Academic Honesty Policy

Academic Honesty Policy

What is Academic Honesty?

Academic honesty means ensuring that work which is submitted is a students’ own work, including their own ideas expressed in their own words. Failing to do this is academic dishonesty and it amounts to gaining an unfair advantage. There are many forms of academic dishonesty, including:

  • Plagiarism - this means taking work, words, ideas, pictures, information or anything that has been produced by someone else and submitting it as if it was a student’s own work. Copying and pasting from websites without acknowledging the source, failing to use quotations marks on a direct quotation, paraphrasing work and not referencing the original source are all examples of plagiarism. Plagiarism can occur when a student is unaware of how or when to acknowledge their sources, rather than as a deliberate attempt to present someone’s ideas as their own. If students follow Sixth Form Guidance documents it is unlikely that they will be accused of plagiarism
  • Copying - taking the work of another student, with or without his or her knowledge and submitting it as one’s own is academic dishonesty
  • Exam cheating - consists of communicating with another candidate in an exam, bringing unauthorised material into an exam room, or consulting during an exam in order to gain an unfair advantage
  • Duplication - submitting or presenting a piece of work for a different assessment in a different course. Students can use the same research material for both essays if they are similar in title but students cannot use an essay twice
  • Falsifying data - making up facts or statistics, altering data to suit a student’s investigations or collecting data in an inappropriate way
  • Collusion - helping another student to be academically dishonest. This includes a student allowing another student to copy some or all of their work and submitting it as their own

How to Avoid Academic Dishonesty

  • Assignments must be written in a student’s own words and must include a student’s own thoughts and expressions.
  • All the sources, quotes and paraphrased material must be properly referenced according to the style recommended in the Guidance to students.
  • At the end of each assignment there must be a bibliography, which is an alphabetical list of the sources - books, magazines, newspapers, CD-ROMs, Internet, interviews, etc. that have been used to prepare and produce a piece of work. The purpose of a Bibliography is to provide an honest acknowledgment of sources so that a reader can identify and consult the sources. 
  • When working in a group on a project it is important that students write up any reports, investigations, performance description etc.  independently. Even if data or preparation is shared, anything submitted by an individual student must be their own work. Students must not submit anything that is identical in part or whole to another student as that would be colluding and could look like direct plagiarism.
  • Students must not purchase essays (e.g. from the internet) to hand in as their own work. Braintree Sixth Form will run essays through software that will check for plagiarism. The software scans words and phrases for matches with other work which is to be found on the internet, and other work which has been already run through the software.
  • During exams students must ensure that they adhere to the rules given by the Examinations Officer. Causing disruption in the exam room, communicating with another student or with someone outside the exam room, or copying another student’s work is a very serious offence.
  • If students are unsure about any issues relating to academic honesty then it is the student’s responsibility to speak to their subject teachers or tutor about the matter.

The Consequences of Plagiarism

Depending on the nature of the incident, Braintree Sixth Form may have to report a suspected incident of plagiarism to an Awarding Body and this could lead to a student being barred from sitting exams, or examination results in all subjects being withdrawn and cancelled.

Braintree Sixth Form must treat academic honesty very seriously and students who are guilty of academic dishonesty will be subject to a range of penalties, which, depending upon the seriousness of the incident could include:

  • Loss of non contact time – see Student Support Strategy
  • Disqualification of assessed pieces of work
  • Non entry by the Sixth Form for a subject or subjects
  • Fixed Term Exclusion

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