According to an article appearing in the Atlantic, almost 70% of undergraduate students cheat on tests and written work. This is a worrying trend and if not addressed would compromise the quality of education in many ways. Cheating in academics could be caused by many reasons, and each individual could give their own reasons as to why they cheat. Cheating is wrong and unacceptable regardless of the reasons behind it and should be curtailed by all costs if the quality of education has to be upheld.
Reasons for Cheating
Cheating in academic work is caused by many reasons some which are personal and others caused by the set institutional norms and codes of conduct. In most cases, the failure to have strong codes of conducts and punishment is believed to be the reason towards high levels of cheating in learning institutions. During an interaction with a majority of students, it is quite clear that cheating is ethically wrong and unacceptable, but they continue doing it. First, all students are interested in scooping a good grade in their course work, and this pushes them to cheat. The fear of failing is usually, and a majority of students would not be able to say to their parents why they failed in the exams or the course work. Failing to manage their time properly especially through procrastination or engaging in activities that are not productive leaves the students with little time to think about their academics. The lecturers might also give tasks and assignments that are disinteresting to the students. During my studies, I had friends of mine who were completely or partial disinterested in the assignment, and they did not put any effort into the work. Towards the deadlines, most of them copied from other students. It is also not clear to most students on what really constitutes plagiarism and what the university sets as acceptable and unacceptable. I have witnessed students saying that they thought that it was right because it was not deemed unacceptable by the school. The belief that they will walk scot free has in recent days made the behaviour spread at a high rate in the learning institutions. University systems and guidelines are not effective, and this leaves loopholes for students to cheat in their academic work and tests. Taming cheating would mean setting it right that students will either be expelled, suspended or made to repeat the whole academic year. All the underlined reason are not acceptable or right, and students who commit these acts are only discouraging those that work hard and affecting the quality of education in learning centres. Professors are only interested in the original work done by students as this is the only way to ascertain the progress of the students academically. Tests and assignments aim to not for the simple reason of failing students, it is usually for assessment purposes, and therefore such students are only doing injustices to themselves and not a good advantage as they might purport.
Academic dishonesty, cheating and plagiarism are not justifiable regardless of the reasons that might be put forth by an individual. To institutions of learning and the professors, it is only a sign of laziness and lack of the initiative to learn. Although students who choose not to engage in academic cheating and dishonesty are seen as cowards, it is the way to go as it builds a culture of trust and genuineness. Learning institutions should consider putting more effort into helping students avoid cheating as it only harms them and no good.
English Essay Outline
Thesis Statement: Cheating is wrong and unacceptable regardless of the reasons behind it and should be curtailed by all costs if the quality of education has to be upheld.
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