When should I report a student for an academic honor code violation?

Answer:  While we would like to have consistency of reporting for honor code violations, there will undoubtedly be some variation in when faculty decide to report a student.  If an instructor requires a rough draft of a paper and discovers the student has not cited sources correctly, the instructor may see the correction of that problem as part of the learning process and may ask the student to correct the documentation in the next draft.  When the final paper is submitted and it still contains those documentation errors, then the instructor may decide that a violation has occurred.

Elon University's honor code policy does not specify that a violation must be intentional.  The specific circumstances surrounding a violation might have an impact on which grade sanction  the professor assigns, but "intent" should not be used to determine whether a violation is reported.

In many cases, violations will be clear: an entire paper downloaded from the Internet, two students turning in an identical paper (when there is no approved collaboration policy), a student seen talking during a test, etc.

In other cases, violations are not as clear.  Some questions to ask as you decide whether a violation of the honor code might have occurred:

1.  Has the student violated instructions given in my syllabus, a written assignment or my oral instructions to the class?

2.  Has the student stretched the rule beyond what is "reasonable" in a given situation?

3.  By taking this action, has the student given him/her self an unfair advantage over other students in the class?

4.  Does the work reflect a student's effort to learn or to subvert the learning process?