History Department Policies

Academic Integrity

The History Department believes that academic integrity is an essential part of a studentís identity at Burroughs. The Department has crafted a statement on academic honesty that teachers will discuss with, and make available to, their students.


Students should not discuss tests with other students who have not taken them, which includes students in other sections of the same class and students who will take the test at a date and time different from their class. As test questions are the intellectual property of the teacher that wrote them, teachers may require that the questions remain in their possession. Students should only take test questions from the classroom when their teacher allows it. Teachers that retain their test questions will make them available for students to examine at a mutually convenient time, such as when they want to see how they performed in greater detail or when they are studying for exams. Students who miss a test due to an excused absence are encouraged to e-mail their teachers before they return to school to schedule a make-up test.  If that is not possible, students should see their teacher upon their return to school to schedule a make-up test. That test may be in a different format or contain different questions than the test given on the regularly scheduled day.


Students should arrange to complete any homework that they missed due to an excused absence upon their return to school. Failure to do so in a timely manner may result in a deduction on that assignment at the discretion of the teachers. For a missed test, please see the test section. For term papers, please see the term paper section.

Term Papers

Because of the unique nature of the term paper assignment, students should make every effort to ensure that their term papers are handed in on time. Late papers will be penalized. Teachers will inform students of the penalty. Students may discuss taking late penalties to avoid the stress of completing a paper that would not be their best work. Students are encouraged to discuss these situations with their teachers as they arise and to remember that breaches of academic integrity often occur in stressful situations before a major deadline. The History department believes that taking a late penalty is preferable to compromising oneís academic integrity. Please see the Department statement on Assistance with Student Work. In the event of serious and unexpected circumstances that lead to a late paper (a death in the family, a serious and sudden illness, etc.) students should consult with their teacher at the first available opportunity.

Internet Usage

Teachers will explain the allowable internet resources for a research assignment.

Other Classroom Rules

History teachers will cover other rules that pertain to their classes at the start of school. Students should seek to clarify any rules that they do not understand with their teachers.


Consistent with the School's understanding about the importance of honesty within academic endeavors, the History Department has agreed on this policy.

1. Each student does his or her own work, unless instructed by the teacher to collaborate with classmates.

2. For all written work that is handed in for grading, the student acknowledges the source of any help by naming all persons from whom the student received assistance.

3. During quizzes, tests, in-class essays, and examinations the student may use only those sources specified and announced.

4. Plagiarism results when a student passes off as one's own the ideas, words, thoughts, etc., of another; it is the use without credit of the ideas, experiences, productions, or work of someone else; it is an act of intellectual dishonesty.

To avoid plagiarism, a student should

a) use another person's work word for word only when putting the passage in quotation marks;
b) avoid copying key words or phrases from the original when gathering notes; otherwise, one is likely to transfer the same into the paper;
c) identify the author and source of words, ideas, etc. when paraphrasing;
d) acknowledge to the teacher the help received from others who have contributed to one's understanding of or completion of an assignment.

5. A student should use a bibliographic note to acknowledge the source of information, wording, ideas, and/or pattern of organization used in preparing an assignment. The note may be a "parenthetical note", and "end note", or a "footnote". The note should include this information: name of the author, the title of the work, the publisher, the date of publication, and the page where the original was found. Formats and purposes for these notes can be found in the department's Manual for Student Research Projects or in the ALA Handbook available in each history classroom.

6. When the teacher finds evidence of academic dishonesty he or she will talk with the student to assess the situation; the teacher will inform the department head, principal, and advisor If the teacher judges that dishonesty and/or plagiarism occurred, the grade on the work involved is recorded as zero and no make-up work is accepted for it. In serious cases the matter may be referred to the headmaster who may impose further sanctions, according to the Student-Parent Handbook.

Students getting help with assignments and research

Consistent with the "History Department Policy on Academic Honesty" and the Student-Parent Handbook statement under "Homework: Parental Aid and Unfair Advantage," the department affirms that, unless explicitly instructed otherwise, the student should work alone on history assignments. This expectation includes, by way of example, text reading and note making during routine homework, library research, test preparation, and essay writing. Students might ask for clarification of assignments, seek a librarian's advice about using the library, or quiz another student after each has studied for a test. The research paper presents a different set of conditions due to the length of time spent on the assignment, its intellectual complexity, and the extent of the writing. So, the teacher in class may use methods to involve the students with each other in the research and writing process; for example, in the eighth grade the whole class follows an identical schedule and works during the period, sometimes in pairs; in the ninth grade, during the term paper month, the teacher may have students engage in a controlled process of "peer editing". In later grades, we believe the student should work on the paper by one's self in consultation with the teacher. Sometimes the teacher may suggest the student consult a "second reader" whose efforts are limited to reading through the paper and to commenting generally about the flow of writing, the author's assumptions which need to be made explicit, or the theme and its balanced development. The second reader should not locate mistakes nor correct them, should not evaluate the paper, should not suggest better expression or organization, and should not verify the documentation. In all cases, we expect that the student grapple with the intellectual tasks of the assignments and bring the results to class where education occurs with the teacher's instruction and evaluation.