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Collaborative work is vital to the spirit and intellectual life of the University. In some classes, you will be encouraged to collaborate with other students on problem sets, projects or papers. The amount of collaboration will vary from class to class. Find out from your instructor how much collaboration is permitted. The details may be clearly stated in the course handouts. If they are not, ask your instructor to be specific about how much collaboration he or she allows. Make sure you know where to draw the line between collaboration and what could be considered cheating.

The following example shows the collaboration guidelines for one class:

Collaboration Policy for Materials Laboratory ­ Fall Term

In preparing your reports, you are encouraged to discuss your results with your lab mates. Data and figures may be shared between students in your lab group for the purpose of preparing your report, provided proper acknowledgment is made in your reports.

All writing in this class must be original. Students should not copy any portion of their laboratory reports from reference materials or the reports of other students. Students should not use reports from previous years or their lab mates’ reports in preparing their own reports. Materials Laboratory has a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism. Any student caught plagiarizing will receive a grade of zero on the assignment and may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.

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This guide has been adapted from one produced at MIT entitled Academic Integrity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  A Handbook for Students.  We are grateful for their permission to use and revise the work for students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Written by Patricia Brennecke, Lecturer in English Language Studies
Edited by Professor Margery Resnick, Chair of the Committee on Discipline, and Joanne Straggas, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education.  Prepared with the support of Professor Robert P. Redwine, Dean for Undergraduate Education at MIT.

Adapted in Fall 2006 for use by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and published as the Handbook for Students, Ethics and Original Research by Professor Barbara Fuchs, Romance Languages, Dr. James B. Lok, Professor of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Linda Meiberg, graduate student and Karen Lawrence, Assistant Director of Education.

This edition edited, amended and produced by:

The University Honor Council and the
Office of Student Conduct
University of Pennsylvania
Fall 2008