Note: Please read carefully.

Academic Honesty Is Encouraged

The College of Business and Economics is becoming increasingly concerned about the need for academic honesty. Therefore, the College is encouraging business classes to have their students certify on every paper, project, case, and homework report the following phrases as well as date and sign with initials. I would encourage you to place this first statement explained in the indented illustration about five spaces below the Attachments in your memos and e-mails. For other assignments you may want a separate page. The statement you must include on every written assignment involves:

"I verify that this paper contains entirely my own work. I have not consulted with any outside person or materials other than what was specified (an interviewee, for example) in the assignment or the syllabus requirements. Further, I have not copied or inadvertently copied ideas, sentences, or paragraphs from another student. I realize the penalties for any kind of copying or collaboration on any assignment."
On every paper in this class I would like you to skip a few lines after the Attachment notation or the closing paragraph lines and keyboard the previous certification every time an assignment is turned in. Penalities will, unfortunately, be assessed if the initials and date are not included on every assignment turned in. I will ask for you to do it as well on certain in-class assignments from time to time. For the analytical report and related assignments I will ask you to keyboard the following statement as well:

"I verify that this paper contains entirely my own work, and that any sources have been properly referenced and not thought of late at night (my addition)."

It is too bad we have to increase the keyboarded lines to bring home the issue of academic honesty. Perhaps, such certification indicates the state of our society. Even such a prestigious institution as the University of Maryland is requiring its students to certify each assignment as part of the honor code.

Also, the student is responsible for all "Standards for Student Conduct," as explained on p. 24 of the Schedule of Classes, Fall, 2006.

Inadvertent Plagiarism Can Hurt, Too

We already know about plagiarism as using someone else's words without permission. As a professor I am quite concerned about the so-called inadvertent plagiarism that enters a student's head. For example, a student copies some sentences from an example in the Syllabus. Why can't the students use their own words? Why do the students have to rely on someone else's thoughts? When you are tempted to copy thoughts from the textbooks or the Syllabus, think twice. Those are not your thoughts. You may have taken the easy route to finishing the assignment. The penalty could be harsh.

Other inadvertent plagiarisms also occur. Suppose you are delayed in turning in your assignment. You manage to barely get it done before the class starts. You have copied some sentences for the assignment from a friend. You don't worry about it, because you have completed the assignment barely on time. Unfortunately, the professor alertly catches the same copying of the same sentences. Both you and your friend are now in deep trouble. You will be accused of copying, and your friend will be accused of aiding and abetting your copying. Be more aware of your thoughts, not your neighbor's or your friend's thoughts. Even copying the exact wording of the assignment can be suspiciously looked upon. You may receive a severe penalty for not using your own words. Can't you paraphrase the words and not use the exact wording? You were late with the previous assignment; you may have to take the penalty for not coming up with your own wording. When in doubt, don't even try to plagiarize. Just use your own thoughts and learn from them.

Late Work Is Not Accepted

Late work cannot be turned in. However, a typed memo explaining persuasively why the work has been delayed will be considered. The situation will be judged on a case-by-case basis. Please do not use the phrase, "It will never happen again," to explain the problem. I have to decide whether the memo is persuasive. After all, habitual late work reflects a certain attitude. This attitude may even affect the final course grade. When late work is turned in, please place the work and typed memo in a red file folder for easy identifying. Write the class period and your name on the folder. Homework and missed in-class assignments also have to be placed in a red file folder. Handwritten memos will not be accepted. Late work will not be accepted, except for one assignment during the semester . Do not burn that opportunity early by turning in an assignment that didn't require an emergency. Two weeks after the assignment is given will be allowed if the late excuse is legitimate for severe illness, as determined by the instructor. You may not turn in a late assignment at the end of the semester.

If you want report-related assignments looked at, you must make an appointment and bring the typed reason for lateness, along with the assignment, to my office. A grade will not necessarily be awarded.

