Managing your Academic Workload

The Mason Honor Code

What is the Mason Honor Code and what are common violations?

Time Management and Academic Dishonesty

Time management is "the ability to use one's time effectively or productively, especially at work."  Having good time management skills are crucial to avoid incidents of academic dishonesty (honor code violations)!
 
Before we explore strategies to improve your time management, let's first take a closer look at the Mason Honor Code and academic dishonesty.
 

What is an Honor Code?

Honor is a timeless concept that crosses nations, languages and cultures.  Each group of people has its own ways of promoting, protecting and defending their honor.  American universities have established very specific organizations and processes in promoting honor as it applies to academic studies and in dealing with both accusations and defense against those accusations.  George Mason University has an Honor Code and an Honor Committee. 

The Mason Honor Code

To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, trust, and fairness among all members of the Mason community, and with the desire for greater academic and personal achievement, we, the student members of the university community, have set forth this honor code:

Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat, plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work.

To learn more about the Mason Honor Code and how Mason defines cheating, plagiarizing, stealing, and lying, go to Academic Integrity website (http://oai.gmu.edu/)

The Mason Honor Committee

The role of the Honor Committee is to provide education around issues of academic integrity, provide support for students and faculty, and hear cases of academic dishonesty as they arise.

The Honor Committee at Mason is comprised of faculty members and students.  Faculty and/or Administrative faculty typical serve on committees involving graduate students.  All Honor Committee members are trained prior to serving at a hearing and are bound by confidentiality.  For any given hearing, we ensure that the referred student does not know any of the panel members (or vice versa) so that a fair and impartial proceeding can take place.

To learn more about the Mason Honor Committee, go to http://oai.gmu.edu

Most Common Violations

In this video, Dr. LaShonda Anthony, Director of Academic Integrity, reviews the most common types of honor code violations at George Mason University and where to get help when you are unsure.  For additional educational resources, go to the website of the Office of Academic Integrity.

Writing Style Guide

Students are encouraged to rent or purchase a writing style manual and guide (see image above). The guide shows you how to cite correctly and also how to improve your writing. If you are not sure what writing style (APA, MLA, Chicago) you should use, check your syllabus or talk to your professor.

Examples of cheating, plagiarizing, stealing, or lying

Performed by Ekta and Vinay

Cheating

In this video, Vinay and Ekta talk about cheating as it relates to academic work.

Learn more about cheating

The website of the Office of Academic Integrity has a list with definitions of Cheating. However, please know that the definitions are also interpreted by the professor(s), meaning that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Using or possessing any unauthorized material/assistance in any academic work
  • Submitting a paper submitted for another class
  • Using cell phones, calculators, notes during an exam
  • Obtaining help or information from a friend/classmate without permission
  • Accessing sources/information during an on-line exam/quiz
  • Giving help or information/work to a friend/classmate
  • Having someone use your iClicker
  • Signing-in for another classmate or friend
  • Purchasing or attempting to purchase an essay/assignment/code/answers
  • Using your previous course work and/or old exams
  • Sharing work even after the semester is over

If you are not sure:

  • Talk to your professor
  • Visit the Office of Academic Integrity in SUB I, suite 4100 (across from OIPS)

Plagiarizing

In this video, Vinay and Ekta talk about plagiarizing as it relates to academic work.

Learn more about plagiarizing

The website of the Office of Academic Integrity has a list with definitions of Plagiarism.  However, please know that the definitions are also interpreted by the professor(s), meaning that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Cutting and pasting from other sources
  • Improper and/or lack of proper citations
  • Using someone’s ideas, thoughts and/or words without citing
  • Using poor paraphrasing
  • Submitting someone else’s work as your own
  • Copying word for word without citing
  • Submitting the wrong document
For more comprehensive information on understanding plagiarism and how to avoid it, click here.

If you are not sure:

Lying

In this video, Vinay and Ekta talk about Lying how it relates to academic work. 

Learn more about Lying

The website of the Office of Academic Integrity has a list with definitions of Lying.  However, please know that the definitions are also interpreted by the professor(s), meaning that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Making up sources, data, information and etc.
  • Giving a false excuse for missing class or a test
  • Telling a professor or TA false information

Resources:

Stealing

In this video, Vinay and Ekta talk about stealing as it relates to academic work.

Learn more about stealing

The website of the Office of Academic Integrity has a list with definitions of Stealing.  However, please know that the definitions are also interpreted by the professor(s), meaning that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Removing an exam from the classroom
  • Taking pictures of the exam and/or academic work
  • Taking someone’s work without their knowledge

Resources:

Tips from Faculty

During your first class, the professor will review the course syllabus. A syllabus is your guide to a course and what will be expected of you in the course. It will include course policies, rules and regulations, and a schedule of weekly readings and assignments. In this section, a faculty member and a student will share WHY you should read the syllabus.

Read the Syllabus!

In this video, Lance Schmeidler explains why you should read the syllabus. In short, a syllabus is a handout with "the rules that govern the work in the course." If you do not understand the "rules that govern the work in the course," you may not be able complete your assignments as requested or by the deadline. If you have any questions about the learning objectives, readings. assignments, grading styles, etc., don't hesitate to ask your professor. If you do not ask any questions, the professor will assume you understand the "rules that govern the work in the course."

