Honor Council

The Honor Council found an upperclassman in a humanities course responsible for cheating on an exam. The student was permitted to take the exam later than the rest of the class. During the exam, she was found with pictures of questions from the test taken earlier by the rest of the class. Additionally, the professor changed some questions on the exam and the student apparently used answers from the older version of the exam. In an expedited hearing, the student accepted responsibility and received an F in the course and a two-year mark on her record.

The Honor Council found an upperclassman in a humanities course responsible for plagiarism on an essay. The professor noted areas of concern in the student’s rough draft, explained proper use of sources to the student and referred the student to the Writing Center. However, the student’s final paper still contained plagiarized content. The Council determined that the student did not understand what constituted plagiarism and the role of the Writing Center, which is to help students develop as writers, not to check for plagiarism. In an expedited hearing, the student received a zero on the assignment and a one-year mark on their record and was assigned to complete an educational program.

The Honor Council found a senior in a humanities course responsible for plagiarism on a midterm paper. The student used online sources for various portions of the assignment but did not include a bibliography. In an administrative hearing, the student accepted responsibility and shared documentation of “substantial personal challenges” with the Honor Council. The Council refused to consider the document as evidence but used the information as compelling reasons for mitigation of the student’s punishment. The student received a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the course and a two-year mark on their record.

The Honor Council found a senior in a humanities course responsible for plagiarism on an essay. The professor looked at an online source cited in the paper and found that the student’s entire paper, including the title, was copied verbatim from that source. In an expedited hearing, the student received a zero on the assignment, a two-letter grade deduction in the course and a two-year mark on their record. Because this course was used to satisfy the continued writing requirement, the Honor Council also added that the final grade in the course could be no higher than a C, as students are required to demonstrate an understanding of the writing process and appropriate use of sources in continued writing courses.

The Honor Council found a senior in a social sciences course responsible for plagiarism on a PowerPoint presentation based on a previous essay assignment. Many portions of the presentation quoted information that was not cited. In an administrative hearing, the student explained that she received no instructions about citing sources in the presentation and thought that it was not necessary since it was the same information cited in the paper. The Honor Council determined that the sources should be cited regardless of specific instruction. The Honor Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the course and a two-year mark on the student’s record.

The Honor Council found that a junior in a science course was not responsible for seeking unauthorized assistance on an exam. In a hearing, the course’s teaching assistants said they saw the student looking at neighboring exams, but, upon examination, it was unclear whether the student had copied others’ work onto his own exam. The Honor Council suspended the hearing pending a review of more evidence, including an analysis of other students’ exams. When the Honor Council reconvened, it found the student not responsible for cheating.

The Honor Council found a sophomore in a social science course responsible for unauthorized assistance on a weekly assignment. In an expedited hearing, the student said he collaborated with another student to prepare for a component of the course in which students teach the rest of the class. Although the Honor Council recognized the student wanted to better his content for the enrichment of students’ learning, collaboration was prohibited. The Honor Council considered the student’s intentions when deciding the penalty. The student was found responsible but received a mitigated sanction of a zero on the assignment and a verbal warning.

The Honor Council found a senior in a science course responsible for plagiarism on a final paper. The student failed to properly cite sources, and the paper appeared to include information from another student’s paper. The student admitted to meeting with another student to discuss ideas but said the other student did not give details used in their paper. In a full hearing, the Honor Council found that the student used other means to find her classmate’s work online. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an F in the course and a two-year mark on her record.

The Honor Council found a junior in a science course responsible for accessing Canvas to find the answer to a question during a final exam. The professor confronted the student, who accepted responsibility and acknowledged that she would have had an unfair advantage in the course. In an expedited hearing, the student received the standard sanction of an F in the course and a two-year mark on her record.

