Albany High School students are expected to uphold the highest standards of academic conduct and personal integrity. The AHS faculty is committed to helping students avoid unintentional plagiarism and understand the rules of responsible scholarship.
Teachers in every department at Albany High School share their particular subject–specific methods of note–taking and resources to help students develop good study habits. The Albany High School library has posted on the AHS web site a list of web sites that guide students in proper methods of citing sources. There is a list of resources and web sites at the end of this document that are intended to assist students with their writing and research assignments.
Implications of Cheating
Students who cheat deprive themselves of the opportunity to learn—especially, how to think. Knowing how to think critically in each subject area prepares students for university classes, as well as any profession they pursue. Cheating is destructive to the entire school community since it damages relationships and engenders mistrust in teachers and classmates. Students who do not cheat also suffer by the inflated grades that result from academic misconduct. Students who choose to cheat or plagiarize will face the risk that teachers and counselors may not want to write their letters of recommendation for college. If students are suspended for cheating or plagiarism, they are required to admit it in their college applications for private schools. Students face life changing consequences when they choose to cheat rather than earning grades honestly through hard work and good study habits. If students are ever unclear about the guidelines regarding the correct way to cite sources, it is their responsibility to consult with their teachers before submitting an assignment. Cheating and plagiarism are forms of academic misconduct and are both dishonest choices that students can avoid. Ignorance about what constitutes cheating is not a defense.
AHS students are expected to cite each web page, book, or other sources each time they include any information in an essay or project of their own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following guidelines:
- Including the words of another writer without including proper citation. Copying and pasting from Internet or other electronic sources—even one sentence—is considered plagiarism unless there are quotation marks preceding and following the quoted material. Student writers must also include a citation of the source (Works Cited page or Bibliography) at the end of their paper. This applies to other forms of expression as well—artwork, photography, computer coding, mathematical calculations, etc.
- Citing the sources used but copying and pasting entire sentences (or photos/graphics/code) without using quotation marks or proper citation methods.
- Presenting the ideas of another writer (scientist, computer programmer or artist) as one's own original thoughts (or a. Unless a student attributes the ideas to the correct source—even if the wording is changed—it can be considered plagiarism. If the paper includes another author's ideas, the student must indicate with footnotes or in a Works Cited page where this source can be found. Writing is an extension of one's thinking, and most assignments challenge a student to articulate her own ideas—to differentiate between the opinions she arrived at through her own analysis and those she concluded by consulting other sources. Even if she shares the same opinion as another writer, and all the words/images in her essay are her own, she must give credit to the sources used. This applies to music, artwork, coding, etc.
- Submitting another student's work as one's own, for example, an essay written by a sibling or another student.
- Submitting a paper or art work, etc. purchased from an Internet essay site.
The following are additional examples of cheating:
- Copying another student's work or assignment (including homework) to submit as one's own.
- Allowing another student to copy your assignment (including homework) with the intention of submitting to a teacher for credit.
- Using an unauthorized set of notes, cheat sheet, graphic calculator or other storage device during a test or quiz.
- Helping another student without permission on a test or quiz.
- Stealing or borrowing or removing an exam from the classroom or taking it from a teacher without explicit permission.
- Modifying or in any way altering a teacher's grades or official records.
- Using a teacher's notes, manuals, or guides without explicit permission.
- Submitting an assignment in two separate classes for different assignments without explicit permission from your teachers (in both subjects).
The consequences of cheating or plagiarism can be severe. Students will receive an F on their assignment or test and may also face suspension from school and a notation on their permanent record. The consequences of cheating and plagiarism at Albany High School are as follows:
1) Zero on exam or assignment; 2) Parent Conference; 3) Referral to Assistant Principal; 4) 1 day suspension (or a WARNING and detention)
1–2––3 Plus 1–3 days of suspension
1–2––3 Plus 3–5 days of suspension (In consultation with the teacher, counselor, and administrator, consequences may be modified depending on the circumstances of each incident.)
On the first day of school all students receive this policy in their AHS Discipline Regulations (which are also found in the AHS Student Planner—page 23–26). Students and parents will be required to sign and date this policy each year before school begins, along with their registration and emergency contact forms.
Honors students are expected to uphold the highest standards of academic honesty; if students are discovered to have violated any of these policies in summer assignments, they will be dropped from Honors or AP classes before school begins in the Fall. For example, if students plagiarize or cheat on summer homework assignments, they will lose their place in the Honors or AP class.
Developing Good Study Habits
Following is a list of suggested resources for avoiding plagiarism and responsible scholarship. They are intended as a supplement to the lessons presented in your academic classes, but offer a lot of helpful suggestions:
- Research Tools and Citing Sources
- Writing Tips and Strategies from the Online Writing Lab (OWL)
- Works Cited Formatting Guide