Honor Pledges

While the University of Delaware does not have a traditional Honor Code or Honor System, the University has established rules and expectations set forth in the Code of Conduct of Student Guide to University policies. Within the Code of Conduct, the University’s guidelines for Academic Honesty are explicit.

It is vital for all students to understand and abide by the rules of academic honesty as “academic honesty lies at the heart of the academic enterprise.” Academic honesty “provides the foundation for the intellectual freedom that is encouraged and shared by all members of the academic community and it embodies the belief that true academic freedom and discourse can only exist within a framework of honesty, integrity, and responsibility” (http://new.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/academic-resources-and-support/honor-code.dot). It is the University’s hope that students will act with integrity as they strive for excellence in scholarship and in character. To this end, the Office of Student Conduct promotes a high level of honor in all academic work.

Faculty members may choose to include an honor pledge/honor contract in their courses as a way for students to express their commitment and demonstrate their adherence to abide by the Academic Honesty policy and its standards in all areas of academic work. “Professors who invite students to sign the Honor Pledge signify that there is an ethical component to teaching and learning. Students who write by hand and sign the Pledge affirm a sense of pride in the integrity of their work” (http://www.shc.umd.edu/SHC/HonorPledgeInformation.aspx).

With the switch to online-only instruction and assessment due to the current world health crisis, it is important to remind students that while standards of delivery for academics have changed, the standards of academic honesty have not.

The following is a suggested statement (honor pledge) faculty may use. This could be used as an assignment in Canvas (a one-question quiz for example) or it could be added to the beginning of each assessment that students complete for the remainder of the semester.

The Academic Honesty Policy at the University of Delaware states “Students must be honest and forthright in their academic studies. … Students are expected to do their own work and neither give nor receive unauthorized assistance.” The standards of behavior and expectation of honesty remain in place, and apply in all academic settings, including this on-line environment. If there are questions regarding authorized vs. unauthorized assistance in this on-line setting, please contact your professor before beginning the work. Canvas has many methods of tracking your use and access while using the technology. Any potential instances of dishonesty may be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct for action.

Listed below are examples of honor pledges used at the University of Delaware.

I am fully familiar with University Policies on Academic Honesty and understand that my professor in Brain & Behavior will enforce those policies, to the letter, as described in the Student Handbook...” (Professor Carlisle Skeen, PSYC 314)

“My signature indicates that I will exercise complete academic honesty (e.g. not sharing anything from this exam with others who may be taking some version of it or engaging in any form of cheating). I also acknowledge that any confirmed act of dishonesty will result in the disqualification of this exam and appropriate sanctions, including formal conduct charges and possible course failure.” (Professor Norma Gaines-Hanks, HDFS 235)

Listed below are examples of honor pledges used at other colleges and universities.

“On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received help on this assignment” (University of Virginia)

“I pledge that I have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work.” (University of Richmond)

“I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work.” (Virginia Tech)

“On my honor, I will maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity and personal responsibility. This means I will not lie, cheat, or steal and as a member of this academic community, I am committed to creating an environment of respect and mutual trust.” (Christopher Newport University)

Listed below are examples of honor pledges designed by students in the Academic Integrity Seminar at the University of Delaware.

“I, (state your name), declare that the submitted work is original and adheres to all University policies and acknowledge the consequences that may result from a violation of those rules.” (Spring 2004)

“We, the people of this seminar, pledge to uphold the ideals of truth, honesty, morality, and individualism in order to promote academic honesty.” (Spring 2006)

I pledge that the work I am submitting is of my own ideas and the work of others will be properly cited. It adheres to the University of Delaware’s Code of Conduct, and I am willing to accept the sanction for violating the Academic Honesty Policy. I will strive for excellence.” (Fall 2007)

I pledge that my work is authentic, expressing original ideas. Furthermore, I pledge that I followed the University of Delaware’s Code of Conduct and adhere to the rules and guidelines by working independently.” (Spring 2007)

“I pledge that the submitted work abides by the guidelines set by the Code of Conduct and is my own thoughts and ideas. This includes proper citations, proofreading, studying, originality, integrity and honesty to the University and the individual professor’s standards.” (Spring 2008)

“I pledge that this work was fully and wholly completed within the criteria established for academic integrity and represents my original production, unless otherwise cited.” (Spring 2009)