The Honor System

Agnes Scott College operates on an Honor Code. This means not cheating on exams, not stealing from or harming the campus or our students in any way, and in general, helping to promote a sense of trust and personal responsibility within the community. Each student, whether here for one semester or four years, is expected to accept her responsibility in protecting and upholding this honor system. The Honor System is outlined in the Handbook and the Catalog.

A serious violation of the Honor System is plagiarism, which is the use of someone else’s ideas or words without giving them credit through very specifically defined rules for citation. Examples of plagiarism in the US include: copying a sentence directly from a book or journal into your paper without citing the author and source of the sentence/s; writing about someone’s idea without citing that person; purchasing or turning in a paper written by another person; or turning in the same paper or assignment for different classes without the professors’ knowledge.  

In the United States, there are specific requirements for documenting sources and ideas. You can learn about these standards by consulting your professors and by visiting the Writing Center. Plagiarism is a serious offense and the penalty ranges from warnings to probation or suspension.  

Many professors encourage students to work together and discuss their ideas, but students are expected to prepare assignments independently unless otherwise instructed. If you are not sure of your professor’s preference where group work is concerned, check with her/him to be certain.