Academic Honesty

What is Academic Honesty?

The Park School Philosophy recognizes “that human beings are capable and desirous of rational self-discipline and of acting towards others with respect, kindness, concern, open-mindedness, and moral conviction.”  Academic honesty is a fundamental component of this belief because it fosters trust throughout the community. Essentially, it allows students to learn from doing work that is truly and wholly their own.  The Upper School Program of Studies sets out the following expectations regarding academic integrity:

Students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty in personal and social activities and in all aspects of their academic program. In the composition of written work, in the submission of homework, in class preparation, and in the taking of tests, students are expected to be scrupulous in acknowledging sources of information, in documenting research, and in indicating the degree and kind of assistance provided by others.

With this in mind, teachers in the Upper School expect that

  • All pieces submitted for classes will be the student’s own work unless the student gives acknowledgement to other sources; and
  • Students will understand the fundamental principles of academic honesty and dishonesty.

What is Academic Dishonesty?

Academic Dishonesty includes such acts as cheating, plagiarism and deception. The following are examples of academic dishonesty:

  • Appropriating, paraphrasing, or rephrasing someone else’s work or ideas without crediting sources
  • Inventing or falsifying information or citations
  • Permitting another person to represent your work as her/his own
  • Copying someone else’s work on a test or assignment
  • Using an online translator when told not to do so
  • Cutting and pasting lines from a website or a book without quotations and citations
  • Receiving so much help on your work from someone else – such as a parent friend, or tutor– that the work is no longer really yours

The Program of Studies notes that academic dishonesty “represents a violation of the fundamental spirit of an educational community[.]”  

How Can I Make Sure I’m Being Academically Honest?

There are many reasons that a student might be tempted to commit academic dishonesty, including:  procrastination, anxiety, lack of confidence, frustration, or carelessness.  You can avoid these by planning and doing your work in advance, being careful about how and when you use information, and talking with your teachers and/or advisor when you’re uncertain about how to use or cite information or when you’re feeling such confusion or time pressure that you’re unsure whether you’re being academically honest.