Academic Integrity

Each of you is highly encouraged to view the university's tutorial on academic integrity, if you haven't already, in order to ensure that you avoid unintentional plaigarism.  All students are expected to abide by this policy, and violations of it are subject to rigorous investigation and severe sanctions including expulsion from the university.  If the link above does not work properly, you may also view the tutorial here:

For your convenience, important information from this tutorial is also posted below:

The academic community exists on the premise that students’ work is their own unless expressly indicated with proper acknowledgement of the sources.  It is both the duty and responsibility of students to ensure ownership of work which is submitted for academic credit; therefore supporting and verifying the integrity of the grading system as an accurate and honest evaluation of a student’s academic performance. Plagiarism includes, using someone else’s work without appropriate acknowledgement (such as paraphrasing another’s ideas or text from a book, journal, or electronic resource without providing the appropriate acknowledgment). All material authored by another person, which influenced the creation of your work, whether paraphrased or copied in verbatim or near-verbatim form must be cited and referenced. To “reference” a source means to give credit to an author or creator where credit is due – works cannot be quoted or paraphrased with no acknowledgement; to do so is both illegal and bad scholarship. To “cite” a source means to use a footnote or endnote that includes all of the information on the work quoted or paraphrased –that will include the author, title, publication date, page number(s) and text that is quoted, etc. If in doubt:  Use the graphic on the next page as a guide. Remember, you can always check with your professor or speak with a librarian.

Collaboration between students will be considered unauthorized unless expressly part of the assignment in question or expressly permitted by the instructor.  If you are unsure if you may use the work of another student or if you can even work with other students on your assignment please ask your instructor for guidance. Unauthorized collaboration can include: Submitting material subjected to editorial revision by another; Distributing or using course notes without the express permission of the instructor; Or obtaining for yourself or providing for another a solution to homework without the expressed consent of the instructor.

Cheating is the use of unauthorized assistance within a class or while completing course work – which provides an advantage which has not been provided to every student. It includes any act which gains or is intended to gain credit for knowledge not acquired or learned or not participated in. If you attempt to benefit from the work of another or use unauthorized assistance to compete academic work – this does not further your learning and is considered cheating.

Members of the USC community are expected to be honest in all of their academic endeavors. This means you cannot submit materials for lab assignments, class projects or other assignments which are wholly or partially falsified, invented or otherwise does not represent work accomplished by you. Also the falsification, alteration,  or misrepresentation of official or unofficial  records or documents including academic transcripts, academic documentation, letters of recommendation, and admission applications or related documents are all considered violations of USC’s academic integrity standards. Allowing another individual to take a course, course work or a portion of a course or exam in your place does not permit your USC transcript and degree to be an honest reflection of your acquired knowledge and it violates our academic integrity standards.

These are some examples of behaviors which may result in sanctions for violating the university’s academic integrity standards: Not correctly citing a website used to complete an assignment. Allowing somebody to complete course work on your behalf. Or working with others on open book exams without the instructor’s expressed consent.

Additionally please don’t allow another student to copy your work. Do not share computer codes, course notes or homework assignments. Finally, altering work on a test and submitting it for re-grading purposes is considered a violation of the rules. In closing, it is your responsibility to make yourself aware of and abide by the university’s Student Conduct Code including the academic integrity standards. Upon admission to USC students accept the rights and responsibilities of membership in this community.  In the university, as elsewhere, ignorance is just not an acceptable justification for violating USC’s standards.

Although we have given you a lot of specific examples of things to watch out for if you follow these simple rules you should be ok. #1 Be sure to correctly reference and cite all information you use. #2 Do your own work. #3 And if in doubt be sure to ask the instructor – don’t just assume.