The Contemporary Context Of Academic Integrity English Language Essay

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Plagiarism and dishonesty is actually a very big problem among students of many standards such as Undergraduate, Graduate and PHD in both Universities and Colleges. Generally there are two main approaches that universities and colleges take to curb this problem one is treating plagiarism as morally wrong and the other is treating plagiarism as a crime. Unfortunately, neither one of this approaches has been a success in curbing this problem eminently. Universities or colleges that take the path of treating plagiarism as a moral or ethical issue create a series of code of honor. These codes motivate students to be honest in anything that they research, write and publish. Students will eventually honor these codes due the pressure it puts on them. Students are told to pronounce that they will exercise honest conduct as members of the world of academia. Secondly, treating plagiarism as a crime or a rule-breaking act concentrates more on enforcement and law. The faculty members and administrative staffs are often called for meeting to strictly enforce the rules and regulations regarding plagiarism. Universities and colleges often revise their rules and regulations on academic integrity. Now days, there many electronic plagiarism preventing programs created to help ease professor and lecturers to prevent plagiarism. (http://chronicle.com/article/Academic-IntegrityStud/32323/)

According to Accredited Online Education database and College Facts and Humor poll, there are eight different statistics on academic dishonesty. Nearly every student would have been tempted to cheat at least once in their life due to reasons such as stress and fear. Cheating and plagiarism has risen and sunk into the education system really deep at this time of our education system.

Firstly, cheating has been admitted by 60.8% of polled college and university students. Thirty thousand students were polled and 60.8% of them admitted that they have cheated in their home works, assignments and tests. This pole was almost similar with a questionnaire given to students in Rutgers University in New Jersey whereby 68% of the students broke the University's anti-cheating rules. The numbers seems to be increasing over the years.

Secondly, sad to say that out of the 60.8% that admitted to cheating, 16.5% of them revealed that they do not regret what they have done. 16.5%of them did not feel not guilty committing plagiarism and their breach of ethics. The students did not go into details on why they do not feel guilty.

Thirdly, stats show that students who cheat have higher GPA. There is a large gap in the GPAs of a student who cheat and a student who does not cheat according to a poll ran in Fordham University. Those who cheat have an average of 3.41 whereas those who does not cheat average just 2.85 which is seemingly unfair. This clearly shows many students would compromise their school's ethics policies for their own advantage and gain. The very sad part of all this is that good opportunities are being taken away from the honest students who actually work hard for their grades and not cheat.

Fourthly, the public is more concerned with cheating compared to college and university officials. According to a survey done by The Ad Council and Educational Testing Service, 34% of college and university officials and 41% of Americans think that cheating is a serious matter. They attribute the surprisingly low numbers to a decreased stigma surrounding the actions and an increase in emphasizing a stockpile of rewards and honors over hard work and dedication. Students of various majors and standing including both boys and girls have admitted to cheating.

Fifthly, students who cheat in college and university are most likely to start in their high school. Once again, according to the survey done by The Ad Council and Educational Testing Service, between 75% and 98% of college and university students that admit to cheating confessed that they started this life style during high school. However, cheating may start even earlier than high school according to The Ad Council and Educational Testing Service. Due to the pressure put on students for grades early in life, students tend to do anything to get good grades even though it is ethically wrong.

Sixthly, according to 85% of students, they think cheating is essential. This is not only by those who cheat, college and university students who do not cheat also thinks that cheating is a valuable strategy in doing well in test and getting good grades. U.S News and World Report did a survey and the survey shows that 90% of those polled could not believe they would get caught for cheating and plagiarism and subsequently getting punished for dishonesty. A study done by Professor Donald McCabe with 1800 students shows that 15% of them turned in a false term paper, 84% of them cheated on their assignments and 52% committed plagiarism.

Seventhly, it is very disappointing to say that nearly 95% of those who cheat do not get caught. There are certain programs that help professors to catch students who plagiarize but it is limited to handed in papers. It cannot help in dishonestly on the student's tests, quizzes and non-written assignments. This is a study done by Ad Council and Educational Testing Service.

