Suggestions for Avoiding Academic Misconduct

Suggestions for Avoiding Academic Misconduct

Examples of academic misconduct include cheating on exams or quizzes, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, providing false information or excuses, or creating the appearance of dishonesty.

  • Always read the class syllabus and directions for exams and assignments.
  • If you are having problems or are uncertain about the rules, ask for help.


Exams are stressful. If you take four classes each quarter, you may have 3 or 4 exams in each class. Exams are important, but your grade will not rely on the outcome of one exam alone. Do not seek an unfair advantage by cheating on exams. Be careful to avoid conduct that might appear to be dishonest during exams.

  • Don’t sit with friends or study partners during exams.
  • Make sure that any notes or materials are stored away in a closed backpack or bag before you receive your exam. Any notes or materials that are not stored away during an exam may be considered academic misconduct.
  • Don’t let your eyes wander during an exam.
  • Don’t talk to anyone during an exam about anything.
  • Cover your exam so others can’t copy from you.
  • Stop working on your exam when the instructor calls time.
  • When you get an exam back, don’t make any alterations (changes or corrections) on the exam itself; make corrections on a separate sheet of paper. Do not submit an altered exam for re-grading.

Writing papers

Avoid plagiarism. Do your best to put information in your own words and document all sources that you use.

  • Understand the definition of plagiarism.
      • If you copy words directly, you must use quotation marks and show the source of the information (including web sources).
      • If you borrow facts, statistics, graphs, pictures, etc., you must show the source of the information.
      • If you borrow someone else’s information or idea and don’t copy word for word, you must correctly paraphrase or summarize the information, that is, put it in your own words, and you must still give the source of the information.
  • Not all web sites are good sources of information.
  • If you are not sure, ask the instructor for help, or go to the Student Academic Success Center and talk with a writing tutor or writing specialist.
  • It’s better to turn a paper in late or not at all, then to hurry at the last minute and submit work that is not properly written.

Submitting assignments

Collaboration: unless an instructor says you can work together, you must work independently.

  • Do not work together more than the instructor allows. Submitting the same or very similar assignments as another student(s) (even if everyone worked on it) is not acceptable unless the instructor specifically states that the assignment can be completed together.
  • If a classmate suggests working together on a graded assignment, ask yourself first whether the instructor allows this. If not sure, ask the instructor before doing so.
  • If you are allowed to work together, do not copy someone else’s work or allow someone else to borrow your work.
  • Do not copy answers from solutions manuals or from students who previously took the class or from other sources.
  • If you are not certain, ask the instructor about whether and how much you can work together.

Additional suggestions to avoid problems

  • Do not post an instructor’s materials online without the express permission of the instructor.
  • Do not make up false excuses to miss an exam or obtain an extension on an assignment.
  • Do not falsify/make up data for lab results.

Be Honest and Act Fairly


UC Davis, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs, Revised September 2015