Code of Honor

The Promise

I will write my personal code of honor and post it where I can see it each day.

Impact of the Promise

Codes of honor are synonymous with school and education. These codes are posted in schools all over the country to discourage cheating and any distasteful acts. Not only are these codes posted in schools, they are effective. According to The Atlantic, “there’s evidence that honor codes do, in fact, deter cheating. Behavioral research shows that people who were reminded of moral expectations—by writing out or signing an honor code, or copying down the Ten Commandments—before they took a test reduced cheating.”

What exactly does an academic honor code have to do with a personal code of honor? In essence, the two are the same. A personal code of honor includes the rules we set for ourselves, whereas an academic honor code is simply the guidelines set for students. A study by several Harvard professors shows that “increasing moral saliency by having participants read or sign an honor code significantly reduced unethical behavior and prevented subsequent moral disengagement.” By writing our own code of honor and setting it up in a place visible to us every day, not only do we constantly remind ourselves to not “cheat” on our morals, but we also keep our mind in touch with the qualities that we value. Following a code of honor will establish morals as the most important thing in life, making us much closer to becoming the best version of ourselves.

Action Items


  • Download the code of honor activity outline from the because I said I would website
  • Type or write your code of honor on paper when you arrive at a finished product
  • Schedule some time three months down the road to reflect on your code of honor and make any additions or changes


  • Cater your code of honor to others; make it true to yourself
  • Spend little time in creating your code of honor
  • Ignore your code of honor; actively try to follow it


Element of Honor


Contemplation: through my actions, I seek to alleviate suffering, establish peace, and build happiness with others and in myself. I recognize that the world is in great need. Because of this need, I am needed. My belief in the importance of a promise is strong; however, I know that doing what is right will always be more important than keeping a promise. Commitment holds me accountable to my compassion; it does not blind me of it.

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