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From Rita Capezzi

Feel free to adapt and use this information in anyway that is intended to foster
academic integrity in your classes.
[Course Information]
[Course Description]
[Schedule]
Participating in this Course with Academic Integrity
The Canisius College community is dedicated to academic excellence and is,
therefore, committed to establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of trust. All
members of the community agree and pledge to exercise complete integrity in
their academic work. Academic integrity is the foundation of true intellectual
growth; it demonstrates respect for oneself and for others. (from The Canisius
College Code of Academic Integrity)
I believe that integrity is an essential part of a true educational experience and that a
commitment to five fundamental principles of integrityhonesty, trust, fairness, respect,
and responsibilityis expected both of you and of me.1
Obviously, no one would want to be operated on by a doctor who cheated her way
through medical school or to form political opinions based on information from a
journalist who makes up his facts or to rely for an accurate tax return on an accountant
who copied CPA exam answers from her neighbor. But does anyone really think it makes
any difference to violate the principles of academic integrity in an English class?
For me, integrity matters in this course and in any course because integrity matters in life.
If it is possible to justify plagiarism or cheating or shoddy work in courses that dont
really seem to matter much, then how will we resist doing the same in areas that
obviously do matter, in areas where money might be at stake or the possibility of
advancement or our esteem in the eyes of others? There is no gene for integrity, however;
you have to practice it everyday like you practice the piano or your backhand or running
a five minute mile. There is a certain amount of work and sacrifice involved in doing all
these things, including living with integrity, but the end results are worth it. Below, I
describe what the practice of integrity in this class will look like both for you and for me.
Class Preparation
The principles of academic integrity require that I come to class having done the things
necessary to make it a worthwhile educational experience for you. This means that I will:
1

This integrity section of my syllabus grows out of and is based upon ideas and language from The
Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity (http://www.academicintegrity.org) and Academic Integrity:
A Letter to My Students by Bill Taylor of Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL. Permission to use
is granted.

re-read the text in preparation for discussion,


clarify information about which I am unsure or have questions,
prepare newly and not simply rely on past notes,
provide you with guidelines to assist your preparation for class, and
direct you to campus resources such as the Tutoring Center (x2485), Disability
Support Services (x3748), and others if I think they would be beneficial to you.

The principles of academic integrity suggest that you have the primary responsibility to
yourself, to your classmates, and to me for putting yourself in a position to contribute
positively and fruitfully to class sessions. This means that you will:
read the text before coming to class, even if you have read it before;
clarify anything about which you are unsure (looking up words you do not know,
for example);
formulate questions to ask during class;
prepare for discussion with reference to any questions, written or oral, given by
me to guide your reading; and
utilize campus resources such as the Tutoring Center, Disability Support Services,
and others if they would be beneficial to you.
During Class Sessions
The principles of academic integrity require that I treat you seriously and respectfully.
This means that I will:
show up for all scheduled class sessions, barring emergencies;
come to class on time and not leave early;
learn all your names;
not eat, not take phone calls, and not hold private conversations during class;
do my best to answer your questions, to acknowledge when I do not have an
answer, and to get an answer before the next class period;
assume that you are prepared for class and that it will not embarrass you to be
called upon, even if your hand is not raised;
model for you the kind of reading and critical investigation I expect you to learn
and demonstrate with increasing proficiency as the semester proceeds;
encourage your participation, including giving everyone equal opportunity to
contribute with no one either dominating or completely avoiding discussion;
show respect for all expressed views and insure that others respect those
expressions as well; and
make clear when I am expressing an interpretation, what the foundation of that
interpretation is, and why some interpretations are stronger than others.
The principles of academic integrity require that you take yourself, your classmates, and
me seriously and treat us all with respect. This means that you will:
show up for all class sessions, barring emergencies;
come to class on time and not leave early;
learn each others names;

eat and take phone calls before or after class, not during it;
make good use of class time by being engaged in the material and the discussion;
ask questions about things you do not understand, assuming that if you dont
understand something, others also may not understand and that your question will
help you and the class in general;
ask questions about things you do understand both to confirm and develop your
understanding as well as to get me to explain clearly or in different ways;
participate in class discussion so as to contribute your thinking to the shared effort
of developing insight and understanding (even a wrong answer helps in discussion
by stimulating ideas that someone may not have raised otherwise);
neither dominate discussion nor absent yourself completely from it; and
respect me and other students by not making fun of ideas different from your own
or holding side conversations that distract from the shared class discussion.

