February 28, 2018
Cheating in College
In the articles, “How College Classes Encourage Cheating,” by James M. Lang and “Cheating in College: Where It Happens, Why Students Do It, and How to Stop It,” by Bryce Buchmann, we had the chance to read and evaluate why students would choose to cheat and think that it is “okay” to do it. Majority of the students coming from elementary all the way through college, mostly the upper grade levels, tend to see a lot of academic dishonesty or just being dishonest in or out of class. Students now a days do not even recognize how their actions can affect them and maybe a few others that are around them later in the future.
There was once a huge outrage in 2012 at Harvard University about 125 students, more than half of the class, cheating on an exam for their government class. In Buchmann’s article he stated,” If students at Harvard, the most prestigious school in the world; can be caught cheating in large numbers, its safe to assume that cheating happens on every campus much more often than we would like to think” (Buchmann, 2014). People, such as professors, do not see why there are many causes to why students feel the need to cheat. Have you ever thought that maybe the students were unprepared, pressured, not motivated, or simply because they do not see the importance of the exam? In the article, “Cheating In College: Where it Happens, Why Students Do It and How To Stop It”, stated that about 75% of students have admitted before to cheating on something and probably even more than 75% have done something to enhance their grades. Cheating today has turn out to be a major problem in schools, especially starting in lower level education. Students are finding it way easier to cheat and do not sense the feeling that it is wrong to do it.
Students now a days are unaware of what categorizes as cheating. These categories are ambiguous attitudes, competitive pressures, institutional apathy, lack of understanding, and self-interest. Even if they were to know, they are still tempted to cheat due to many reasons. Students can cheat if they feel any of these categories or even a combination of them. There can be so many opinions on why cheating is wrong, but everyone needs to think on why students do it too. First, students with ambiguous attitudes “may call plagiarism cheating, but many of them define it as a way of helping them indirectly copy the work of others” (Buchmann, 2014). Then there is competitive pressures, which tend to happen to a lot of students at a young age and sticks with them through high school and college to be the smartest student in the class. Students may not realize that this “may lead to an opportunity to succeed at the price of integrity” (Buchmann, 2014). In other words, students need be honest to themselves, are they going to pass this exam without cheating? Also there is institutional apathy, which is common with many students because they “do not see the academic environment as one that deserves their honesty” (Buchmann, 2014). For example, if they are playing a board game such as UNO with some friends and you end up having to pick up four cards and you only end up picking three cards, is an easy way to cheat. If a student does not see the importance of a game to be honest, they may not see the importance when it comes down to be honest when they are taking an exam. The other category is lack of understanding, which seems to be a more common thing because the teacher may not be explaining the material clearly which can lead to students cheating. The final category is self-interest. For students this can be an issue when they put in a lot of time and effort to study for an exam and they see the person they are sitting next to is cheating and gets a better grade then them. It can be painful feeling for the student that studied for long hours and see that the other student that cheated got away with not studying and getting away with the better grade.
Cheating always has had its consequence and it is never a good one. Just like every action you do whether it is good or bad has a consequence. The choices you make will always follow you for the rest of your life. For example, if you were to drink and drive and you get pulled over by the cop, your more likely to get a DUI on your record, and get your license taken away for so many months. Just like if you were to get caught cheating on an exam in college, your more likely to fail the class automatically, get kicked out of the school permanently, and will be on academic probation. “Cheating your way through school is never good because the only person you are cheating is yourself” (Morin, 2016).
There will be a time where sometimes you may have to put what ever you learned to use in real life such as college courses for your major. If you cheat in your college major course and it comes down the day you must use the material you learned, you will not know what to do. For example, if a dentist who has cheated his way through his major courses and must perform surgery to pull out your wisdom teeth, are you going to feel comfortable with that dentist operating in your mouth? I personally would not. Students must think that there is more at stake than just having good grades. They must think that people’s lives are at stake and they are learning what they are studying to make a difference. Students need to recognize that life is not easy and will not give you things just like that. Students really need to work for what they want to be. Once they do their own work, it will be much easier for them. Not only will it become easier when they do their own work, but it will also build their self-esteem knowing that they were able to do it on their own.
Overall, cheating has been evaluated and has been an issue for a long time. The only problem is making sure that students are conscious of their responsibilities and know what they are getting into if they decide to cheat. Students should take pride and do their own work for the future. Cheating can only get them so far and will catch up to them in the future.