Academic Integrity

Students at the University of Delaware are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors. It is the official policy of the University of Delaware that all acts or attempted acts of alleged academic dishonesty be reported to the Office of Student Conduct for disposition within the University Undergraduate Student Conduct System.

Following is an explanation of the University’s policy and general procedures for handling undergraduate student cases of academic dishonesty. All graduate student infractions should be referred to the Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies. For additional information, refer to the Student Guide to University Policies.




Encouraging academic honesty among students

  1. Include a statement in the course syllabus regarding academic honesty as it relates to that particular course.
  2. Discuss the issue of cheating, academic misconduct, fabrication, and plagiarism at the beginning of each semester and before examinations.
  3. When assigning term papers, discuss the issue of plagiarism, make certain that students understand referencing requirements, the specific extent of collaboration on class/term projects, assign specific topics and set a time limit.
  4. Give essay tests, instead of multiple-choice tests, when appropriate and where class size permits.
  5. When using proctors, more than one should be present for over forty students. Instruct proctors about their responsibilities during exams.
  6. Require positive identification from students (University student identification card, driver’s license) when students enter the classroom to take an examination or when they turn in their answer sheets if the students are not familiar to you. This is particularly important in large size classes.
  7. Have each student sign his/her answer sheet. Signatures can be compared if a question arises over who actually took the examination.
  8. Keep examinations in a secure location, e.g., locked desks, locked files, etc. Faculty offices may not be a secure location for examinations.
  9. All waste copies of an examination should be destroyed.
  10. Number exams and count the number distributed and returned.
  11. Alternate forms of the same examination, particularly with short answer examinations, should be administered during the test period. Color-coding of the alternate forms will emphasize the difference.
  12. When bluebooks are used for examinations, faculty should collect the bluebooks from students and redistribute them before the examination begins.
  13. The question of whether or not students may have materials in their possession, e.g., books, notes, scrap paper, calculators, programmable portable computers, should be specified before the examination by the faculty member. Scrap papers should be turned in with the examination so that information related to the examination may not be taken from the classroom. Faculty members may wish to supply the scrap paper as a part of the examination packet.
  14. Design a pre-arranged seating plan or sign-in sheet by seat number, so that the location of each student may be determined.
  15. When possible, students should be seated so that at least one seat exists between students during an examination.
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Protecting oneself from being charged with academic dishonesty

  1. Familiarize yourself with the University’s Code of Conduct, especially for information regarding academic dishonesty.
  2. Check each course syllabus for information regarding academic dishonesty. Faculty members may have additional information beyond the University’s standards. If you cannot find a written section in the syllabus, ask the faculty member what his/her expectations are.
  3. Prepare yourself thoroughly for examinations and assignments.
  4. Take the initiative to prevent other students from copying your exam or assignments by shielding your work. In exams, if you feel someone is trying to copy from you, ask the proctor if you may move.
  5. Do not look around, particularly in the direction of other students’ papers, during an exam since it may appear you are trying to copy from others.
  6. Do not make any marks on a graded exam if there is any chance you may submit it for a re-grade. Make notations on a separate paper.
  7. Do not share assignments you have finished with other students. Do not leave your finished assignments in a place where another student might be able to copy them.
  8. Do not share your current or former assignments, projects, papers, etc. with other students to use as guides for their work. Such a practice could lead to claims of collaboration if another student uses your work, partially or entirely. Sometimes friendly assistance may escalate into claims of blatant dishonesty.
  9. If you are allowed to take materials into a testing site, make sure no notes or materials are exposed or accessible that could cause one to believe you are using unauthorized aids.
  10. Should there be any doubt, clarify with your instructor how much collaboration, if any, is permitted or expected when working on projects or assignments with other students.
  11. When working on a collaborative exercise, complete all written assignments individually unless the instructor specifically tells you otherwise.
  12. Acknowledge the contributions of other students on collaborative projects by citing their name(s) on all written work turned into the instructor.
  13. When completing take-home exams, do not collaborate with other persons unless approved by the instructor.
  14. Consult with the University Writing Center, talk with your professor, or use a recognized handbook for instruction on citing source materials.
  15. Protect your computer login identifications and passwords. Other students could use them to access your work and subsequently implicate you in a cheating case.
  16. Know that it is risky to electronically copy or transmit a computer program or file to other students. You could be implicated in a cheating incident if someone alters that program and submits it as their own work.
  17. Do not allow anyone to copy or use your file storage devices (such as flash or USB drives.)
  18. Check with your instructor and get permission before turning in a paper or project you submitted in another course.
  19. Do not use previous papers, lab reports, or assignments used in a course with the intention of copying parts or all of the material.
  20. Keep rough drafts and copies of your work since other students may obtain to your work and attempt to claim it as their own.
  21. Keep your student identification card in your possession or secured. Never loan your identification to anyone.
  22. Encourage honesty among other students.
  23. Refuse to assist students who cheat.
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As faculty and students may already know, students can purchase, borrow, steal, and  re-use various papers, essays, and other materials from the Internet. With today’s technology and resources, faculty and staff are easily able to find information on the Internet and determine if assignments have been plagiarized. Therefore, students should never use documents off of the Internet without properly citing their sources.

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It is the student’s responsibility to understand the expectations of faculty members. If you require assistance with a course, contact:


  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication
  • Cheating
  • Academic Misconduct

For a full definition of each type, plus examples of behaviors that would constitute each type, please see the Academic Honesty Policy in the Code of Conduct


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Students who are found responsible of an academic honesty violation are sanctioned to attend a eight-week academic integrity seminar. Participants will learn about academic honesty expectations, decision-making, integrity, ethics, and character, social, and cognitive development. Participants will also reflect upon their own choices and actions related to their case of academic dishonesty. Upon successful completion of the seminar, and in the absence of any repetition of similar misconduct, students who received a sanction of an “X” notation on their transcript will have this notation removed and replaced with a grade of “F.”

For further information about the seminar please contact the Office of Student Conduct at 831-2117.


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