Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Cheating and academic dishonesty has become an apparent issue in all levels of schooling.  Even from a young age, students have been found to cheat on tests, homework, and papers by means of bringing a “cheat sheet” into class, copying answers from a neighbor, or plagiarism.  Even honors students will admit to some form of cheating in their lifetime.

            I firmly believe that cheating on a test or paper is wrong.  It obviously shows that the cheater is unprepared and it is unfair to the person who worked hard to study the material and prepare him or herself for the test.  In this sense of cheating, I believe these students are academically dishonest.

            However, I believe cheating on homework by copying answers from a friend is a different story.  Most of us have been stuck in a bind at some point and needed to copy homework in order to turn it in on time.  Because homework does not have as much weight as tests and papers, many people feel copying homework is not as big of a deal as cheating on a test.  I think it is still academically dishonest when someone copies homework but it is not a huge deal or problem.

            The university, in hopes to reduce academic dishonesty in school implemented the code of conduct.  The code-of-conduct states: “An act of academic misconduct, even a first offense, places the student in jeopardy of the most severe form of sanction – expulsion from the university.”  No one wants to be expelled from college and have that information on their record.  If someone is caught cheating, it shows bad character and responsibility when they are trying to interview for a job later in life.  The code of conduct uses strong words as a method of discouraging academic dishonesty.  The university knows this code will not prevent everyone from cheating and being academically dishonest, but they know it will greatly reduce the number of students who will cheat.  If anything, the code of conduct will cause many students to think twice before they cheat on a test or paper. Students who decide not to cheat will make it farther in life and will do better in the class overall because they will have a better work ethic than those who cheat on everything just to get the “A” in the class.  

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