Writing Assignments
With regard to writing assignments, the principles of academic integrity require that I:
devise meaningful assignments that grow out of and further the work done in the
classroom;
provide you with a clear description of what you are to accomplish in your
writing, making understandable what is expected of you and how I will grade
your efforts;
make clear when assignments are due;
make clear what kind of format you are to follow in the preparation of your
writing;
give careful consideration when marking and grading your writing;
point out grammatical, syntactical, and stylistics errors and look for future signs
that you are correcting them; and
confront you if I suspect that you have plagiarized or in other ways not handed in
work that is entirely your own.
[This section may vary depending upon types of writing assignments]
With regard to writing assignments, the principles of academic integrity require that you:
start writing early enough to ensure that you use the time you have in order to do
your best work;
not be satisfied with anything less than your best work;
submit all assignments on time;
follow the format for preparation of your writing as described in each assignment;
seek assistance from me, from handbooks, or from tutors in order to correct
grammatical, syntactical, and stylistic errors and to strive for correct grammar by
semesters end;
submit writing that is yours alone and prepared specifically for the assignments in
this course; and
seek only appropriate help from others (proof-reading or discussing ideas to
clarify your own thinking, for example).

write your essays with outside sources only when explicitly asked to do so; and
give full and proper credit to your sources.

I want to expand upon these last four points, because they apply both to you and to me.
Education and the accumulation of knowledge is a shared enterprise. When I provide a
framework for class discussion, when I interpret a text, I am sharing with you what I have
learned from my (many long) years of study. It would be too disruptive if I cited my each
and every source during class sessions; but you can trust that few of the ideas presented
in class are original ones (I save most of those for my research). My job as your instructor
is to present to you in a way that you can learn from the multitude of ideas and
approaches that have been brought to bear on the work before us. What is original is the
way that I present and organize the class materials for you so that you can learn a practice
of reading and come to an understanding of particular literary texts.
[This section may vary depending upon the writing assignments]
[Now in my class, you will do a specific kind of writing: critical analysis writing about
the texts at hand without reference to outside sources. At specific times, you will also add
to this analysis writing reflections that you develop from the service you will perform.
In critical analysis writing, I am asking that you apply the strategies learned in
class to the texts under scrutiny. When you do this kind of writing, you are to be
showing what you have learned about reading and interpreting from the shared
materials and work of our class discussion. There is, then, no room here in this
kind of writing for ideas from sources outside our class. You should not use
outside (or secondary) sources and you should not be citing anything except the
specific literary text(s) under consideration.
In reflection writing, I am asking you to define how your service helps you to
further understand the course texts and issues, as well as how the course texts and
issues helps you understand the service you are performing.
In neither writing should you use any secondary sources for building your ideas.]
[Now in my class, you will do two kinds of writing: critical analysis writing without
reference to outside sources and research writing with reference to outside sources.
In the critical analysis writing, I am asking that you apply the strategies learned in
class to the texts under scrutiny. When you do this kind of writing, you are to be
showing what you have learned about reading and interpreting from the shared
materials and work of our class discussion. There is, then, no room here in this
kind of writing for ideas from sources outside our class. You should not use
outside (or secondary) sources and you should not be citing anything except the
specific literary text(s) under consideration.
In the research writing, I am asking you to bring together the ideas of others
outside our class discussions in such a way that makes sense to you and will make
sense to me given what we have been doing in the class. You will be working
with the ideas of others, and so you will need to cite those words and ideas
appropriately. In order to be doing the assignment correctly, you will need to cite
all the outside resources you have consulted in the construction of your research.

