Cheating on Term Papers: 3 Viewpoints

(Updated on June 20, 2018 by Michelle Williams)


Most students don't think of cheating in terms of how to "cheat on a term paper."  When most students think of cheating, they imagine peeking at a classmate's paper during a quiz or consulting a "cheat sheet" when taking an exam.  However, plagiarism is a form of term paper cheating in which countless students around the world engage every day.  Plagiarism is the act of misrepresenting another's written work as one's own.  A "cheat term paper"—one derived completely or partially from cheating—is a document that all academic institutions view as a serious violation of academic standards.  It is important for students to learn what constitutes cheating on a term paper and how to avoid it.

There are two types of "cheat term papers" One is a document in which a student intentionally presents another person's or source's words or ideas as his/her own.  The other type of cheat term paper is a document in which a student mistakenly or accidentally turns in a document that falsely presents another person's ideas as the student's own.  There is a significant difference between these two infractions; however, many universities will treat accidental cheating as an offense nearly as grave as intentional cheating.

Cheating on Term Papers: 3 ViewpointsIn order to avoid accidental cheating, a student must learn and carefully abide by the rules of citation and documentation.  A citation is a note included in a text that indicates when another writer or source is being quoted or paraphrased.  There are two purposes for a citation:

  • to indicate to the reader that the information and/or words being presented aren't those of the writer;
  • to inform the reader about where they can find the quoted or paraphrased source if they're interested in consulting it.

There are different ways of citing.  Some style manuals (books that instruct writers on how to cite, document, and format their writing) suggest that citations be enclosed in parentheses after a source has been mentioned.  Other style manuals prefer footnotes or endnotes.  Style manuals also differ on what they suggest must be included in the citation.  However, all style manuals agree that the citation should indicate the author's name and, if the material is directly quoted, the page on which the quotation can be found.

Citing and documenting term papers can be confusing, especially if students are unsure of what information must be cited and what information can be left without a citation.  The best way to remember when to cite and, by extension, the best way to avoid producing a "cheat term paper" is this: if the words or ideas in any section or sentence of a term paper aren't entirely the student's own, there needs to be a citation.  When in doubt, learners should err on the side of caution and cite accordingly.

Term Paper Cheat Sheets

Many students use "term paper cheats" to help them understand the steps involved in completing a term paper and the specific sections that they're expected to include.  A term paper cheat is often a guide that a professor will supply to students in order to help them write more effective papers.

When students aren't given term paper cheats by their professors, they may be able to find them in an on-campus writing center or online.  Basically, the goal of the report cheat is to help students learn the tools of the trade required to write effective projects.  A term paper cheat isn't a tool to help a student cheat on his/her assignment.  In fact, term paper cheat are not only recommended by many professors, but they're often encouraged.

Some of the information that may be included on a term paper cheat include: research types, style guide tips, writing tips, and formatting tips.  Research tips might involving helping students learn how to located appropriate resources within a library or online publication, encouraging students to research primary and secondary resources, and encouraging students to keep a research journal.

When it comes to the style guide, a term paper cheat sheet will provide students with basic information about the style guide that they should use.  This style guide may be APA style or MLA style, which are two similar styles that have very distinct differences.

In terms of the writing tips that may be included on a term paper cheat, these tips may vary based on the level of academic study.  For example, a high school term paper cheat may encourage students to use active sentences and avoid ending sentences with prepositions.  A college term paper cheat might encourage students to follow an inverted pyramid style with the entire term paper and then with each individual paragraph within the document.

The formatting tips that may be included on a term paper cheat are designed to help learners complete a format that's easy to read and that flows well.  These tips will encourage students to complete an introductory paragraph with a document in the first or last sentence, write body paragraphs that support the thesis, and tie the report together with a conclusion.

It is important to note that term paper cheats aren't unethical to use in school.  Simply by using a term paper cheat doesn't mean that the student is actually cheating on his/her assignment.  Therefore, a term paper cheat isn't the same thing as having someone else write the report for a student or having a student somehow cheat on his/her assignment.

Ethical Term Paper Cheating

Whenever students have to write reports, it's important that they develop some strategies to help them write well-researched and effective projects.  There are several different methods of "term paper cheating" that may help learners to become better writers.  Term paper cheating doesn't necessarily mean that a student is violating his/her school's honor code in order to complete the paper.  Instead, it can mean that a student develops tricks and tools that help him/her to be a successful term paper writer.

While term paper cheating sounds nefarious in a sense, it actually can help to improve a student's writing abilities and effectiveness.  Cheating simply means that students use strategies that help refine their skills.  One popular method of term paper cheating is to look through previously written reports.

Many students find that looking through other university essays helps them in a variety of ways.  This term paper cheating strategy can, for example, help learners to understand the format of a project that they will need to write for their particular grade level.  Looking through other university papers may also help students learn more about the content that they should include in their own documents.

Students interested in using the term paper cheating strategy of looking through other university papers need to be careful to find essays that are well-written and follow their required term paper format.  They may want to look for reports from trusted resources, such as an on-campus writing center or a professor.  They may also look for a wide variety of examples online.

Another method of cheating on term papers is to have a professional writer or an advisor review a term paper before the student turns it in for a grade.  By having someone else review a report, learners will be able to receive valuable feedback that may help them to revise and edit their documents in order to make them more accurate and achieve better flow.

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