Quite simply, cheating is wrong because it is against the rules. In order to discourage educational immorality, many schools have an honor system in place with various penalties for academic fraud. Although these honor codes have been proven to help curb the frequency of cheating, they don’t stop it completely. “We know cheating is not right, but we do it anyway,” according to Professor Anita L. Allen of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She goes on to say, “Cheating is not simply prevalent. In some sectors cheating has begun to look like a moral epidemic.” It spreads like a disease, infecting more and more students every day. So much so, that it often feels like the new normal. “While many students understand that cheating is against the rules,” says David Rettinger, a cognitive psychologist of the University of Mary Washington, “most still look to their peers for cues as to what behaviors and attitudes are acceptable” (qtd. in Novotney). However, academic integrity isn’t determined by the student body, it is ...
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...rust on the degrees conferred on graduates and on the capability and moral character of the graduates themselves” (qtd. in Balbuena). Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we have certain biases about people based on what school they attended. When a school has a bad reputation, it reflects poorly on its graduates, even if they got their degrees honestly.
Academic fraud is unethical and creates an unfair benefit for the students who choose to cheat. They are not only hurting themselves, but also their classmates and even their academic institution. So how do we reinforce our merit based system of advancement? Stop cheating. If you want to get ahead, then try actually earning it. If you see someone cheat, report it. If nothing is done to the accused, then move up the chain. Don’t just sit idly by while the morals of our country slip further and further into oblivion.
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