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Academic Integrity and Honor Codes in Schools

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Academic Integrity and Honor Codes in Schools

Academic Integrity and Honor Codes in Schools

In today's society, there is a trend being set by both college and high school students. The trend is moving from academic integrity to academic dishonesty. What exactly is the difference between academic integrity versus dishonesty? I believe that academic integrity is a state of pride and belief in ones own knowledge and work. It is taking what you know and applying it in a scholarly systematic way without help from any other source that would make any part of the work not their own. It is taking pride and credit for work that is completely there's. Academic dishonesty on the other hand is taking someone else's work and claiming it as your own. So given the shift in trends in this dilemma, why is this shift happening and what is being done to stop it?

The first reason that I believe that students are turning to academic dishonesty more now than ever before is one simple word, the Internet. With billions of useful pieces of information readily available on the Internet, students can cheat by simply finding their topic, copying and pasting it to a word document, and turning it in as their own work. It is so easy. Students feel that because there is so much information readily available on the Internet that no one could possibly know that they cheated or be able to prove it for that matter. However, there are glitches to their plans. Yes, they are right that there is a lot of information on the Internet and it would be almost impossible to prove that they did, but there are new cites that are being created such as www.Turnitin.com that will compare the paper that is turned in to all the websites on the web looking for exact matches. It is getting easier and easier for teachers to catch students cheating and not just by gut instinct but with actual proof.

Another reason that students have turned to cheating is the pressure that is being put on them by parents, professors, and even themselves. Students can become so overwhelmed with stress and pressure from outside sources that instead of trusting in their own minds and the knowledge that they already have, they turn to what other people have already done and said. First, this gives students more time to spend on other subjects or extracurriculars because a paper that would normally take them three hours to write now takes them thirty minutes. However, there are downfalls to this as well. Even though cheating may seem like a good idea and maintains their good grades for their parents, teachers, and themselves, what are they actually learning from that assignment? An assignment that was given to make them smarter and more competent in a given are has been completely wasted. So in essence the education that they are so worried about obtaining and maintaining is the education that they are throwing away.

A third reason leading to the increase in academic dishonesty is the pure and simple fact that once a student cheats on a paper or any type of homework assignment and does not get caught and reprimanded for their actions, the more that student believes that they can keep doing it without getting caught. The more and more that a student cheats and gets away with it the more the student feels that they are invisible and can continue doing it. This is a sad occasion when this happens because the student is only hurting themselves. They are not hurting their parents or their teachers because they are not the ones that are going to be getting a job from this education it is the student that is hurting the students.

Not every student gets caught cheating but with the sites like Turnitin.com the students caught cheating is going to rise tremendously. In an article interviewing a University teacher from Wayne State in Detroit, Richard Grusin, Chairman of the English Department says, “what students don't realize is that it's just as easy for us to get plagiarized material. All we have to do is conduct a Google search on any sentence from a student's paper and then we will get a list of choices of where that sentence or work came from” (Jackson 1). It is getting easier and easier to catch students in the act of plagiarism. They cannot go forever on this destructive behavior before retribution needs to be made.

Because of the fact that plagiarism and academic dishonesty are on the rise, what are colleges and universities doing to help prevent their students from falling into this trend? Many colleges and universities are setting up an honor code/policy in their schools so that students know the schools policy and the consequences that will follow if caught and found guilty of academic dishonesty. Many of the consequences result

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