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Honor Code Policy:

The College's Honor Code applies to all work you do at Union College, and in particular it applies to this course. Work on exams is to be performed on your own, without the aid of notes, other students, or electronic devices; you will be asked to sign an honor statement for each exam, and you should include the honor statement on all written homework (an abbreviated form is acceptable). Historically, homework is the portion of the course where students have the most difficulty understanding how the honor code applies. You should use the following paragraphs to help clarify the expectations as they apply to this course. Note that these may not be the same expectations that you will have in other courses or with other instructors.

Although it is to your advantage to do your work yourself, you may discuss the homework problems with each other. You should not, however, work out all the details together, and if you do work with others on homework that is turned in, you must cite the other students who were involved, and make a brief explanation of the roles each student played in the process. Doing so is what allows collaboration while still fulfilling the requirements of the honor code.

When you do work together, you should each write up your own solutions independently. That does not mean that you should both simply copy out the same thing; rather, it means that you can work together to develop ideas, but should organize and present those ideas independently. You should not work out every detail together; that is, when you have finished working with someone, there should still be some coordination left for you. If your papers look substantially the same at the end, you have worked together too closely.

To make this effective, I have the following rule about working with others: you may not take any written material away from a collaboration. You can write down all you want when you are together, but you must throw it all away before you separate. This will encourage you to rethink the material when you write it up. If the collaboration was successful (and you learned something from it), you should be able to reproduce those ideas on your own. If not, then you have not really learned from the collaboration, and should not receive credit for work that you don't actually understand well enough to describe independently.

Failure to follow this policy is considered plagiarism, and will result in action under the Honor Code. The College takes this very seriously, and so do I. You should be sure to read the material on plagiarism and academic honesty that is part of the honor code web site.

Please also read the comments on collaboration from my advice pages.

[HOME] Math 53 (Fall 2015) web pages
Created: 03 Sep 2015
Last modified: Sep 4, 2015 6:52:06 PM
Comments to: dpvc@union.edu
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