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Academic Honesty 412
Academic Honesty
​"If you want to cheat, there really isn't much to stop you.  As long as you are prepared to do all the work necessary to hide the evidence, you probably won't get caught.  Just remember that the amount of work involved in covering up your cheating usually falls somewhere near the amount of work involved in doing the work yourself, and the benefits fall far short."  ~Greggory Senechal 

We all know it is important to be honest.  We also know that the negative repercussions of a dishonest act can be much worse and much more lasting than its potential benefits.  The importance of honesty also extends to your academic life.  

The academically honest student does not participate in any form of cheating, and never presents the work of others as his/her own.  This latter activity is called plagiarism.  To avoid plagiarism, always give credit to all the sources of information you use to create a product.  Cite all words, images, videos, and sound clips.

To avoid plagiarizing:
  • Use the Citation Support​ section of this website in order to make sure you understand the meaning of citation, and how to cite correctly. 
  • Cite both direct quotes (copied material) and indirect quotes (paraphrased material).
  • Make sure you are writing in your own 'voice' and using secondary sources only to inform your own ideas and opinions, not to express them. Paraphrasing the ideas of others, even if you are citing these ideas, is not evidence of learning.
  • Make an 'appointment' for assistance during any stage of the research process from a Thornlea teacher-librarian. 
The consequences of plagiarism vary for each student, but can be very serious indeed.  This is because plagiarism contravenes a number of different school and Board policies.

1. Thornlea Code of Conduct (from Student Handbook​).

According to our school's Code of Conduct, the "H" in THORNLEA​ stands for: Honesty"Individuals whose behaviour violates the Code of Conduct will be held accountable.  This will result in an obligation to make things right and repair the harm done. Restitution and possible disciplinary consequences are required before these indiviudals can be welcomed back to the Thornlea community of learners."

2.  Thornlea School Policy.

​Thornlea's Academic Honesty Policy is explained on p. 4 of your Student Agenda​.  The consequences of plagiarism are specified: "Any violations of the Academic Honesty Policy will be treated as a violation of the Code of Conduct. Each incidence of plagiarism will be dealt with on an individual basis. [ . . . ]  Depending on the severity of the infraction and/or the number of instances, the consequences may include: contact with parents, an alternate assignment, or a mark of zero which in some cases could result in the loss of the credit."

3.  Information Technology Acceptable Use Agreement.

Did you know that the IT Acceptable Use Agreement​ that you and your parents signed specifies that "students are accountable for [ . . . ] respecting information/media obtained on the Internet by incorporation all references in a bibliography, footnotes or other form of citation"?

Consequences for going against the IT Acceptable Use Agreement "may range from withdrawal of [computer] privileges to suspension from school."

Your Take-Away Messages: 

1. To ensure you are being academically honest, and to avoid a charge of plagiarism, familiarize yourself fully with all the resources on our Citation Support page​, and ask a teacher-librarian for help whenever you are unsure about any aspect of your research, including citation of sources. 

2. To maximize your learning, when doing research, consult a variety of authoritative sources and use what you learn from these sources to form your own ideas and opinions. Then express these ideas in your own 'voice,' whether that be in oral or written form.  Don't merely paraphrase and cite the work of others; this is regurgitation, not learning.

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