Academic Dishonesty Ross Cundiff Liberty University Academic Dishonesty Ross Cundiff Liberty University Introduction “ACADEMIC DISHONESTY, with Internet plagiarism as one of the most common forms, is a concern on college and university campuses more than ever before. A review of the literature validates these concerns. According to a 2003 nationwide research study of 23 public and private colleges and universities, conducted by Donald L. McCabe, Internet plagiarism is on the rise. Thirty-eight percent of the undergraduate students surveyed indicated that they had engaged in Internet plagiarism (as cited in Rimer, 2003); one study states that nearly 49% of students in undergraduate marketing classes admitted cheating in 1988 compared to 100% of the students in an undergraduate management class in 2008 (Brown, Weible, & Olmosk, 2010). Education Week found that 54% of surveyed students admitted to Internet plagiarism, and 76% admitted to cheating; and the Center for Academic Integrity found almost 80% of the college students surveyed admitted to cheating at least once (“Facts About Plagiarism,” 2011)”
Cheating can be defined as any act of academic dishonesty and is encountered in various forms. There has been extensive research [Whitley, 1998] to analyze fraudulent exercises- especially in undergraduate school setting. 72% students report to have taken part in at least one form of fraudulent exercise. Such activities range from fraudulent excuse making (in order to delay the beginning or end of academic tasks) to “copy-and-paste” plagiarism to cheating during examinations or graded assignments [Roig, 2005]
A national survey conducted by Education Week estimated that fifty-four percent of students admitted to plagiarizing information from the Internet (Plagiarism.org 1). At the University of California-Berkley officials have stated that there was an averaged seven hundred and forty-four percent increase in cheating between the years of 1993 to 1997 (Plagiarism Statistics ¡ Did You Know??? 1). Perhaps one of the reasons for this drastic increase of cheating is the easiness in which one can find the documents that they plagiarize. Popular websites such as ¡www.schoolsucks.com¡ and ¡www.a1-termpapers.com¡ provide immoral and slacking students with hundreds of prefabricated essays (Plagiarism, Ethics & the WWW 2), equipped with word count and grade received.
Recent studies have shown that a steadily growing number of students cheat or plagiarize in college -- and the data from high schools suggest that this number will continue to rise. A study by Don McCabe of Rutgers University showed that 74 percent of high school students admitted to one or more instances of serious cheating on tests. Even more disturbing is the way that many students define cheating and plagiarism. For example, they believe that cutting and pasting a few sentences from various Web sources without attribution is not plagiarism.
Children are warned not to be dishonest throughout multiple aspects of life, and this ideal is consistently reminded throughout higher academic institutions and other professional settings. Academic dishonesty describes student behavior which is not in accordance with the ethical standards or ideas considered to be good in a specific culture (Muñoz-García & Aviles-Herrera, 2014). In one study related to academic dishonesty among children, experimenters concluded after the first test that there was a large rate of children who were engaging in academic dishonesty (Callender, Olson, Kerr, & Sameroff, 2010), however the reasoning behind the majority of children cheating can be due to the young age of the children and the innate disregard to follow
Plagiarism has been present in society for longer than one might like to think. But what is even more upsetting is the fact that it is a recurring problem in innumerable school systems across the country. By definition, plagiarism is the “unacknowledged and inappropriate use of ideas and wording of another writer” and can be considered “a grave violation of academic integrity” (http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/writing/tools/plagiarism.html). This may seem slightly harsh, but it is indeed true. However, to put in layman’s terms, an act of fraud or deception is committed when someone plagiarizes, either from a textbook or the internet. And, as with every mistake, consequences arise that affect the individual greatly.
The pressure on students in high school and college students can be quite overwhelming. A student may have several different classes, each with a heavy workload and none of which they are interested in taking. With their parents breathing down their necks and their financial aid dependent on passing grades, some are tempted and even go through with acts of academic dishonesty in the forms of cheating and/or plagiarizing. There are many reasons why students cheat and plagiarize, they may not even understand the difference between the two, but there are also possible solutions to prevent cheating and plagiarizing in education.
Every year millions of students enroll in college. Some will give it their all, some will do the best they can and some will try to get out of doing the work required by cheating. The most common form of cheating in college is plagiarism. “Plagiarism is theft: the stealing and appropriating of someone else’s words and ideas and passing them off as your own” (“Preventing Plagiarism”). Due to increasing pressures to excel, students who are motivated by a goal to maintain their GPA because they believe they will obtain a high paying lucrative job once they graduate from college turn to plagiarism as a way to succeed.
Evaluated more thoroughly, these statistics show not only a problem with student plagiarizing, but also an underlying problem of the failure to recognize it as a severe threat to the future development of today’s society. In order for society to continue to grow and prosper in technology, educators and employers alike must realize that plagiarism is indeed a genuine concern and as a result, must be dealt with in a more severe matter to encourage individualism. Often the threat of a failed grade or expulsion from a university is not enough to deter students from cheating if known instances have not been appropriately dealt with in the past. If the problem is to be mended, educators must make examples of students who plagiarize written material, so we can discontinue the trend that seems to be irresistible to today’s society.
Ethics in the United States has reached an all-time low. Each new generation carries with it the latest acceptable standards for ethics and plagiarism in the educational setting. Copious studies have been, and are still being, done on plagiarism. These studies have observed cheating in many forms, as well as the concept of how plagiarism and cheating are carried out.