On this page, instructors can find Georgia State University policies on a variety of faculty responsibilities, such as processing grades, withdrawals, and incompletes. In addition, information from the faculty handbook is included here to give instructors and students policies governing registration, academic honesty, attendance, grading system, and student behavior.

Index: Academic Honesty, Change of Grade, Class Rolls, Disruptive Student Behavior, Grade Appeals, Grading System, IncompletesRecord Keeping, Registration Adjustment Procedures, Reporting of Grades, Roll Verification, Student Attendance

Academic Honesty

Procedures for Reporting Incidents of Plagiarism

1.  Notify the student of the offence in writing using the email template provided: Plagiarism Email Template

2.  Fill out the plagiarism form and include:  email, syllabus, assignment sheet, and annotated/highlighted paper.

3.  Choose one of the following as the Academic penalty:  1. No grade and a rewrite of the assignment, 2.  A revision of the paper for an adjusted grade, or 3. A zero for the paper.

4.  Hand in the plagiarism form and supporting material to the LDS office. Andrea Jurjević will review paperwork and forward to the Dean’s office.

Additional Information on Academic Honesty (section 409 of faculty handbook):

The University expects students and faculty to be academically honest, and it expects faculty members to communicate expectations to students in their syllabi. See the definitions below.

Definitions and Examples of Academic Honesty
The examples and definitions given below are intended to clarify the standards by which academic honesty and academically honorable conduct are to be judged. The list is merely illustrative of the kinds of infractions that may occur, and it is not intended to be exhaustive. Moreover, the definitions and examples suggest conditions under which unacceptable behavior of the indicated types normally occurs; however, there may be unusual cases that fall outside these conditions which also will be judged unacceptable by the academic community.

A. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is presenting another person’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism includes any paraphrasing or summarizing of the works of another person without acknowledgment, including the submitting of another student’s work as one’s own. Plagiarism frequently involves a failure to acknowledge in the text, notes, or footnotes the quotation of the paragraphs, sentences, or even a few phrases written or spoken by someone else. The submission of research or completed papers or projects by someone else is plagiarism, as is the unacknowledged use of research sources gathered by someone else when that use is specifically forbidden by the faculty member. Failure to indicate the extent and nature of one’s reliance on other sources is also a form of plagiarism. Any work, in whole or in part, taken from the Internet or other computer-based resource without properly referencing the source (for example, the URL) is considered plagiarism. A complete reference is required in order that all parties may locate and view the original source. Finally, there may be forms of plagiarism that are unique to an individual discipline or course, examples of which should be provided in advance by the faculty member. The student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources, the appropriate ways of acknowledging academic, scholarly or creative indebtedness, and the consequences of violating this responsibility.
B. Cheating on Examinations: Cheating on examinations involves giving or receiving unauthorized help before, during, or after an examination. Examples of unauthorized help include the use of notes, computer based resources, texts, or “crib sheets” during an examination (unless specifically approved by the faculty member), or sharing information with another student during an examination (unless specifically approved by the faculty member). Other examples include intentionally allowing another student to view one’s own examination and collaboration before or after an examination if such collaboration is specifically forbidden by the faculty member.
C. Unauthorized Collaboration: Submission for academic credit of a work product, or a part thereof, represented as its being one’s own effort, which has been developed in substantial collaboration with another person or source, or computer-based resource, is a violation of academic honesty. It is also a violation of academic honesty knowingly to provide such assistance. Collaborative work specifically authorized by a faculty member is allowed.
D. Falsification: It is a violation of academic honesty to misrepresent material or fabricate information in an academic exercise, assignment or proceeding (e.g., false or misleading citation of sources, the falsification of the results of experiments or of computer data, false or misleading information in an academic context in order to gain an unfair advantage).
E. Multiple Submissions: It is a violation of academic honesty to submit substantial portions of the same work for credit more than once without the explicit consent of the faculty member(s) to whom the material is submitted for additional credit. In cases in which there is a natural development of research or knowledge in a sequence of courses, use of prior work may be desirable, even required; however the student is responsible for indicating in writing, as a part of such use, that the current work submitted for credit is cumulative in nature.