In both kinds of writing, you will be showing what you know and what you are learning.
You will need, however, to respect the boundaries of these two kinds of writing and not
confuse them. I will make clear in the assignments whether you may use outside sources,
but, if you are ever in doubt, just ask.]
[Now in my class, you will do a specific kind of writing: critical analysis writing about
the texts at hand without reference to outside sources. In Position Papers, you will discuss
only one course text; in Essays, you will often link course texts.
In critical analysis writing, I am asking that you apply the strategies learned in class to
the texts under scrutiny. When you do this kind of writing, you are to be showing what
you have learned about reading and interpreting from the shared materials and work of
our class discussion. There is, then, no room here in this kind of writing for ideas from
sources outside our class. You should not use outside (or secondary) sources and you
should not be citing anything except the specific literary text(s) under consideration.]
[Now in my class, you will do two specific kinds of writing: Position Papers and critical
analysis Essays about the texts at hand with reference to specified outside sources.
In Position Papers, you will develop a reading of a specific text or component of a
text without using any outside sources beyond the reading strategies developed in
our shared work together and those you bring with you to the course.
In Critical Analysis Essays, you will be showing how you build an interpretation
of a text using the ideas of professional scholars. In these Essays supplemented by
specified sources, you need to be sure to document correctly and completely,
using MLA style, how you are using these sources.]

Final Grades
With regard to your final grade, the principles of academic integrity require that I weigh
carefully and with accuracy all of the factors I outline below as important for evaluating
you. You could fail the course if you do not do all the assignments.

I will evaluate your work on the following scale:


A
100-93
C+
79-77
A92-90
C
76-73
B+
89-87
C72-70
B
86-83
D
69-60
B82-80
F
59 and below
With regard to your final grade, the principles of academic integrity require that, if you
feel that I have made a mistake in evaluating your work and calculating your grade, you
have the responsibility to come to me as soon as possible prepared to show why you think
I have made a mistake. You should consult the Canisius College Catalog for Procedures
for Handling Grade Grievances.

Failures to Meet Our Responsibilities


I will do my very best in all of the areas listed above to conduct this course responsibly
and with a concern for your learning. If you ever think that I have acted irresponsibly or
without concern for your learning, you have every right to confront me about it and to
expect that I will listen to you with respectful consideration. If you feel that I have not
given respectful consideration, you have the right and the responsibility to bring this to
the attention of my chair and dean.
At the same time, I have a right to expect that you will live up to your responsibilities to
yourself and others as you take this course, and I will consider it a matter of my academic
integrity to confront you about it if it seems you have not.
In some cases, this might meant that I must use the Procedures for Adjudicating
Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity if I suspect plagiarism, cheating, or any
other violation listed in the Code. You need to understand up front that if I discover that
you have plagiarized in, colluded on, or duplicated your submission of any essay you
prepare for this class, you could earn a failing grade on that assignment, as well as other
possible penalties leveled by me or by other college bodies responsible for maintaining
academic integrity. My academic integrity requires as well that I report any cases of
violations according to the Notification procedures described in the Code.
A Final Word about Academic Integrity
As with so much in life, academic integrity involves a system of interconnected rights
and responsibilities that reflect our mutual dependence upon one another. The success of
our individual efforts in this course, as well as outside of it, depends upon all of us
exercising conscientiously our rights and fulfilling honestly our responsibilities. The
failure of any of useven of one of usto do with respect and fairness what is required
will undermine significantly the atmosphere of trust essential to a learning environment
and thus diminish the opportunity for the rest of us to achieve our goals. Practicing
integrity in an academic setting is an occasion to practice it for your lives outside of the
classroom; so you will make integrity a natural part of yourself and so enrich those you
encounter beyond your life at Canisius College.

Please see the entire Code of Academic Integrity in the undergraduate catalog (both online and in print).
Refer to the brochure published by the Student Advisement Center for simple Q & A about the adjudication
procedure.