Two whole grades will be deducted from the content score (top line) for assignments turned in without all the parts, or at least four points deducted on the top line for not following directions. Parts include notes, assignment sections, and attachments. One point will be added to content score for all parts correctly turned in the first time. These point values will occur only for a certain time, as determined by the instructor. You may be asked to redo part of the assignment even though you handed in some parts on time.

Class Participation Is Encouraged

Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked. You are responsible for asking any questions before an assignment is due. Blaming the professor for your shortcomings is not good business.

Reading the Course Outline and Assignment Sheets

You are responsible for any handout or portion of the course syllabus. Please read the fine print on the entire course outline and syllabus, including the NOTES and POLICIES weeks ahead, before beginning any assignment. You need to always think ahead.

Pending Folder Requires Effort

The word, pending, on a student's paper means several problems. First, the student may have omitted part of the assignment listed on the course outline. Second, the student may have incorrectly prepared part of the assignment. Third, the student may have been absent and incorrectly interpreted part of the directions. Fourth, the student may have made so many errors that the assignment is not worth grading. At any rate, please redo the portion of the assignment needing improvement for the next class period.

You are given until the next class period to remove the "pending." Pendings can also lower grades if delayed. Pending work has to be turned in a blue folder, not a green or near blue. I will only award a pending if the work warrants being done again.

Attitude Needs Checking

Of course, business writing is difficult work. However, you have the talent and the drive to do well in this class. I am talking about your success in business, and that is the most important subject in your life. Zig Ziglar's famous book, Secrets of Closing the Sale, suggests we should not forget to ask for the order, in sales parlance. I am asking "for your order" to do well in this class.

Please come to my office to visit and to ask for help. If you can't find a time according to my schedule, we will make a reasonable time, according to your schedule. Please come to the office, wherever it may be, especially the first weeks, and just visit. You don't even need to bring your books. Many students wait until the end of the semester to visit when it is too late and the score is suffering. Certain students even "buck" the assignments and refuse to do the work until the end of the semester. The faculty is here to help, but we need your cooperation.

Presentation Needs Finishing Touches

When you finish your presentation, please turn in immediately the three major points, opening and closing remarks. You may turn in your transparencies or PowerPoint slides if you prefer, as long as those slides or transparencies reflect what was previously mentioned. A set of PowerPoint handouts (three to a page, e.g.) for the instructor is required, regardless.

By not turning in these required materials, you run the risk of reducing your presentation grade by one half. Please try to follow instructions.

Appropriate Class Demeanor Is Expected

Problems of class demeanor are best handled in the privacy of the professor's office.

Homework and In-Class Assignments Provide Growth

From time to time you will be asked to prepare handwritten assignments designed to assist your learning. Also, you may be asked to prepare assignments not listed on the syllabus. You should not resent these assignments; instead, they should be treated as growth. Learning does not always come as a capsule in the syllabus.

Please let me know if you have any concerns.

Paying Attention to Directions Works, Too

During any semester certain students sit aghast at noting they did not follow directions when receiving a paper back. How could this problem be solved? Consider these hints:

  1. Did you ask the professor any questions during the class period?
  2. Did you write notes in your syllabus about what was requested for the written assignment?
  3. If the professor asks for the upper right-hand corner for something to be written, did you write in the left-hand corner?
  4. Did you have your own checklist of what parts were required on the assignment?
  5. Did you underline in your syllabus certain requirements for a written assignment?
  6. Did you listen to both oral instructions and read carefully written instructions?
  7. Did you write an e-mail to the professor long before the assignment to clarify any ambiguities without asking foolish questions?
If one point could be emphasized more each semester, it would be the following of instructions. More students get into trouble and lose points because of not following instructions. It is something your future or current employer expects you to do. In certain occupations and professions, it is the difference between life and death. Following instructions shows a professional attitude toward the work. It also indicates the student is responsible for actions and consequences of following directions. When in doubt, think it out.

Note: Check the Web constantly for any updates of any assignments or the syllabus.

Don't forget to check out the home page for further assistance.

Last updated: Thursday, May 25, 2006