Sample Syllabus Language

One method of clearly articulating expectations of acceptable behavior is through the course syllabus.  This document can set the tone and demonstrate your interest in their learning, as well as your commitment to reporting any failure to adhere to your expectations or the Code of Student Conduct.  By describing your particular expectations, you remind and educate the student, and by doing so, reduce the likelihood that they engage in unacceptable behaviors. 


  • Academic misconduct includes behavior that misrepresents a student or group’s work, knowledge, or achievement; provides a potential or actual inequitable advantage; or compromises the integrity of the educational process. Suspected misconduct will be reported to the appropriate hearing authority as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. Findings of responsibility for academic misconduct can result in grade penalties on an assignment or in this course. 
  • Students are encouraged to thoroughly review the course expectations in this syllabus, and to use resources such as office hours, tutoring, and the Academic Success Center to avoid academic misconduct. 
  • Additional information regarding OSU’s academic integrity process can be found in the Code of Student Conduct via the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards

Additional Considerations for syllabus statements

To help prevent misconduct in your class, you might want to think about adding additional information for students in your syllabus outlining your expectations. Consider these questions if your class involves… 

  • Lab Work: Can lab partners work on the lab write-up together? Can students use the same data? 
  • Group Projects: How can group projects be divided among group members? What happens to the rest of the group if one student plagiarizes? 
  • Collaboration: What does acceptable collaboration look like? What would cross the line and become misconduct? 
  • Behavior during exams 
  • Online Assignments: What resources can students utilize (including classmates) for completing online assignments? 
  • Explicitly prohibited or permitted resources: If you are teaching a language class, to what degree do you want student to access online translation tools?  Or in a writing class, do you want students to generate citations exclusively using the APA manual, or is it okay to use a bibliography-generator online to create correct citations?  
  • Computer Coding: How are students allowed to help each other when coding? Can they show other students their code? Can students post their code online? Are students allowed to reference codes outside of lecture and the textbook? 

You should also consider if you have set standards for recommending academic penalties. Some instructors/colleges have a minimum penalty that they would recommend if a student is found responsible for academic misconduct in their class. Would being found responsible of academic misconduct automatically result in failure of the assignment or course? If so, then you can state so in your syllabus*. 

*While the College Hearing Officer has final determination of sanction, you can also set standards for recommended penalties. A College Hearing Officer is likely to support your recommended penalty if you have articulated potential consequences in your syllabus. Work with your College Hearing Officer to align your expectations with the general expectations across your college.