The Honor Council found a senior in a science course responsible for using another student’s work to complete an assignment. In a full hearing, the student said that he and a classmate only collaborated on strategies for the assignment. However, more than half of the submitted content was identical. When questioned at the hearing about the assignment, the student could not recall the assignment’s details and the concepts or strategies discussed with the other student. The Honor Council found that the student’s submission was not his own work, and the Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the course and a two-year mark on his record.

The Honor Council found a freshman in a humanities course responsible for plagiarism. The student submitted an essay that included information directly copied from online sources without proper citation. The student said he thought he did not need to cite the information because he considered it common knowledge. The Honor Council determined that the subject matter was not considered to be common knowledge, as the professor did not know the information upon reviewing the paper. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an F in the course, a two-year mark on the student’s record and an educational program.

The Honor Council found a junior in a science course responsible for unauthorized assistance on an assignment. Both the teaching assistant (TA) and the professor found similarities among a group of students’ lab reports. The Honor Council’s investigation found that one student sent the assignment to the others in the group to use as a reference. The student thought that being allowed to work collaboratively meant it was acceptable to use the other student’s work, according to the report. In the assignment’s instructions, the professor said that although the lab was to be completed together, the report needed to be completed individually. The Honor Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the final course grade, a two-year mark on his record and an educational program.

The Honor Council found a junior in a social sciences course responsible for plagiarism. The professor noticed distinctive phrases in the student’s paper and found that the student had copied the language after finding the original source online. The professor gave specific directions to not use additional sources beyond what had been given and discussed in class. After finding her responsible for plagiarism, the Honor Council learned that she had a prior Honor Code violation of a similar type. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction for a second offense of the Honor Code: an F in the course, a permanent mark on her record and a one-semester suspension.

The Honor Council found a sophomore in a science course responsible for receiving unauthorized assistance on a quiz. The professor noticed that the student’s answers corresponded to a different version of the quiz. At the hearing, the student explained that he looked at another student’s answers because he was stressed and nervous. He also shared that he had a previous violation of the Honor Code from his freshman year. The Honor Council found the previous violation to be minor and did not recommend the standard sanction for a second offense. Instead, the Honor Council recommended an F in the course and a permanent mark on his record.

The Honor Council found a freshman in a humanities class responsible for plagiarism. The student said he altered an image from the internet and thought that it was then considered a new image, so he failed to cite the original source in an assignment. He said the professor did not give clear instructions about citing material in the assignment guidelines. The Honor Council determined that the professor could have provided clearer expectations, but the student ultimately plagiarized the image. The Honor Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a verbal warning and a mandatory Honor Code educational program.

The Honor Council found a freshman responsible for providing false information to a professor in a first-year course. The student asked a peer to sign him in as present on the attendance sheet when he was absent. In the course, students are evaluated on attendance. The student said he did not know this was an Honor Code violation, but the student accepted responsibility for the violation later at an expedited hearing. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an unsatisfactory grade in the course and a two-year mark on his personal performance record.

The Honor Council found a freshman in a science class responsible for plagiarism. The student said she was overwhelmed from a heavy course load and forgot to cite some of the sources she used for an assignment. The Council found that the student demonstrated an understanding of the importance of citing sources in other parts of the assignment. However, more than half of the assignment came from unacknowledged sources. At an expedited hearing, the student accepted responsibility for the violation. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an F in the course and a two-year mark on her personal performance record.

The Honor Council found a freshman in a science course responsible for plagiarizing an assignment. The student asked to use a friend’s assignment to serve as a model for his own, but he used almost all of his friend’s work and submitted it as his own. The assignment is worth 10 percent of the course grade. The student suggested that he and his classmate didn’t realize this was a form of plagiarism and that his classmate had also engaged in academic misconduct. The student requested an expedited hearing, in which the Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an F in the course, a two-year mark on the student’s record and an educational program about the Honor Code.

