Steps Students Might Take to Promote Academic Integrity:
- Ask about policies regarding collaboration and citations at the beginning of each course. Instructors' policies may differ substantially from one another so read the syllabus and look specifically for instructor policies on what is acceptable in each course.
- Ask questions - in class, immediately after class, in e-mail or in office hours - about course content or course procedures. If you are confused, you might ask for more clarification, different examples, or specific applications to help you understand. Other students often have the same questions you do so your questions can enhance the overall effectiveness of the course.
- Find out whether the instructor will provide suggestions for preparing for exams and consider preparing your own review sheet. The process of making a review sheet is actually a good method of improving your understanding of and memory for complex information.
- Refine your note-taking skills. Many students form the habit of transcribing whatever the professor writes, no more and no less. To facilitate better review and study sessions, ask yourself frequent questions as you read or listen to a lecture: What is the key new idea here? How can I use this information? Can I anticipate what is coming next?
- Improve your time management, especially during the day and early evening. Procrastination more often leads to ineffective cramming and loss of sleep than to good performance under pressure. If you begin to work well before due dates and examinations, you are much more likely to learn the material, to be able to get help if you need it, to feel less stressed, to perform better, and to avoid poor decisions on very late nights.
- Speak with the professors about their grading and homework policies if you feel that the policies seem unfair - feedback is essential to improving the quality of a class. If you feel uncomfortable talking with an instructor directly, you might express your views in early course evaluations or to a teaching assistant.
- Make more use of the help that is available to you to master course material and to be efficient in your work:
- Faculty and teaching assistants can talk with you during office hours or in e-mail.
- Librarians can help you become more skilled in research.
- Walk-in tutoring and supplemental instruction provide convenient hours to get help for several introductory courses.
- Blackboard information often includes announcements and advice to aid students with particular assignments.
- People in the class can form study groups whenever your instructor considers it appropriate so that you can practice using and explaining course concepts in a setting where peers can give you feedback.
- Recognize the options you have, other than cheating, for dealing with academic pressure:
- Set priorities and adjust your expectations to reduce the pressure you put on yourself.
- Talk with one of the many people on campus who may be able to offer you good suggestions: a professor, a TA, your academic advisor, your RA, or a counselor.
- Consider participating in a workshop on time management, study skills or stress management offered by Academic Development to improve your academic success.
If you feel tempted to cheat or plagiarize, try to identify the underlying reasons (e.g. family pressure, self-expectations, external stresses, fear of failure) and address them by talking with a friend, your parents, a counselor, your academic advisor, your TA, or someone else with whom you feel comfortable discussing the difficulties you are having. It is easy to think that you won’t be the one to get caught cheating but what if you were