Is there an in-depth explanation of the honor code?

Okay, I have gone through the basic lessons of HTML and CSS. I have seen the “ask for help” button lead me to advice that says I can google-search for relevant info. However, if I follow that google search, I am concerned that I will see an explicit answer that goes beyond a hint and gives all the details. Is reading such a thing permitted by the honor code, or does that go against the code?

There are various blog and youTube videos that have titles suggesting that they give all the answers. If I were the teacher, I imagine I would have forbidden such things, but I don’t understand what the policy is. Thanks.

NOTE: I do not speak officially for FCC so take all of the below with a grain of salt.

I believe the Academic Honesty Policy only applies to the final projects that you need to complete to get the certification. If you aren’t at that step yet then you probably don’t need to worry so much about this right now. Personally, I think you should always try as hard as possible to solve the challenges yourself without getting explicit answers. The forum here on FCC is a great place to ask questions when you are stuck. But if you happen to stumble upon the answer while searching you aren’t technically violating any FCC policy.

As for the final projects, these should be your own work. So you don’t want to just copy the FCC example template (or any other existing project), change a few things, and call it done. You should start all of these projects from scratch and make them your own. In the process of doing that you can of course use the googles to get answers to your questions or see how things are done. For example, if you search for “how to markup a navigation menu” you are going to find that almost everyone recommends you use an unordered list wrapped in a nav tag. This is an accepted best practice and you aren’t going to be accused of plagiarism if you do this on your page.

You can even look at other projects for inspiration. If you see something cool on a web page that you want to implement in your project you can take a closer look at how it’s implemented (using the browser’s dev tools and such) and then mimic that on your page. (Here’s a little secret: developers are constantly doing this all the time.) As the academic honesty statement says, you can even directly borrow short snippets of code as long as you clearly attribute the original author (usually done in the comments).

If you aren’t just blindly copy/pasting other people’s code then you are most likely OK. Go ahead and look at what other people have done. Study their code to understand the concepts behind what they did. Then from scratch try to implement it yourself. Bonus points if you can add an original tweak to their implementation.


The W3 Schools offer a lot of examples that can be copied and pasted to get the basic tests passed. However, it may be possible to alter them beyond recognition. For example, to validate an email, it is possible to use the pattern at:

However, this might be overkill. It is likely that setting a single field is sufficient to generate the required HTML5 error for non-valid emails.

At any rate, a reasonable solution seems to be to add a comment to the effect of:

This pattern was copied from:
Validating email addresses - The complete HTML5 tutorial

and that way, I have given complete attribution to my source.

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