As September comes to a close, students are gearing up for midterm papers, tests and projects. While every course has different requirements, practically all feature assignments to gauge how well students are grasping the material.
When it comes to midterms, it is important to ensure you are honest with the work you complete and the exams you take. Let’s take a closer look at academic honesty and offer some tips and resources on how to work with integrity during this midterm season.
An academic culture of honesty
Georgia State University is committed to fostering a learning environment of integrity and honesty. As members of the academic community, students are expected to recognize and uphold standards of intellectual and academic integrity.
Plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration with others, misrepresentation or falsification of information and submitting multiple portions for the same work are all forms of academic dishonesty, which can result in a variety of punishments.
Georgia State's complete academic honesty policy can be found here, so be sure to make yourself aware of the policy and the standards that students should uphold.
With that in mind, here are a few tips as you complete these half-way assignments.
Know your citations
When completing a paper or research project, most of the information you use will come from an outside source. To give proper credit to these individuals, books, articles and other materials, be sure to know which citation style is required for the assignment.
There are several different widely-used citation styles, each differing in formatting, punctuation and element usage. APA Style is often used in scholarly articles and books, typically in fields pertaining to behavioral and social sciences. MLA Style is often used for English composition or communication. Chicago Style, Harvard Style and several other styles are also used frequently, each by different disciplines or subjects.
Not only are citation styles different, each style has specific instructions for situations to cite. Some have a certain style for in-text citations, bibliographies or other citations. Certain professors or projects might require their own citation methods, so build a checklist to ensure you cite each work every time it is used.
If you are unsure how or when to cite, ask! Talk to a professor to ensure you are properly giving credit to authors and avoiding plagiarism.
Do it yourself
Although the internet provides a wealth of resources to pull information from, be sure the work you complete is your own. Professors can use software to check papers for plagiarism or to see if the paper has been written by artificial intelligence (AI) or other systems.
Avoiding plagiarism can be easily avoided by giving yourself enough time to complete a project or paper. Putting off these assignments to the last minute often causes sloppy work or for you to take shortcuts. Take notes when researching to put information in your own words, ensuring you don’t steal the words of others.
Among other online resources, “homework help” sites like Chegg, Course Hero and other sites should be avoided. Not only is accessing these webpages an action of academic dishonesty, it doesn’t help you fully learn the material. While it might help you in the short term, it won’t help you grasp the material for use in your career, and it violates the intellectual property of instructors who prepared the exams or assignments.
Ask for help
Georgia State provides a plethora of resources to help students prepare a paper or project.
If you need guidance with a paper, the GSU Writing Studio can help. Students can schedule online or in-person meetings with peer tutors who can guide them through starting or improving a paper.
Zotero, a downloadable tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources, is available to all students. With easy installation, students can add the software to their computers and use it for projects, papers and more. The library also provides other resources and software to help students with citations and work management.
The Georgia State University library is also here to help with research. Students can make appointments with a librarian to help them focus their research. This library page can help find the right book or text for your research topic, while the library has additional pages containing research guides and citation help.
Want to join an academic community based on honesty and integrity? Find the perfect degree program for your career goals, and take part in interesting and important research. Talk to one of our enrollment coaches by phone at 404-413-4393 or email them at [email protected] today.