Marco’s Story

In this video, Marco shares what happened when he failed to read the course syllabus carefully.

Tips from Students

In this section, current students share tips about time management. Habib sets priorities and uses a calendar whereas Vinay closely works together with his professor or TA (teaching assistant) to make sure he can meet the assignment deadlines.

Habib’s Story

In this video, Habib talks about setting priorities and using a calendar to balance study/work/life.

Vinay’s Story

In this video, Vinay talks about what steps he takes when he is not sure about an assignment.  He reaches out via email to his professor or TA (teaching assistant) to resolve his issue and to make sure he can continue working on his assignments.

BALANCING STUDY/WORK/LIFE

Many students join the gym to balance work/life/study. Membership is FREE for full-time students!

A Tour of the RAC

In this interactive video, Melanie gives a tour of the Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC).  Encompassing 120,000 square feet, the RAC boasts three gymnasiums, racquetball courts, squash courts, and a two story fitness gallery.

Student Access for New Students Starting in Fall:
Between August 16th and December 31st of each year, Mason Recreation’s access system is based on student enrollment for the Fall academic term. This means that a student who is enrolled for Fall classes and has an active time-status of FT (Full-Time), can access the Mason Recreation facilities between August 16th and December 31st free of charge.

Student Access for New Students Starting in Spring:
Between January 1st and May 15th of each year, Mason Recreation’s access system is based on student enrollment for the Spring academic term. This means that a student who is enrolled for Spring classes and has an active time-status of FT (Full-Time), can access the Mason Recreation facilities between January 1st and May 15th free of charge.

Explore Mason Recreation Facilities

Click on the green circles to learn more about the various Mason Recreation facilities located at the Fairfax campus.

Test your Knowledge!

You can find a complete list of Club Sports at https://recreation.gmu.edu/club-sports/

University Libraries: More than just a Room with Books!

The University Libraries offers a variety of services to students. Many international students tell us that "I wish someone had told me about this program or service offered by the University Libraries. I would not have struggled so much with my assignments!" We encourage you to explore the University Libraries services and to visit Fenwick library or JC library upon your arrival at Mason.

An Overview

In this video, Mika Endo talks about the University Libraries.

Study Rooms

In this video, Vinay talks about studying at the library. Mason students can reserve a study room to work quietly or to work on group project with other students. To learn more about study room reservations, go to http://library.gmu.edu/use/study-rooms

Free Textbooks

In this video, Ekta talks about using free online books from library.gmu.edu.  Depending on your college and major, many of your required readings might be available online at library.gmu.edu - at no cost.  If your required readings are not available online, you can rent or buy the book(s) from the Mason Book Store.  

Important links:

InterLibrary Loan

In this video, Nithin talks about "InterLibrary Loan" services. InterLibrary Loan Services (ILL) assist Mason students, faculty and staff in obtaining needed research and teaching resources not available from the University Libraries or the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) libraries. To learn more about InterLibrary Loan, go to http://library.gmu.edu/use/ill/faqs.

Ask a Librarian

Did you know that the subject specialist librarians can help you with your research?  

The subject specialist librarians can help with your research questions. Consult the Subject Librarians list for contact information to schedule an appointment. Research specialists for datamedia, and publishing are also available to meet by appointment.

You can ask for assistance:

  • in person
  • by virtual reference
  • by TXT
  • by phone
  • by appointment
  • via email

To learn more, go to http://library.gmu.edu/ask

Workshops and Rosetta Stone

The University Libraries offer a variety of workshops for students, faculty, and staff on all Mason campuses. There are many workshops available, but some are scheduled only when there are requests. The University Libraries will also schedule and customize workshops to meet the needs of small groups. Some library specialists will also schedule individual consultations. 

Recommended workshops:

  • Grad Students’ Guide to the Libraries: Get an introduction to library resources and services in your graduate field of study.
  • Undergraduate Students' Guide to the Libraries: Get an introduction to library resources and services in your undergraduate field of study.
  • Zotero: Zotero is an open source citation management software program. Learn how to capture and organize your sources and create citations.

In Fall and Spring University Libraries offers customized workshops for new international students. If you are interested in joining a workshop, contact Elena Landry at elandry@gmu.edu.

To review ALL available workshops, go to http://library.gmu.edu/workshops

NEW -- The University now offers Rosetta Stone for FREE to all current Mason students, staff, and faculty!  Mason Libraries offer 24/7 online access to Rosetta Stone ®, the premier software for language learning. Acquire a new language or brush up your skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening as well as grammar and vocabulary. Thirty languages available: Arabic. Chinese (Mandarin). Dari. Dutch. English (American). English (British). Filipino (Tagalog). French. German. Greek. Hebrew. Hindi. Indonesian. Irish. Italian. Japanese. Korean. Latin. Pashto. Persian (Farsi). Polish. Portuguese (Brazil). Russian. Spanish (Latin America). Spanish (Spain). Swahili. Swedish. Turkish. Urdu. Vietnamese.

To learn more about Rosetta Stone, go to http://library.gmu.edu/use/tech/rosetta