Creating an Academic Integrity Statement for Your Course

Academic Integrity is an important value to reinforce in students.  This is especially true for engineering students whose professional careers may include decisions with significant impacts on society.  An Academic Integrity statement that clearly elucidates the Academic Integrity rules and expectations as applied to your course should be clearly stated and included in your syllabus or a separate course document where students can refer to it.

The Academic Integrity Statement should have an introductory statement and then specific rules for the class.  Samples are provided that you can mix and match as needed.

Introductory Statement Samples

  • Cornell University requires all students to abide by its Code of Academic Integrity.  To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding of how that applies to this course, specifics for this course are spelled out below.  If you have any questions about this policy, please ask.
  • The College of Engineering requires students to adhere to the Code of Academic Integrity.  Accordingly, this course adopts the following rules:   
  • Engineers are responsible for maintaining a very high degree of professional integrity in their work.  As a student this means adhering to the Cornell Code of Academic Integrity and the specific policies detailed in your courses.  For this course the specific rules are as follows:

Exam statement examples

  • For all exams in this course you are not allowed to use any materials except …  You may not give or receive any form of exam aid to any other student in this course during the exam.  Any questions should be directed to the exam proctor.
  • For exams in this course you are allowed to use a simple calculator that does not store information or programs.  No other aid is permitted during exams.
  • For exams in this course you are allowed to use a discrete calculator that has no web access.  No other aid is permitted during exams.
  • All cell phones must be turned off and put away for the duration of the exam.
  • You are permitted to bring and use >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> during exams.  No other aid is permitted during exams.
  • For each exam you will be provided with a formula and data sheet at the start of the exam.  A sample will be posted 2 days before the exam so that you may familiarize yourself with it.  No other information beside what is in your own brain may be accessed during exams.
  • Please bring your Cornell ID to each exam.  Students may be asked to have it available as part of the exam process.
  • All exam regrades will be handled as follows:
    • Any request for a regrade must be submitted in writing, within one week of the exam return, and must specify exactly where the student believes there is a grading error. The instructor reserves the right to regrade the entire exam during the regrade process. Do not submit regrade requests just hoping for a few more points as a grade could go up or down. 

Homework statement examples

  • Homework is for you to learn the material.  You may use whatever resources you feel will best accomplish this objective.
  • Homework is for you to learn the material.  You may talk with other students and gather information from the web.  However, you are expected to cite all sources of information used beyond your textbook and lecture notes.  This includes (or doesn’t include) citing discussions with a TA.  Make sure that whatever resources you use, you can solve similar, new problems on your own as you will be expected to do so on exams.  You will also be expected to apply what you have learned to completely new problems on exams so don’t bypass the thinking involved in doing the homework.
  • Homework is an important part of learning the material and your course grade.  As such homework is to be done individually and without referring to sources such as solutions manuals, prior solutions, other student’s homework, or other resources that would let you bypass the difficult but rewarding effort of learning the material yourself.    You may talk with other students about the homework, but may not share any written component of yours or another’s work.
  • CS has a very specific set of Academic Integrity guidelines for coursework and code in particular.  See for example:

Projects and Papers

  • The course project provides a chance for you to apply the material you are learning in this course to a problem of interest to you (or your group).  You will be using a variety of resources to understand your particular problem and propose a solution.  Be sure to document sources you use as you develop your project. That will make it much easier to properly cite resources and references in your final report.  All material that is not specifically from your textbook or course notes and that isn’t general knowledge should be cited.  For the purposes of this course, general knowledge is considered to be information that can be found from multiple distinct sources, or that a student would have been expected to know/learn from previous or current courses.

Group work

  • All members of your group are considered co-authors of the group’s work.  Thus you do not have to cite discussions between group members.  You must cite contributions by those outside your group.
  • The Cornell code of Academic Integrity is “grounded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others”.In group work this means allowing all group members an opportunity to contribute to and learn from the group’s efforts.  

Examples of consequences for violations that you might want to include:

  • Any violation of the academic integrity policy for this course on an assignment will result in no credit for that assignment.  On exams and depending on the nature of the infraction, penalties will vary from no credit on the specific problem, overall grade reduction on the exam, or a zero on the entire exam. 
  • A first offense of this policy on an assignment will be considered academic misconduct and will result in a warning and no credit for the particular assignment.  All exam violations, and/or a second or further offenses on assignments, will be considered academic integrity violations with penalties that will be assessed following a primary hearing.
  • Any violations of this Academic Integrity policy will be taken seriously and will result in a primary hearing with the potential of lowering your grade in this course, possibly to an F.  
  1.  Cornell Code of Academic Integrity,  Jan. 28, 2018