Scholastic Offenses

We expect our students to conduct themselves academically in a manner that upholds the integrity and reputation of our academic programs. Cheating on assignments, exams, essays and term papers is considered to be a serious violation of ethical conduct, and will not be tolerated.


Academic dishonesty in assignments includes(but is not limited to):

  • unacceptable collaboration
    • What is unacceptable? There is a difference between discussing assignments and solutions with fellow students, and working together on the solutions to the point where the work submitted is clearly not individual work. If in doubt, ask your instructor.
  • copying of another student's assignment
  • allowing another student to copy
  • using code from an external source (text, instructor, course website) where a student's own code is expected ( if in doubt, ask your instructor)
  • altering of assignment results.

Assignments that are judged to be the result of academic dishonesty will, for the student's first offence, be given a mark of zero. The academic dishonesty case will be reported to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies of the student's Home Faculty who may choose to impose additional penalties. In addition, an Offence Record will be established at the dean's office containing all documentation related to this incident. Please be advised that the penalty for a second scholastic offence is typically much more severe.

Tutoring: The role of tutoring is to help students understand course material, not to do most or all of an assignment for the students.

  • Using code or other material written by a tutor is an academic offence; in such a case, the tutor is also committing an academic offence.
  • Having employed the same tutor as another student is not a legitimate defense against an accusation of collusion, should two students hand in assignments judged similar beyond the possibility of coincidence.


Essays and Term Papers

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence. The Western Senate Academic Handbook defines plagiarism as "The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one's own mind." ( Excerpted from H.C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, West Publishing Co., 1979, 5th ed., p. 1035.)

Students must write their essays and term papers in their own words. Whenever you take an idea or a passage of text from another author, you must acknowledge the source both by using quotation marks where appropriate, and by properly attributing it to the author by using a citation or footnotes. For further clarification of what constitutes plagiarism, refer to the paper titled "Collaboration, Plagiarism, and Proper Attribution" by Professor Jamie Andrews. If in doubt, consult with your instructor.

Exams and Tests

Cheating on exams or tests includes (but is not limited to):

  • using unauthorized aids
  • communicating in any way with another student during the exam
  • copying answers of another student
  • altering an exam after it is marked.


Scholastic Offences

All scholastic offences will be reported to the Chair of the Academic Integrity committee of the Department, who will make a final decision on the penalty. The Chair of the Academic Integrity committee will inform the student in writing of the penalty, and also inform the Associate Dean (Academic) of the student's faculty. The Dean may decide on further penalties (such as a grade of F in the course), based on other information available to the Dean.

Students are directed to Scholastic Discipline and Penalties in the Western Academic Calendar, for a description of unacceptable conduct regarding assignments and exams, and a list of other penalties if cheating occurs repeatedly.

Computer Science Department Rules of Ethical Conduct

All students agree to comply with the Computer Science Department Rules of Ethical Conduct when they accept their computer account on Computer Science Department facilities.