Writing an Academic Integrity Statement
Instructors are encouraged to include a statement on their syllabi that defines what academic integrity means for their course and to discuss academic integrity directly with their students during class. The Poorvu Center Writing Center provides excellent guidance regarding teaching about academic integrity and plagiarism.
An academic integrity statement should be tailored in part to the course assignments, so that, for example, a course with assigned papers will discuss plagiarism and a course with exams will discuss permitted sources. It is especially important to address what constitutes appropriate collaboration on homework, problem sets, and any other work completed outside of class time.
Yale College includes a discussion of academic integrity in the Yale College Undergraduate Regulations, which articulates examples of academic dishonesty at Yale, including cheating on a test or an examination, plagiarism, improper collaboration on assignments, falsification of data, or the submission of the same essay to two instructors without the explicit consent of both.
Sample Academic Integrity Statements
Instructors may find it most helpful to write an academic integrity statement from their own voice, so that they can address specific attributes of their particular course for their students. As you begin writing, you are welcome to draw from the below sample statements and resources as is helpful.
Academic integrity is a core university value that ensures respect for the academic reputation of the University, its students, faculty and staff, and the degrees it confers. The University expects that students will conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner and respect the intellectual work of others. Please ask about my expectations regarding permissible or encouraged forms of student collaboration if they are unclear.
Any work that you submit at any stage of the writing process— thesis, outline, draft, bibliography, final submission, presentations, blog posts, and more—must be your own; in addition, any words, ideas, or data that you borrow from other people and include in your work must be properly documented. Failure to do either of these things is plagiarism. I seek to protect the rights and intellectual property of all students, writers, and scholars by insisting that individual students act with integrity.
Academic integrity requires that students at Yale acknowledge all of the sources that inform their coursework. Most commonly, this means (a) citing the sources of any text or data that you include in papers and projects, and (b) only collaborating with other students in ways that are explicitly endorsed by the assignment. Yale’s dedication to academic integrity flows from our two primary commitments: supporting research and educating students to contribute to ongoing scholarship. A safe and ethical climate for research demands that previous authors and artists receive credit for their work. And learning requires that you do your own work. Conventions for acknowledging sources vary across disciplines, and instructors should instruct you in the forms they expect; they should also delineate which forms of collaboration among students are permitted. But ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to act with integrity, and the burden is on you to ask questions if anything about course policies is unclear.
Instructors may find that addressing plagiarism specifically is particularly relevant to their courses. Visit this page for two sample plagiarism statements that you may borrow or adapt for your syllabus. Instructors might also be interested in sharing this plagiarism quiz developed by the Poorvu Center with students to help them understand and avoid plagiarism.
Teaching with Turnitin
Yale instructors may take advantage of Turnitin to compare student writing submissions against a wide range of sources to detect phrasing that may be similar to published material. The reports generated can be useful in guiding writing revisions and proper student citation of sources. If using Turitin, you are encouraged to announce this policy on your syllabus, such as through one of these sample Turnitin syllabus statements.