The Honor Council found a junior in a science course responsible for plagiarism. The student submitted work that, according to the professor, looked suspiciously similar to another student’s work. The Honor Council determined that the similarities were too detailed to be coincidental. The student said he did not know the other student, leading the Honor Council to believe they may have independently assessed the same online resources. The Honor Council recommended the standard sanction of an F in the course and a two-year mark on his record. In an appeal, the student accepted responsibility for the violation but asked the Honor Council to modify the sanction to a passing grade so he would not fall behind in completing his major. The sanction was reduced to a zero on both assignments and a two-year mark on the record.

The Honor Council found a junior responsible for academic misconduct after allowing another student to look at a completed assignment to help generate ideas. The professor found that their assignments were nearly 50 percent identical. The Honor Council determined that the content must have been copied and pasted since the two papers contained identical phrases and grammatical issues. During a full hearing, the student said they understood sharing content gives other students an unfair disadvantage, but the student reported being unaware that the classmate was copying the assignment verbatim. After a successful appeal, the student received a sanction of a zero on the assignment and a one-year mark on the record.

The following reports are based on real cases adjudicated by the Emory College Honor Council. Any personally identifiable information has been omitted to protect the privacy of all parties involved unless involved parties have granted the Wheel permission to identify them.

The Honor Council found a senior in a humanities course responsible for plagiarism on an assignment after confirming that significant portions of her assignment were copied verbatim from online sources. The student acknowledged that her work was plagiarized but said it was unintentional. The Honor Council found that the plagiarism was likely intentional and recommended an F in the course, a two-year mark on the student’s personal performance record and a mandatory Honor Code educational program.

The Honor Council found a senior in a social sciences course responsible for plagiarism after she failed to cite an online study guide on an assignment. The student said she was having trouble balancing end-of-semester work with a part-time job but acknowledged that she should have used quotations and citations. The Honor Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the course, a four-year mark on her personal performance record and a required Honor Code educational program.

The Honor Council found a senior in a science course responsible for using unauthorized assistance on a final exam. The professor did not permit electronic devices during the exam, Canvas showed that the student was active on the platform during the time of the exam. The student said her login information was on a friend’s computer and her friend may have accessed it while the student was taking the exam. The Honor Council found her account “highly improbable” and recommended that the student receive an F in the course and a two-year mark on her personal performance record.

The following reports are based on real cases adjudicated by the Emory College Honor Council. Any personally identifiable information has been omitted to protect the privacy of all parties involved unless involved parties have granted the Wheel permission to identify them.

 

  • The Honor Council found a freshman student in a lower-level science course responsible for providing false information to gain an academic advantage on an exam. The student’s professor makes photocopies of completed exams for recordkeeping purposes and also allows students to submit exams to be re-graded if they believe the exam was graded incorrectly. The student submitted their exam for a re-grade, and upon comparing it with the photocopy, the professor realized that some answers had been changed. The Honor Council recommended an F in the course and a two-year mark on the student’s personal performance record.

 

  • The Honor Council found a student in an upper-level humanities course responsible for plagiarism on a midterm paper. The professor reported that the student’s paper drew heavily from online sources with some variation, but the ideas remained the same. The student said that they were experiencing an extreme personal circumstance that impacted their ability to complete the work on time and provided documentation to support their circumstance. The student said that instead of asking for an extension, they rushed the assignment and failed to properly cite sources. The Honor Council recommended a zero on the assignment, a one-letter grade deduction in the course and a two-year mark on the student’s personal performance record.

 

  • The Honor Council found a sophomore in a lower-level social science course responsible for plagiarism on a paper and providing false information to gain an academic advantage. The professor noticed a change in the author’s voice in later portions of the paper, noticeably fewer grammatical errors and portions of the paper that went far beyond the level of writing that would be expected from an undergraduate student. The professor also added that the student signed in for class as present, then left the room and did not return. The student denied that they plagiarized the paper and insisted that they must have remembered phrasing from an outside source they studied when preparing for the paper. They also said they felt sick the day they signed into class. The Honor Council recommended an F in the course, a two-year mark on the student’s personal performance record and a mandatory educational program.