Plagiarism in Writing Courses

As writing instructors, our specialty is language and language philosophy. We’re experts on teaching students how to write from sources. Thus, as you’re including the University’s plagiarism policy in your syllabus, consider elaborating on it for your coursework. Explain specific types of plagiarism likely to occur as students work through assignments; help students know that you’ll teach them the skills they need to write from sources. At the same time, think about what you’ll do if students plagiarize and specify these policies. For example, will you require a re-write of a rough draft that has insufficient citation or will you fail the paper? If a student turns in a final paper he didn’t write, will you fail that paper or fail him for the semester? What if a student leaves out some sources from her Works Cited list? What if a student follows a source too closely in a final draft (stylistic plagiarism or patch-writing)? Do all cases of mishandling sources and plagiarism earn the same penalty? If so, what is it? Think through these issues beforehand and consider including your policies in your syllabus so that you can consistently and fairly encourage students to write from sources effectively and ethically.

Suggested text regarding Academic Honesty for your syllabi:
Plagiarism ranks high in the pantheon of bad ideas. Its stigma follows students throughout their academic careers. Plagiarism essentially means handing in something you didn’t write, and it can be long or short, from an entire paper to a catchy phrase. It takes many forms. All of these are relatively easy to learn with a little effort and attention. The worst thing about plagiarism? It reveals that a person has no passion, no ideas of his/her own.

Georgia State University defines plagiarism as . . .
“ . . . any paraphrasing or summarizing of the works of another person without acknowledgment, including the submitting of another student’s work as one’s own . . . [It] frequently involves a failure to acknowledge in the text . . . the quotation of paragraphs, sentences, or even phrases written by someone else.” At GSU, “the student is responsible for understanding the legitimate use of sources . . . and the consequences of violating this responsibility.”

See also The Purdue OWL’s in-depth look at plagiarism:

Change of Grade

If an instructor would like to make a simple change of grade or submit a grade following the completion of an incomplete, the instructor should complete a grade change request through PAWS. The link can be accessed on the Faculty page of GoSOLAR. See the Grade Change Request Guide for more detailed instructions.

Class Rolls

Instructors get class rolls by logging in to GoSolar and printing them out ( You should verify these at the beginning of each semester (by the end of the second week) and again at midpoint. We can no longer add or drop students at the end of the semester, so verify rolls early. Some instructors use these printouts all semester long to record attendance. Others use grade books, available in the workroom (or ask Harper Strom). There is a way to setup an attendance register within iCollege, and there are several, free attendance trackers available online. Devise a consistent way to record attendance. Even if you don’t require attendance, keep a record because sometimes the registrar’s office or student accounts office needs this information.

Disruptive Student Behavior

(Section 401.08 of faculty handbook):

Every student has the right to a safe, comfortable learning environment. As instructors, we create this environment in our classes by communicating our expectations to students. We should model respect, friendliness, enthusiasm, and professional decorum. Doing so eliminates most “disruptive student behavior.” There are, however, some students who don’t understand or who choose not to abide by classroom decorum. In these cases, simply explain to students privately (before or after class) what your expectations are. Some instructors include specific behavioral expectations in their syllabi (turning off cell phones, for example). Consider this option, but realize that your syllabus should be as positive and inviting as possible. If you’d like to discuss any issues you’re having, feel free to see Dr. Harker or contact Andrea Jurjević. Note the full policy in the handbook, but the website explains the following expectations for behavior:

“Disruptive student behavior is student behavior in a classroom or other learning environment (to include both on and off campus locations), which disrupts the educational process.  Disruptive class* behavior for this purpose is defined by the instructor.  Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, verbal or physical threats, repeated obscenities, unreasonable interference with class discussion, making/receiving personal phone calls or pages during class, leaving and entering class frequently in the absence of notice to instructor of illness or other extenuating circumstances, and persisting in disruptive personal conversations with other class members.  For purposes of this policy, it may also be considered disruptive behavior for a student to exhibit threatening, intimidating, or other inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates outside of class.”

The Faculty Handbook recommends warning the student about the behavior, and if that method fails to elicit the desired result, to send the student out of class. If there is a danger to the instructor, the student, or the other students in class, the instructor should contact the GSU Police. Finally, the Ombudsperson, Dr. Valerie I. Fennell, is also a resource to help resolve conflict, whether in or out of class.

