Academic Dishonesty Term Paper

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¶ … academic dishonesty is one that is both controversial and important in the changing state of education and information. Technology has brought the modern world into a position of overwhelming information availability. The ability to work in a word processing program, alone has significantly reduced the amount of time needed to produce equivalent document as one written just 40 years ago. Automatically formatted footnotes and the ability to cut and paste passages from other documents into your own work significantly reduces the historically laborious task of research assimilation, and it has also given a tool to students that can advertently or inadvertently result in plagiarism. "Some recent statistics presented in the book: 80% of high school students admit to cheating, 95% of students who cheat say they don't get caught, and 34% say their parents never talk to them about cheating." (Gomez 42)

The statistics associated with higher learning are more difficult to come by but the statistics of younger students can give us a good indication of the prevalence of the problem and the breadth of the danger in the future. Within a higher education setting there ids generally even less monitoring and students have more available resources from which to glean work for plagiarizing. As with any form of academic dishonesty and there are more than a few, plagiarism can sometimes be a vaguely understood term and the degrees to which an individual can engage in plagiarism are also varied. (Pincus & Schmelkin 96-97) (Sutherland-Smith 1-13)Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Academic Dishonesty Is One That Is Both Assignment

This work will compare and contrast the policies and procedures of two institutions of higher learning on the issue of academic dishonesty, and more specifically plagiarism. The two institutions' policies, which will be analyzed, are those of the University of Delaware and those of West Virginia University. The work will show through the analysis of the three most important points, clearly defined definitions of infractions, consistency of definitions, and a consequence system that includes a hierarchy of sanctions that are equal to the severity of infractions, that the University of Delaware policies are more effective than those of West Virginia University.

Background of Problem

The problem of plagiarism is a deed seated one and yet the depth of it has increased significantly since the advent of the computer and the Internet. Students today can access a vast amount of information that can be represented as their own, much more so than the days when all research was conducted through arduous searching of often hard to locate hard copy volumes. Plagiarism has varied definitions but is well defined by the University of Delaware's policies and procedures handbook:

Plagiarism is the inclusion of someone else's words, ideas or data as one's own work. When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well....Plagiarism covers unpublished as well as published sources. (U of D. Office of Judicial Affairs Website " a Quick Reference Guide to Academic Integrity")

Any time a student submits work, for credit without the proper citation of sources it is considered plagiarized, be it a complete copy of someone else's work or paraphrases of such work. Additionally for comparison the West Virginia University definition of plagiarism is as follows.

Plagiarism is defined in terms of proscribed acts. Students are expected to understand that such practices constitute academic dishonesty regardless of motive....Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to: submitting, without appropriate acknowledgement, a report, notebook, speech, outline, theme, thesis, dissertation, or other written, visual, or oral material that has been copied in whole or in part from the work of others, whether such source is published or not, including (but not limited to) another individual's academic composition, compilation, or other product, or commercially prepared paper. (West Virginia University Admissions and Records "Academic Integrity/Dishonesty Policy")

Challenges for universities and other institutions are great and the demonstration of change is surely called for as more and more students are restricted by time and ability, and as available sources for academic dishonesty continue to grow. Other types of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to cheating, as in using another's work in class, copying another's homework and the like (Del Carlo & Bodner 47) and also not contributing appropriately to group work. (Nicolay 43-51) but the main challenge of academics in the modern environment is clearly plagiarism as it ease and availability continue to grow almost by the day. Students often cite time restrictions and a desire for a grade they feel unable to achieve without the application of academic dishonesty. (Del Carlo & Bodner 47-63)

Experts Opinion

Most if not all institutions of higher learning have policies and procedures associated with plagiarism and academic dishonesty in general. That which makes a set of policies associated with academic dishonesty more or less effective is also debated. Experts agree on several important factors of effectiveness, for these policies, consistency of definitions, clarity of definitions and most importantly a reporting and consequences system that offers a hierarchy of resulting punishments for infractions. (Pincus & Schmelkin 96-97 & 201-202) findings suggest there is a strong interplay between whether academically dishonest behaviors are seen as major violations and the severity of sanctions that should be imposed. It is probably safe to conclude that faculty would prefer that sanctions be applied differently depending on the severity of behavior. We, therefore, recommend that policies be made more explicit as to differential sanctions. (Pincus & Schmelkin 202)

Given the requisite recommendations of expert researchers, sanctions must be equal to the infraction of the student and instructors must feel confident that a zero tolerance policy, such as automatic expulsion not be employed in all cases, so they might feel more capable of interceding appropriately. Though some researchers claim that the most cost effective way to reduce cheating would be to increase sanctions rather than increase policing, they also contend that there might be an unintended result that would in fact increase incidence of cheating.

One limiting factor would be the point at which faculty believed the penalties were so severe that they would not prosecute cases of cheating-say, expulsion for copying a friend's answer on a homework problem. That is if the penalties are not viewed as just, there may be a common disrespect for the law and the level of cheating could actually rise. (Galles, Graves, Sexton, Walton 718)

Proper citation includes many styles that are inclusive of the vital information about the source from which the information was taken.

Yet, sometimes-unintentional plagiarism occurs when a student is not sure about just what needs to be cited and how.

Professors are often very clear about the citation style, which they prefer and early courses in composition offer the student a greater understanding of the needs of citation and the styles available. Yet, intentional plagiarism occurs more often than one would think and is very difficult to detect. Searching the Internet for suspicious passages from the work is often one of the best ways for an instructor to detect plagiarism, yet this can take an intense amount of time and often is not done unless certain markers are set out for the instructor, such as inconstant writing style, of the student or by chance remembered ideas from the professors own research. Additionally the work of professors is often far to demanding than to allow the constant policing of student's work so enforcement can be random and difficult to commit to. One way some instructors deal with this problem is to claim rigorous policing of student's work, with the intent of scaring the students into compliance with academic integrity. Often times a proof of threats are necessary, as in the professor must find fault in a plagiarized work and use it as an example for other students.

Comparison Uof D. And WVU

University of Delaware and West Virginia University are a good comparative group as they are similar in demographics as well as program offerings and they arte equally technologically advanced. The two have many of the same goals and as was seen above the definitions of both universities on the issue of Plagiarism is similar.

In general the validity of one University's policies over another can be seen through reduction in statistical even of academic dishonesty.

Though the statistics on this subject of these two universities are not readily available the respective policies manuals show serious differences in application of sanctions. University of Delaware has a more comprehensive and student friendly presentation of the issues, giving more clarity to the definitions of the different types of academic dishonesty, while the West Virginia University policies are much more legalistic in wording. The use of the integrity quiz in the U. Of D. manual is a great example of the way in which the site allows both instructors and students to access information in a personal and understanding way is a good exercise… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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