I’m an undergraduate student, and I find that multiple times (each week), I have an obsessive need to make sure something I’m doing is allowed/accepted. I do this by asking the TA/Professor for my course in question. It’s usually situations where it’s almost certain that something I’m doing is ethical, but I feel the need to ask for each instance if the professor did not explicitly state the rules. Some examples:
A little while back I asked my professor if thesauruses were allowed, and if I had to cite them. Based on common sense, I was over 95% sure it was fine – even on the university library website, links were given to a few online thesauruses. When I asked my prof, he said that it was absolutely fine, and that thesauruses did not have to be cited.
My professor for another course mentioned that certain calculators were not allowed on tests (the kind of calculator I currently have). I wondered if I could still use my calculator on assignments, and I assumed I probably could since he only mentioned tests. I asked the TA about it, and he said I could.
I was wondering if I could use my course notes while doing an assignment. I was always allowed to do this in high school, and I was 99 % certain it would be okay. I asked the TA about it, and he replied that it’s completely okay.
I want to earn a degree that was done in perfect ethical standing. I feel that if I don’t ensure every single thing I’m doing is completely ethical, then inevitably a few of my actions will be unethical over the four years.
I don’t want to have to keep pestering my professors about every single detail, as it wears on me and also (I’m sure) will wear on them. At the same time, I have the problem I discussed above. Should I just accept that it's pretty much impossible for anyone to finish a degree with a 100% ethical standing? Any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.