Grade Appeals

Please be sure to keep complete and accurate records and please make sure that your syllabus is complete and clear. These documents are a tremendous help during the appeals process. Also, if you have an issue concerning a student, be sure to forward email or written correspondence to Dr. Harker or Andrea Jurjević.

Grading System

(Section 403.01 of faculty handbook):

Devise a consistent, fair, and manageable grading policy. Make your expectations as clear as possible and keep accurate records. Consider making all your grades based on a written product rather than something subjective like “participation” (unless you’ve specified freewriting, notetaking, completing peer review sheets, etc., as participation). Many instructors use “classwork” to include these kinds of activities. Please note: participation, regardless of how it is defined, should not count for more than 10% of the final course grade.

At the end of the semester, letter grades A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F should be recorded for each student. However, only grades A through C are considered passing in 1101, 1102, and 1103. Any student in Lower Division who received a grade of C- will be required to take the course over. A C- is equivalent to a 1.7 grade point, and students must have a 2.0 grade point from our classes to proceed to the next level of courses. Therefore, we will not award grades of C- in our courses, as these are tremendously confusing for students. If you think the student’s writing indicates that she needs to retake one of our courses, give the student a D or F. We will discuss this more in our conferences. See below for policies on incompletes (“I”). You may also give a “W” if the student withdraws before the midpoint. Students usually receive a “WF” for withdrawing after the midpoint, which counts as an “F” in their GPA.


Receiving an Incomplete: The notation of I may be given to a student who, for nonacademic reasons beyond his or her control, is unable to meet the full requirements of a course. In order to qualify for an “I”, a student must:
Have completed most of the major assignments of the course (generally all but one); and
Be earning a passing grade in the course (aside from the assignments not completed) in the judgment of the instructor.
When a student has a nonacademic reason for not completing one or more of the assignments for a course, including examinations, and wishes to receive an incomplete for the course, it is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor in person or in writing of the reason. A grade of incomplete is awarded at the discretion of the instructor and is not the prerogative of the student. Conditions to be met for removing a grade of incomplete are established by the instructor.

Please use the Lower Division Studies form and procedural instructions:

All GTAs should include an Incomplete policy on their syllabi. Use the text below as a standard definition of our program’s policy.

Receiving a grade of “incomplete” – in order to receive an incomplete, a student must inform the instructor, either in person or in writing, of his/her inability (non-academic reasons) to complete the requirements of the course.  Incompletes will be assigned at the instructor’s discretion (if you have specific criteria for assigning incompletes, put them here)and the terms for removal of the “I” are dictated by the instructor.  A grade of incomplete will only be considered for students who are a) passing the course with a C or better, b) present a legitimate, non-academic reason to the instructor, and c) have only one major assignment left to finish.

Important Things to Remember
If a student receives a “W” or “WF,” he or she is still responsible for paying for the course (unless called to active military duty).
You cannot change an “F” back to an “I.” You can, however, change the F to a different letter grade if the student completes the work.
Effective Fall 2003, no student can graduate with an incomplete on his or her record.
All requests for withdrawals, grade changes, or incompletes must be sent from a GSU email address.

Record Keeping

We strongly suggest that you keep careful records of your grades and dealings with students each semester (and for a semester or two beyond). Some instructors keep a file for each class or each semester and file all emails, notes on conversations, etc., as they happen in case there’s a need to recollect events. This file provides a record of interactions in case you have grade appeals, student complaints, attendance challenges, etc. You should also keep a copy of any paper a student turns in that you think was plagiarized in case you need it. Plagiarized papers should be immediately reported to Andrea Jurjević using the Department of English Internal Plagiarism form on the LDS website:

Registration Adjustment Procedures

Guidelines for Administrative Registration Adjustment Requests:

(Second-Fourth week of the Semester) 

Student is attending class, but is not listed on the official class roll.

