Research Practices

The purpose of school is to learn. That means that you have to try to answer questions or solve problems based on what you know and can do. Unless told to collaborate, you should take full responsibility for what you hand in and work to be sure that the work represents what you can know and do.  Passing off work that is not your own is being dishonest with yourself and with your teacher about what you know and can do. Your teacher can’t help you improve if you aren’t being academically honest. You are responsible for understanding and avoiding the following types of academic dishonesty.

Common Examples of Academic Dishonesty

Cheating on assessments

  • Using unauthorized notes or sources during an assessment
  • Looking at a classmate’s quiz or test during an assessment or before an assessment
  • Telling a later class about the contents of an assessment

Improper use of sources

  • Copying text and images from a website, article, or other source
  • Using ideas from any source in your work without accurately citing it
  • Using an online compilation to find quotes
  • Not putting quotation marks around a direct quote
  • Not citing the source of a direct quote that you are using

Copying and sharing work

  • Copying a someone else’s work and pretending it is your own
  • Sharing your work with a classmate so that they may copy it and pretend it is their own

Unauthorized collaboration

  • Working together on independent assignments
  • Allowing someone else to edit your work directly to improve it beyond your ability


  • Submitting the same assignment multiple times or in multiple classes

Avoiding Academic Dishonesty

The easiest way to do this is to do your own work, think for yourself, and keep your eyes on your own papers.

Plan ahead: Give yourself enough time to complete your work, and you don’t have to deal with a level of stress that would lead you into temptation.

Say no: If someone asks you for a copy of your work or to see what you did on an assignment, say no, and don’t share your work with peers or siblings unless you are told to do so by the teacher. 

Keep organized notes: Attach a citation to any information you take from an outside source. When you take words directly from a source, put them in quotation marks as well as citing them in your notes so that in the future you know that these aren’t your words. Plagiarism can be a result of poor note-taking, but it is still plagiarism.

Know the types of academic dishonesty: “Accidental” plagiarism is still plagiarism. “Unintentional” cheating is still cheating. You are responsible for the integrity of your work. Ask your teacher if you aren’t sure whether something is acceptable before you hand it in.

Attribution: Students are expected to regularly provide attribution for their sources, and all work that is research-based must be accompanied by either a bibliography or a works cited page at the discretion of the instructor. There are numerous citation methodologies used by the Social Sciences, some specific to discipline and others more generalized.  As the methodology with the greatest applicability to the disciplines in the social sciences, the department requires students to follow the guidelines described in Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations, Eighth Edition. 

An on-line formatting helper is linked up here, for those wishing to make use of it. A quick guide to the formatting of different types of sources, both as footnotes or as bibliographic citations has been made by the BHS Librarian, and is linked up here. BHS makes use of Noodle Tools to help students with all aspects of the research process, and students are required to have an account to help them with this process in all of our classes. Lastly, for those who are curious, the Purdue Online Writing Lab has a good side-by-side comparison of the differences in formatting between the MLA and Chicago styles, and that is linked up here.


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