carefully. Seek clarification from your instructors regarding class policies; whenever expectations about an assignment are unclear, do not rely on other students for information.
  • Always assume that you are expected to complete assignments independently unless your instructors indicate otherwise. Clarify what is expected of you when you are working on a group project.
  • Don’t wait until the night before to begin an assignment. Being rushed for time is not an excuse for cheating or plagiarism. Good time management also allows you to contact your instructor in case you have questions.
  • Don’t share your assignments with others. If classmates have a question, try to help them… but copying your assignment won’t teach them anything and you might be accused of academic dishonesty as well.
  • Keep track of sources and learn how to cite properly. If you paraphrase or summarize what someone else said, you still have to attribute this information to them.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for an extension for an assignment. If you cannot get an assignment, you're better off taking a zero for it rather than copying/submitting someone else's work and being charged with academic dishonesty which likely will hurt your course grade much more.
  • In classroom exams, be cautious where you sit. Cover your answers and distance yourself from others to reduce the temptation to look. Also, to avoid the impression of cheating, don’t look into your bag or use your cell phone during an exam. Remember that in many courses the act of looking at your cell phone during an exam is already considered cheating, whether your actually used the phone for cheating or not.

Luther has many resources in place to help students succeed academically. These resources combined with good common sense prevent academic dishonesty.