Statements on Course Policies

Here is some language you may wish to include in your syllabi on:

Academic Integrity:

You are a member of an academic community at one of the world’s leading research universities. Universities like Berkeley create knowledge that has a lasting impact in the world of ideas and on the lives of others; such knowledge can come from an undergraduate paper as well as the lab of an internationally known professor.  One of the most important values of an academic community is the balance between the free flow of ideas and the respect for the intellectual property of others. Researchers don't use one another's research without permission; scholars and students always use proper citations in papers; professors may not circulate or publish student papers without the writer's permission; and students may not circulate or post materials (handouts, exams, syllabi--any class materials) from their classes without the written permission of the instructor.

Any test, paper or report submitted by you and that bears your name is presumed to be your own original work that has not previously been submitted for credit in another course unless you obtain prior written approval to do so from your
instructor. In all of your assignments, including your homework or drafts of papers, you may use words or ideas written by other individuals in publications, web sites, or other sources, but only with proper attribution. If you are not clear about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or examination, be sure to seek clarification from your instructor or GSI beforehand. Finally, you should keep in mind that as a member of the campus community, you are expected to demonstrate integrity in all of your academic endeavors and will be evaluated on your own merits. The consequences of cheating and academic dishonesty—including a formal discipline file, possible loss of future internship, scholarship, or employment opportunities, and denial of admission to graduate school—are simply not worth it.

[the instructor may wish to include specific consequences for cheating with regard to grades and/ or reporting to Student Affairs.]

Additional material for syllabi, exams, and homework assignments

Here are some examples of materials that could be inserted into a course syllabus to speak to the issue of academic integrity. Since different classes have different requirements regarding working together on exams and homework assignments, the exact wording would need to be tailored accordingly.

Collaboration and Independence: Reviewing lecture and reading materials and studying for exams can be enjoyable and enriching things to do together with one’s fellow students. We recommend this. However, homework assignments should be completed independently and materials turned in as homework should be the result of one’s own independent work. Some assignments, namely the preparation for the debate arguments, are meant to be done together in a group.

Cheating: Anyone caught cheating on a quiz or exam will receive a failing grade and will also be reported to the University Office of Student Conduct. In order to guarantee that you are not suspected of cheating, please keep your eyes on your own materials and do not converse with others during the quizzes and exams.

Plagiarism/Self-plagiarism: You must be original in composing the writing assignments in this class. To copy text or ideas from another source (including your own previously, or concurrently, submitted course work) without appropriate reference is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for your assignment and usually further disciplinary action. For additional information on plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and how to avoid it, see, for example:

Academic Integrity and Ethics: Cheating on exams and plagiarism are examples of violations in the realm of ethics and integrity. Honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior are of great importance in all facets of life. They are so important that it is generally assumed that one has learned and internalized these qualities at an early age. As a result, these issues rarely get explicitly addressed by the time one gets to be a university student. However, it cannot be overstated just how important honesty is to the academic enterprise. 

Turnitin: UC Berkeley's honor code states "As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others." As a tool to promote academic integrity in this course, written work submitted via bCourses may be checked for originality using Turnitin. Turnitin compares student work to a database of books, journal articles, websites, and other student papers. This creates an opportunity for students to improve their academic writing skills, by ensuring that other sources have been properly cited and attributed. For more information about Turnitin at UC Berkeley, visit

Policy on Academic Dishonesty/ Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Please see me as soon as possible if you need particular accommodations, and we will work out the necessary arrangements.

Teaching students with Disabilities

Scheduling Conflicts:

Statement on Classroom Climate:

We are all responsible for creating a learning environment that is welcoming, inclusive, equitable, and respectful. The expectation in this class is that we all live up to this responsibility, even during vigorous debate or disagreement, and that we will intervene if exclusionary or harassing behavior occurs. If you feel that these expectations are not being met, you can consult your instructors or seek assistance from campus resources.

Academic Accommodations:

The purpose of academic accommodations is to ensure that all students have a fair chance at academic success. If you have Letters of Accommodations from the Disabled Students’ Program or another authorized office, please share them with me as soon as possible, and we will work out the necessary arrangements. While individual circumstances can vary, requests for accommodations often fall into the categories listed on the Academic Calendar and Accommodations website. The campus has well-developed processes in place for students to request accommodations, and you are encouraged to contact the relevant campus offices listed on the Academic Accommodations Hub. These offices, some of which are confidential, can offer support, answer questions about your eligibility and rights, and request accommodations on your behalf, while maintaining your privacy.

Additional Suggestions for syllabi text are available at the Academic Accommodations hub itself.