Finally, top tier paper mill website average about 8000 hits a day. The Ad Council and Educational Testing Service quotes " Kenneth Sahr receives 8000 hits a day in his website called SchoolSucks.com by parents, suspicious educators, onlookers, this does illustrate the prevalence and high demand for homework, projects and pre-written term papers". Even though SchoolSucks.com post disclaimers saying that the services that they provide is only for research of critique purposes only, yet students tend to copy. Some schools have gone against SchoolSucks.com for the services they provide, which in my opinion is the absolute right thing to do.

Generally, many research shows cheating and plagiarism is an ongoing problem within academic institution. In the growing era online studies and advancement of technology come both educational advantages and disadvantages for both students and teachers. Educational advantages include distance education programs that are very keen and it provides an alternative to the traditional classroom for students needing flexibility due to work and timing issues, and an endless supply of resources and information. Educational disadvantages are found in many different forms of advanced electronic gadgets that could triple as cheating tools, in a figure of speech the grey area between acceptable and unacceptable study practices such as approved group studies against unapproved team work. Of course, not forgetting the frequent situation of the classic copy and paste Internet plagiarism.( http://jolt.merlot.org/)

The southern code of honor is tightly relates to academic integrity in the late 18th century. The students and the culture of the time tightly observed this. The southern code of honor focused on sense of duty, dignity, authority, and self-esteem. Any act promoting the up rising or building of any of these within an individual was the goal. As a result, academic integrity was highly tied to the class and appearance of an individual's character. Any acts of academic dishonesty acted to withstand their good name were seen as a essential means to an ending. The goals of universities and colleges changed and the meaning of academic dishonesty and integrity changed in the end of the 19th century. Educators during this time were required to teach and create unique and original research. A lot of pressure was put on professors to acquire new and original research. This added tremendous amount of stress to their job. Well, but as we can all see and agree, their research has paid off and vastly helped the advancement of technology of our era. The southern code of honor concept of academic dishonestly and integrity has evolved into a more contemporaneous concept. Academic integrity was now starting to replace honor of the individual honor to the university as an institution. Such an evolution was important to cultivate unity throughout the academic institution and encourage students to hold each other accountable for their dishonest conducts. The concept of academic dishonesty and integrity allows students to think and create ideas critically instead of just stealing or obtaining others work for internet, books, journals and any other form of informational stuff. Classroom classes and even online classes are now being done honestly and critically by students due to the concept of academic dishonesty and integrity which produces highly competitive, mature and highly qualified students to the world. (Tricia Gallant, "Revisiting the Past: The Historical Context of Academic Integrity", Academic Integrity in the Twenty-First Century, pp. 13-31)

What are the reasons and how can Institution of Higher Studies are able to rectify the troubles behind this terrible problem? One other major problem at the university and college level is the number of plagiarism and cheating cases. There are many appealing facts involving the perception of cheating at the professor, student and management level that lead to difficulties in upholding and enforcing academic integrity and honesty. Paraphrasing is the best alternative to not get caught in the act of plagiarism and dishonesty. All facts taken should be cited and the authors name must be mentioned in the correct format, and of course not forgetting to paraphrase their work. (writing.mit.edu/wcc/avoidingplagiarism)

I would like to begin by confessing that I was caught for plagiarism and impersonation about one year ago. I was supposed to complete TOEFL to register myself as a student in Wichita State University. Since I was a bit unconfident with myself and so I convinced my friend to sit for my exam under my name. After that, I really do realize what a grave mistake I have committed. It was complete unethical and worthless in my part to commit such a mistake. I felt very guilty convincing my friend to do such a thing for me as well. I literally gave away all my hard work to do well in all my subjects and papers to get admitted to a prestigious school such as Wichita State University by committing such a stupid and terrible mistake. I have since then realized that I myself should have worked hard and done the exams on my own. Ever since, I have not even thought of plagiarizing or doing any impersonation whether for me or for others in any of my tests or exams not even my home works. This horrible situation that I put myself in has thought a great lesson in myself. I have also learned that by plagiarizing and being dishonest, it is just not going to help me to well in my life or studies. Researching and writing this paper on academic integrity and dishonesty has really thought me a lot. It helped me know why is it important to be honest at anything that you do and how helpful is it to research and do work by myself. Embarrassment is the biggest repercussion I have faced in committing this awful mistake. Not realizing what a bad and immature attitude I had towards the decisions that I make has brought along such a shameful honor to myself. I then decided that that would the very last time I would commit such an idiotic mistake in my life.

