In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.
We expect students, as members of the University community, to adhere to a code of honour in their various activities. Cheating on exams, tests, or assignments is a serious violation of this code, which jeopardizes the integrity and reputation of the Faculty's academic programs/plans.
Most students misunderstand what is and what is not acceptable academic behaviour. Remember that if you say where you got it from, that is, if you write and sign an acknowledgement of all help received on work you submit, your chances of committing an academic offense and being suspended or worse decreases substantially.
Penalties for academic offenses are common across the University. For information on categories of offenses and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71 - Student Discipline.
All academic offenses are reported to the associate dean for undergraduate studies and are recorded in the student's file. A second academic offense will lead to a more severe penalty, which will normally include a two term suspension.
Acceptable collaboration on assignments sometimes varies from the above and is officially set by your instructor. Pay attention to what your instructor says on the course outline and in class about assignments. If you are ever confused about what is or is not acceptable, talk to your instructor. If you want further clarification on offenses, talk to the Academic Integrity Officer, Ana Freitas.
- Discussing an assignment solution in step-by-step detail with classmates.
- Using a classmate's assignment solution for reference while writing yours.
How to avoid using previous term assignment solutions
- If you notice a previous term's assignment seems eerily similar to the current assignment you are working on, immediately stop looking at it.
- Copying small snips of code from friends or "tutorial" sites without proper citation (as indicated by the instructor).
Theft of another student's assignment
- Working from the assignment of another student without that student's knowledge. This is treated like a second offense and includes suspension.
Use of previous term assignment solutions
- Working from or copying assignments from another term that are similar or identical.
Ways to avoid excessive collaboration
- Do not discuss assignment solutions with classmates in step-by-step detail.
- Develop code or pseudo-code on your own.
- Do not show or give your code or assignment solution to another student.
- Write up your solution separately from your classmates.
- Acknowledge by name with whom you discussed any part of the assignment on your submission.
Ways to avoid plagiarism
- Properly cite the source of the code or any other work that is not yours. Ask the instructor how to do this properly in each of your courses.
Use of another student's previous term assignment
- Finding a student that already took the course and working from their assignment.
Ways to avoid using a previous assignment
- Same as 'previous term assignment solutions' above.