Academic Dishonesty

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In the past decade, professors across the country have noticed an alarming new trend—academic dishonesty is on the rise. More than half of college students surveyed admit to at least one instance of serious cheating in the past year (McCabe and Pavela). Information is incredibly easy to access on the Internet, and devices such as iPhones put that power, literally, into the palms of students’ hands. Many students entering universities today face extraordinary amounts of pressure for results academically, leading them to believe that cheating is necessary to succeed. This mentality is further cemented by examples in mass media, from professional athletes to CEOs cheating in order to get ahead. To battle this trend, colleges across the country have implemented honor codes. These codes vary widely depending on the institution; some merely outline unacceptable academic behaviors, others have a “no toleration” clause, and a few even regulate students’ dress and other social behavior. For this reason, I feel that universities must choose the wording of their honor codes very carefully in order to prevent treading on students’ rights, and to ensure their effectiveness. The purpose of honor codes, generally, is to promote an ethical and moral way of life, whether just in academia or in all aspects. Cheating and plagiarism are clearly behaviors that undermine the individual student’s education, as well as the institution as a whole. If academic work is done dishonestly, the degree gained at that institution becomes worthless. However, I do not feel that a rigid honor code is the most effective way to tackle the problems of academic dishonesty. For example, a strict honor code becomes just another rule for young adults to rebel against. Co... ... middle of paper ... ...mplementing honor codes, and then interpreted. Overall, I believe that honor codes are an important and beneficial aspect of the university community. When developed and carried out in the correct manner, they will curb instances of academic dishonesty, unify the university community, and preserve the veracity of universities and their graduates. Works Cited Stanley Fish, Save the World on Your Own Time, (Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 10-17, 66-72 Donald L. McCabe and Gary Pavela, (2005, March 11). New honor codes for a new generation. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/03/11/pavela1 Charles A. Perkins and Anne A. Skleder, (Florida State University Institute on College Student Values, 2007). Emphasizing honor codes/concepts as developmental . Retrieved from http://studentvalues.fsu.edu/Perkins%20and%20Skleder%20_Rev_.pdf

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