Syllabus Language

At the start of each semester the Office of the Provost and the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning sends out a message detailing baseline information that must be included on each course syllabus.  Included in this message is a statement around academic integrity.  If your program, department, or college has standards around integrity related to specific courses, it is important to include this info in the syllabus as well.  Find some sample statements below to begin brainstorming your own.

Sample Language from Syllabai

It is expected that students adhere to the George Mason University Honor Code as it relates to integrity regarding coursework and grades.  The Honor Code reads as follows:”To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the George Mason University community and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the University Community have set forth this: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal and/or lie in matters related to academic work.”  More information about the Honor Code, including definitions of cheating, lying, and plagiarism, can be found at the Office of Academic Integrity website at

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES: (1) regular class attendance; (2) completion of reading, and other, assignments
prior to class; (3) participation in course discussions; (4) completion of all assessments; and (5) in-class conduct
which respects the rights and opinions of classmates and the professor.

The mission of the School of Business is to create and deliver high-quality educational programs and
research. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni who participate in these educational programs contribute to the well being
of society. High-quality educational programs require an environment of trust and mutual respect, free
expression and inquiry, and a commitment to truth, excellence, and lifelong learning. Students, program
participants, faculty, staff, and alumni accept these principles when they join the School of Business community. In
doing so, they agree to abide by the following standards of behavior:

- Respect for the rights, differences and dignity of others
- Honesty and integrity in dealing with all members of the community
- Accountability for personal behavior

Integrity is an essential ingredient of a successful learning community. Ethical standards of behavior help promote a
safe and productive community environment, and ensure every member the opportunity to pursue excellence.
School of Business can and should be a living model of these behavioral standards. To this end, community
members have a personal responsibility to integrate these standards into every aspect of their experience at the
School of Business. Through our personal commitment to these Community Standards of Behavior, we can create
an environment in which all can achieve their full potential.

HONOR CODE: The University Honor Code as published in the University Catalog is in effect for all the graded
assignments for this course: This Code prohibits cheating, plagiarism,
and attempted cheating or plagiarism. Suspected, possible, or potential violations of the Honor Code will be
reported to the University Office of Academic Integrity, which will make the final determination whether or not a
violation occurred and if so, the consequence of the violation. Mason’s Honor Code requires you to report
suspected violations; you committed to do so by signing the application for admission. No collaboration is
allowed for classroom activities, assignments, MindTap, or exams, unless expressly authorized by the
instructor. Attached at the end of this syllabus is the School of Business Recommendations for Honor Code

Composition Program Statement on Plagiarism:
Plagiarism means using words, opinions, or factual information from another source without giving that source credit. Writers give credit through the use of accepted documentation styles, such as parenthetical citation, footnotes, or endnotes; a simple listing of books, articles, and websites is not sufficient.

This class will include direct instruction in strategies for handling sources as part of our curriculum. However, students in composition classes must also take responsibility for understanding and practicing the basic principles listed below.
To avoid plagiarism, meet the expectations of a US Academic Audience, give their readers a chance to investigate the issue further, and make credible arguments, writers must

• put quotation marks around, and give an in-text citation for, any sentences or distinctive phrases (even very short, 2- or 3-word phrases) that writers copy directly from any outside source: a book, textbook, article, website, newspaper, song, baseball card, interview, encyclopedia, CD, YouTube video, movie, etc.
• completely rewrite—not just switch out a few words—any information they find in a separate source and wish to summarize or paraphrase for their readers, and also give an in-text citation for that paraphrased information
• give an in-text citation for any facts, statistics, or opinions which the writers learned from outside sources (or which they just happen to know) and which are not considered “common knowledge” in the target audience (this may require new research to locate a credible outside source to cite)
• give a new in-text citation for each element of information—that is, do not rely on a single citation at the end of a paragraph, because that is not usually sufficient to inform a reader clearly of how much of the paragraph comes from an outside source.

Writers must also include a Works Cited or References list at the end of their essay, providing full bibliographic information for every source cited in their essay.

While different disciplines may have slightly different citation styles, and different instructors may emphasize different levels of citation for different assignments, writers should always begin with these conservative practices unless they are expressly told otherwise. If student writers ever have questions about a citation practice, they should ask their instructor!
Instructors in the Composition Program support the Mason Honor Code, which requires them to report any suspected instances of plagiarism to the Mason Honor Committee. All judgments about plagiarism are made after careful review by the Honor Committee, which may issue penalties ranging from grade-deductions to course failure to expulsion from GMU.

All members of the Mason community are expected to uphold the principles of scholarly ethics. On admission to Mason, students agree to comply with the requirements of the GMU Honor Code and System. Similarly, graduating students are bound by the ethical requirements of the professional communities they join. Ethics requirements for some communities relevant to IST graduates are: ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, IEEE Code of Ethics, EC-Council Code of Ethics

To uphold the rigor of the course and the value of your degree, the Honor Code will be rigorously enforced. The instructor will use several manual and automated means to detect cheating in all work submitted by students. Keep in mind it is extremely easy to detect cheating with logic and code.

The penalty for cheating will always be far worse than a zero grade, to ensure it is not worth taking the chance. Any instance of misconduct that is detected will be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity (OAI) and will most certainly translate into at least course failure (a final grade of F).

If you have questions about what does/does not constitute an Honor Code violation, contact your instructor for clarification. For this course, the following additional requirements are specified:

Students are encouraged to discuss course content, labs, and similar activities with other current IT 206 students; however, all programming assignment submissions must contain only original, individually completed work. More specifically, if any student submission is deemed to be greater than or equal to 50% identical to another student’s submission, the course content discussion that occurred constitutes misconduct and all students involved will be referred to OAI for violating the Honor Code. In particularly obvious situations where a submission does not contain original, individually completed work, a match less than 50% may still result in a referral to OAI for misconduct for all students involved.

Students are expressly prohibited from:

Discussing program design, algorithm logic, or code with individuals other than the course’s instructor or current IT 206 graduate teaching assistants

Receiving, giving, or showing another student a partial, completed, or graded solution.

Knowingly sharing computers or storage devices (e.g. USB drive).If work is stolen because of a shared or borrowed computer or storage device, all students involved will be held equally responsible.

Stealing another student’s work by taking photographs, using a lost storage device, or gaining access to another student’s work in any other way without their knowledge. This action represents a particularly egregious offense placing an innocent student in jeopardy of receiving an Honor Code violation. Any student who has stolen will be referred for two violations: cheating and stealing, and will receive a sanction recommendation of at least course failure and a one-semester suspension.

Posting questions or a partial, complete, or graded solution on the Internet, even after the course has concluded.

Incorporating program design, algorithm logic, or code found on the Internet.

All work must be newly created by the student during this term. Work developed for another course, or for this course in a prior term, may not be used without prior instructor approval.

Posting or sharing course content (e.g. instructor lecture notes, assignment directions, or anything not created by the student), using any non-electronic or electronic medium (e.g. web site) where it is accessible to someone other than the individual student constitutes stealing/copyright infringement and is strictly prohibited without prior instructor approval.

If you have any questions on these requirements, please discuss them with your instructor. Any deviation from these requirements is considered a violation.

Some kinds of participation in online study sites violate the Mason Honor code: these include accessing exam or quiz questions for this class; accessing exam, quiz, or assignment answers for this class; uploading of any of the instructor's materials or exams; and uploading any of your own answers or finished work.  Always consult your syllabus and your professor before using these sites.