Recently one of our readers asked me a question about their situation with plagiarism.
“Me and my friends had an issue with an assignment in our one of the class. Professor caught us for submitting same work and has asked us to sign a Honesty violation form. As it was first time it happen like that and we did all the previous work ourselves professor asked us to complete the assignments and re submit them in a particular time period assigning a Grade I till then.
Now my question is are we eligible for applying for on campus positions? I know we can’t apply for a TA but will it effect our opportunities to try for on campus? Are there any other affects?”
I have previously written an article: Why NOT to copy Homework in MS/MBA in US explaining the ramifications of copying homework and how the academic honesty policy works in US.
Why do Students engage in Academic honesty violation or Copying ?
There can be a variety of reasons from students like
- The homework was very tough, they need to work together
- They did NOT know it was plagiarism and violation of Academic honesty policy to copy homework or collaborate with each other
- They were used to copying back in their home country and did not think it was a big deal
- Other friends copied and were not caught, so we did it.
I can keep on writing… bottom line, the point is students have their explanations for plagiarism
What is the deal with the Academic Honesty Violation forms that you sign ?
Typically, the process is in most of the schools in US, if you agree that it was your honest mistake because you did not know or you were used to doing it or something like that…you may be let go by asking to sign one of the Honesty violation forms first time. What happens is, your file in the Deans office/ Academic department has a copy of this form that you signed and you will be mailed a copy too. It is highly confidential and it will be known to only you and the professor and may be some people in dean office. It is just a warning on paper indicating that if you engage in any of this honesty violation activity, you will get an F in the class or you can be suspended from school or something severe too.
Will it impact your on Campus Job or any future in the University ?
Coming to the question: if you sign any of these forms for the first time as a warning, it will not impact you in anyway either on campus jobs or scholarships. As this is highly confidential and personal information, you will not be impacted. It is personal information and even professors are not allowed to share it publicly with other professors unless they are part of academic honesty violation hearing committee. There may be some variations based on the university, but in general based on my experience serving on the academic honesty hearing committee representing our department, it is confidential and it should not impact you in anyways. So, if you have done a mistake without knowing or just for some reason, do not panic and just relax. Just DO NOT engage in any of this activity. I have seen quite a few students in the shoes of signing this honesty violation form because of their honest mistakes; they were fine with on campus jobs and scholarships. There were no issues because it was first offense.
Image Credits : http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper999/stills/61ds2w05.png