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Ethical dilemmas

Sometimes you may face difficult situations that present an ethical dilemma. It's important that you make ethical decisions that support you and don't compromise your integrity. If you're unsure about the right course of action to take, see Tutorial 4 of this module for where to get help.

Below are some ethical dilemmas for you to consider. Read each of the four scenarios and select the most ethical response from the options provided.

You've been working on a group project and the group's report is due tomorrow. You've finished your section but the others haven't finished theirs. Now they're expecting you to help them write up their sections. While you'll be assessed individually for each of your sections, you'll also receive an overall group mark. You don't want the group to lose marks. Do you:

  1. Tell them to give you what they've written so far and you finish off their sections?
  2. Tell them what to include in their sections of the report, but make sure they write it up themselves?
  3. Agree to go through their sections with them but explain that it's their responsibility to do the work themselves?

You've found a really good image on the internet for your next assignment. It's copyright-free and there's no author listed. Do you:

  1. Include it anyway, without a reference?
  2. Ask a librarian about how to reference it correctly in your assignment?
  3. Not include it in your assignment?

A friend who gets good marks has offered to check your work before you submit your assignment. Do you:

  1. Take up their offer and ask them to correct any mistakes they find?
  2. Read through your assignment with them but correct your own mistakes?
  3. Refuse their offer?

Your assignment is due tomorrow but you've only done the first part of it. Usually you're well-organised but last week you had the flu and couldn't do any work for three days. You know your tutor won't give you an extension at this late stage so you're under pressure. You find a similar assignment online that you could adapt to look like your own work. Do you:

  1. Hand your assignment in late and accept a late penalty?
  2. Use the assignment you've found online and put it in your own words as much as possible?
  3. Ask for special consideration?


You have completed the Practice Ethical Scholarship tutorial. Return to ACE.