There are numerous of types or terms given for various kinds of academic dishonesty some of which includes plagiarism, cheating and impersonation. We will be discussing some of the types of academic dishonesty in the next few paragraphs. For the first part and possibly second most common type of academic dishonesty is plagiarism. According to the Stanford University Office of Judicial Affairs, plagiarism can be loosely defined as a situation of using or duplicating the language and thoughts in works such as books, paper publications or journals to name a few, of another author without proper permission and the representation of that author's work as our own, but not properly acknowledging the original author or not in anyway at all. (http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/judicialaffairs/integrity/plagiarism)

The word plagiarism self is derived from the Latin word 'plagium' that means 'Kidnapping'. (http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/resources/cheat.html). This includes using a phrase or sentence, paraphrasing someone else's original idea without proper or no citation at all and or even copying a whole text. Although it is not considered a crime, it is viewed as immoral and looked upon with dismay especially by the educated society. Also under academic dishonesty is fabrication which is the forgery of data or information in any academic work whether it is a simple homework assignment even publication papers or journals. This also consists of data falsification that is falsely claiming a research done, or even making a fake data about a research. In addition, students frequently make fabrications of bibliographical references, mainly to just simply add the number of references that need to be made for a particular paper. Giving false information or excuses to a lecturer about any work that is done or even to be done is called deception or simply to put it, lying. Some of these can be said as taking more time on an assignment or test. Even lying about a project such as asking for an extension for your deadline but actually slacking off and not doing any work can also be considered as deception. Considered to be one of the most wide spread and common type of academic dishonesty, cheating, can vary from a preschool level up until tertiary levels of education. Bill Bowers in 1964 did one of the first large-scale studies of cheating in institutions of higher learning. After surveying more than 5,000 students in a large sample 99 U.S. colleges and universities, Bowers found that almost 75% of the students had cheated in more than one instance or another in their college life as a student. There were also a few other studies done subsequent to that, which showed similar results. (http://faculty.mwsu.edu/psychology/dave.carlston/Writing%20in%20Psychology/Academic%20Dishonesty/Gropu%203/review.pdf).

There is a host of ways in which students cheat in examinations. These can be from as simple as asking to go to the restroom to view material hidden prior in the rest room itself or as complex as hand or various signals between friends in the same examination. (http://www.cheatinexams.com/) Impersonation is also another part of academic dishonesty. It is where the supposed work, whether it is an examination or research paper and so on, is done completely by another person all together. Some of these may include tampering with personal data such as photos or personal information for identification to the point of someone else sitting for an examinational. Although with the current technology impersonation is rather difficult as identification of students are now done by computers and such and are easy to detect but nonetheless, it can be done to a certain extent. In one such case, from India, a student was caught for impersonation after the dean of his faculty had clicked on a photo of him in one of his identification forms and found it to be not similar to a previous photo in he's admissions forms. Having said that, my case can be also be considered as one such case in which my friend and I almost got away with it but in the end got caught by technology such photo identification. (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-06-09/delhi/32140071_1_impersonation-entrance-social-science).

Last but not least, I would like to profess that I have without a doubt learned a lot from this experience and this research paper. In future, I will unquestionably never commit academic dishonesty and plagiarism. I sincerely apologize for my embarrassing and unethical mistake and I promise I will never taint my academic integrity in the future. Thank you and fuck you, you fat biatch !

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