Term Paper: Academic Dishonesty

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Academic Dishonesty can formally be defined as rewriting the author's sentences as your own; adopting a particularly sentence as your own; paraphrasing someone else's idea as your own or presenting someone else's link of thinking as your own. Academic dishonesty is known as a form of literary dishonesty, otherwise known to college students as cheating. It is looked down upon highly by academics and it carries with it many serious consequences. Over the past five years, the Internet has emerged as a cheater's dream and a professor's worst nightmare. it's because of a variety of web sites that give students access to entire papers for a nominal fee and sometimes even for free. As a result of the widening accessibility of the Internet, as well as the new medium's lack of regulation, a student can click a few computer buttons and in a matter of minutes, they can download a well-crafted term paper without having to pick up a single book. It seems as though the Internet has totally changed the meaning of the word 'research'. This paper will explore academic dishonesty, the types of academic dishonesty, reasons why students would engage in academic dishonesty, the effects of academic dishonesty and discuss some ways to prevent all forms of cheating.

Types of Academic Dishonesty

There are several types of academic dishonesty. It can include one or more of the following types: plagiarism, deception, cheating, sabotage and fabrication. Each one of these ways of academic dishonesty is considered unethical and could cause many problems for the student.

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Plagiarism is very common on college campuses around the United States. It is considered to the be process of where the writer copies the words and thoughts of another writer. Plagiarism can be committed by copying someone else's work word for word or it can be by copying someone else's idea. With all of today's technology and the internet, many students are tempted to turn to websites with good information and simply cut and paste the information into their paper. Due to copyright laws, this is actually illegal. Even though the information is published on the internet for public reading; others are not allowed to use it as their own words. The information can be used if placed in quotations and properly sited, but without quotations and a citation to the reference, it is considered to be plagiarism. (Bushway and Nash)

Deception is another way of academic dishonesty. Deception is similar to lying. It is the process of providing false or misleading information to a teacher on a paper or in person. It is the process of where the student lies in order to get a better grade or to get out of a tough assignment. One very popular line deception line that has been used throughout history is "My dog ate my homework." When a student says that their dog ate their homework, they are really saying, "I did not do my homework and I am looking for a legitimate excuse to avoid getting a bad grade." Sometimes it is hard for a teacher to determine if a student is sincere or is lying about the situation. Therefore, some teachers will give the student another opportunity, while others will simply say, "Too bad." (Bushway and Nash)

Cheating is the next way of academic dishonesty. Cheating can be defined as copying from another student's work. There are hundreds of ways students can cheat on Academic Dishonesty 3 homework and on a quiz or test. Some students simply look at another student's paper and copy the answers. Others will write the answers on their hand or leg. They may have it on a small sheet of paper that is hidden but where they can clear see it and copy it. When caught, many teachers will give the student a zero on the assignment or test for cheating. Sometimes a teacher will even kick a student out of class for cheating. Cheating is unfair and very unethical. (Bushway and Nash)

Sabotage is a situation where one student prevents or stops another student from doing their work. This could be a simple case of one student talking to or disrupting another student. It could also be a situation where one student threatens another student and as a result, the threatened student feels intimidated in the classroom. In many sabotage cases, the teacher is not fully aware of what is going on and it appears as if the students are not doing their work. Sabotage can also be done in a discrete manner. This would include things such as destroying school property. For example, a student purposely erases a program or information on the computer or they rip pages out of a library book or magazine. These types of destruction to school property may help one student, but will prevent other students from using the same materials. Therefore, sabotage is considered to be a form of academic dishonesty. (Bushway and Nash)

Fabrication is the act of creating data to back an argument. In situations of fabrication, a student will create fake resources to make it look as if they did the research for a paper. It could also include a situation where a student changes information or numbers to make something work better for them. Fabrication is considered to be the creative way to engage in academic dishonesty. However, as creative as it may be, it is Academic Dishonesty 4 still unethical and could cause the student a lot of problems with the teacher. (Bushway and Nash)

Why Students Engage in Academic Dishonesty

Students in colleges around the United States engage in academic dishonesty on a daily basis. It is something that has grown immensely since the invention of the internet and other forms of technology. However, why would a student want to engage in academic dishonesty? There are several reasons. Here are some common reasons that students would jeopardize their academic careers and engage in a form of academic dishonesty.

Kleptomania and the Need to Cheat

Many studies have been done on students of all ages and in all levels of education. Some psychologist actually believe that some students have a natural urge to cheat (1). It is a psychological problem that they really cannot control. In these types of cases, the student feels as if they are very incapable of completing the assignment or test on their own and they constantly look for ways to cheat just to complete the assignment and get it done to pass the class. These types of students usually are already suffering from anxiety and other forms of depression. They also may students who have addiction problems and have no time to study and prepare properly for the class. Some psychologist even go as far as comparing the student's urge to cheat with kleptomania. Kleptomaniacs always feel the urge to steal things. So, with some students who always feel the urge to cheat, it may be safe to say that they suffer from a form of kleptomania. (Pope)

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Socially Acceptable

Society today is not the same society as it was ten or twenty years ago. Today, students have access to the internet, hundreds of channels on the television, violent video games, and ever-changing music. Many of these form of media that people watch every day show large businessmen, law enforcement professionals, teachers, and other people students usually look up to as cheating their way to the top. Students today see how many American icons and other professional do unethical and unmoral things to cheat their way to the top of their career ladder. They make it look as if it is okay to cheat. As a result, students idolize these people and sooner or later, also think that it is socially acceptable to cheat to make it anywhere in life. "It is not that we love honesty less, but that we love success more." (Bowers).

Stress and pressure to perform are probably the two largest reasons why students may choose to cheat. Today, many students work and go to school at the same time. Many of them have families of their own or are facing many personal problems. Students who are in these types of situations do not have the time to dedicate to a class in order to produce high quality work. Therefore, they will choose to engage in academic dishonesty of some form. Sometimes, it is a simple one time occurrence, other times it is done on each and every assignment. A student is also more likely to commit academic dishonesty if they know that they will not be caught. Therefore, students who have a lot going on in their personal and professional lives are more likely to cheat on an assignment or a test.

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There are many reasons why students choose to engage in academic dishonesty. Studies have shown that there is no background associated more or less with academic dishonesty. Rich students are as likely to cheat as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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