    • You may use the Online Registration Adjustment Request System in PAWS to request the ADD  to the student’s schedule.  A course add is at the discretion of the instructor and the academic department. Note: Students who are not officially added to a course should not be allowed to attend and/or participate in the course.
    • Important: When adding a course to a student’s course schedule, factors such as space availability, health and safety regulations, course requirements (GPA, prerequisites, etc.) and the student’s course-load limit must be considered before submitting the request.

Student stopped attending at some point after the first week of classes.

    • You may use the Online Registration Adjustment Request System in PAWS to request a  WITHDRAWAL – not a drop.  This is to ensure accurate reporting on the official transcript and in accordance with federal regulations governing financial aid.   Requesting a withdrawal on behalf of a student is at the discretion of the instructor and the academic department.
    • Note: Students may withdraw themselves from courses using the online registration system in PAWS any time until the midpoint of the semester.
    • A grade of W or WF must be assigned. The withdrawn grade will be based on the student’s status (undergraduate or graduate) and the established course withdrawal policies for undergraduate and graduate students. (see Catalog)

Student has never attended the course. 

    • You may use the Online Registration Adjustment Request System in PAWS to request a DROP. 
    • This is to ensure accurate reporting on the official transcript and in accordance with federal requirements governing financial aid. When dropping a course from a student’s course registration schedule, the course and grade will not be recorded. Important:  A student should only be dropped from a course due to Nonattendance; Course requirements not met (GPA, prerequisites, etc.), late entry of transfer credit (course taken at a previous institution); or University error (the error must be explained).

It is important that these guidelines are followed to ensure accurate reporting on the student’s official transcript and to remain in compliance with federal requirements governing financial aid.

For complete instructions on how to submit an Administrative Registration Adjustment Request, please visit:

Reporting of Grades

(Section 403.02 of faculty handbook):

Grades are reported through GoSolar; follow departmental deadlines that will be given during the semester. Generally the English department needs you to report your grades before the University deadline in order to ensure they are posted in time. The University considers student grades to be private information and prohibits the posting of grades by name or social security number on bulletin boards or office doors. A faculty member may permit a student to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope for early receipt of a grade. This policy is derived from the institution’s interpretation of the Family Rights and Privacy Act (see Appendices V and W). In addition, graded essays should not be left in office door boxes or mailboxes where other students can access them.

Roll Verification

As an instructor of record, it is your responsibility to verify your class rolls at the beginning of the semester, prior to the midpoint, and a few weeks before grades are due. Students whose names are dropped from your roster are not allowed to attend class until they have gone to the Office of the Registrar and been re-instated.

Student Attendance

(Section 401.03 of faculty handbook):

Writing is a skill that improves with practice and feedback, so many instructors require attendance for their classes and plan effective classroom activities that reinforce this requirement. Decide on a policy, put it in your syllabus, and enforce it consistently. If you decide to count attendance, keep meticulous records. The Faculty Handbook states the following policy on attendance:
The resources of the university are provided for the intellectual growth and development of its students; it is expected that students attend class regularly. “Attendance” means following the specific requirements for attendance including requirements for the frequency and kind of participation by designated channels. There are two formal institutional regulations regarding class attendance: Veterans’ attendance policy, delineated below; and Regents’ Test Preparation course attendance policy (see current Catalog).

All matters related to student absences, including the making up of work missed, are to be arranged between the student and the professor. All professors will, at the beginning of each term, make a clear statement to all their classes in the syllabus their policies for handling absences. Professors will also be responsible for counseling with their students regarding the academic consequences of absences from their classes or laboratories. Students are obligated to adhere to the requirements of each course and of each course professor.

If a faculty member wishes to withdraw a student from the course for exceeding the established absence policy, the faculty member should originate a “Withdrawal Form” (available from the Office of Academic Assistance and from the Registrar), and indicate in the space provided that the student violated the absence policy for the course. The completed form should be forwarded to the departmental chairman’s office. Students must be present for announced quizzes, laboratory periods, or final examinations unless the reasons for the absences are acceptable to the professors concerned. Faculty are strongly encouraged to take into consideration whether a short-term absence results from participation in university business, from attendance at recognized religious holidays of the student’s faith, from summons to jury duty, or from similar compelling reasons for absence. Faculty should make students aware of the academic consequences of their absences.