Academic honesty is a fundamental principle of learning and a necessary foundation for all academic institutions, particularly those dedicated to independent project-based education, such as WPI. 

Violations of the principle deny the opportunity to obtain confident command of the material students are credited with knowing, cheat their classmates out of deserved rewards and recognition, debase the institution, and demean the degree that it awards. 

Academic dishonesty is any act which interferes with evaluation of academic work, through the misrepresentation of the work being evaluated and the student's actual knowledge. A students' academic integrity is vital to the academic environment, as education involves the search for and acquisition of knowledge and understanding, which are, in themselves, intangible. 

Evaluation of each student’s level of knowledge and understanding is a vital part of the teaching process, and requires tangible measures such as reports, examinations, and homework. The following acts are examples of academic dishonesty at WPI:

  • Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
    Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Using and submitting purchased papers

    • Using unauthorized materials or sources of information, such as a cheat sheet, preprogrammed calculator, etc.

    • Copying another student's academic work

    • Unauthorized communication during an examination 

  • Fabrication: Falsification, misrepresentation, or the invention of any information, data, or citation in an academic exercise.
    Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Inventing or changing laboratory data and/or research

    • Altering grades or other official records

    • Citing a source in a bibliography that was not used 

    • Changing exam solutions after the fact

  • Facilitation: Helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
    Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Sharing test questions or answers from an exam, homework or lab with another student

    • Doing any academic work for another student, such as homework or tests

    • Allowing another student to copy a solution to a homework problem, exam or lab

    • Making available previously used academic work for another individual who intends to resubmit the work for credit

    • Assisting in any act of academic dishonesty of another student 

  • Plagiarism: Using as one's own the words, ideas, data, code, or other original academic material of another without providing proper citation or attribution.  Plagiarism can apply to any assignment, including final or drafted copies.
    Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Misrepresenting the work of another as one's own

    • Inaccurately or inadequately citing sources

    • Paraphrasing (using the ideas of others in your own words) without citation.

This webpage adapts information from the University of Oklahoma, Norman Campus, Harvard University, and other colleges and universities.