With the development of technologies, and especially Internet, the issue of academic dishonesty became on the front burner as professors all over the world highlight that for the most part students nowadays prefer to cheat, purchasing prewritten papers or ordering new ones, copying answers of their classmates or steeling entire paragraphs from textbooks when writing essays on the topic. Today various Internet-connected gadgets give an easy access to loads of useful educational information and students take an advantage of it, minimizing time dedicated to accomplishment of the workload preferring to copy paste everything from the Internet. However, that harms academic integrity as presenting your knowledge of the particular field of study by citing others’ works is insufficient, and, in fact, teachers will evaluate your ability to do some copy paste job.
Academic integrity, to put it bluntly, is the way you perceive, assess, synthesize and personalize gathered information and it goes far beyond simple reading and citing your lectures, textbooks and a couple of sources. Student processes information that he or she perceived through different sources and makes something original, in-depth and connected to the theme. Making something original is much more satisfying that copying, it is evaluated appropriately and, what is also important, teachers do not punish for it, unlike plagiarized works that can ruin academic reputation and lead to the most unpleasant repercussions.
However, sometimes students are pushed towards cheating because of the pressure for results that makes them believe that cheating is inevitable part of educational process as it is almost impossible to complete all tasks of the workload with an excellent mark. It is supported by constant pieces of evidence that are shown in mass media when professional athletes, businessmen, politicians and other men of importance cheat to achieve some goals.
Are there real victims of this academic dishonesty? And these are not teachers, obviously. Roughly speaking, here is an example. Would you like to be operated by a doctor who cheated on his exams or copied answers of his classmate? Or would you want your house to be built by an engineer who has downloaded his diploma from the Internet?
There are several ways of violating academic integrity. Among them are: plagiarism, cheating and facilitating. Plagiarism is copying ideas and exact wording and data from a certain source without proper citing. Cheating is copying results of certain work and submitting it as your own. This notion also includes situations when students use handheld devices to find answers to the exam questions. Facilitating is when one student takes an exam for another student or allows copying the work.
Educational institutions are searching for the ways of struggling with this threatening situation: increasing number of plagiarized papers and punished students who tried to submit someone else’s work as their own. One of the most efficient ways of struggling with it is honor codes. For example, some colleges do not tolerate plagiarism expelling students accused in usage of plagiarized materials, some depict unacceptable academic behaviors and punish for them. Yet everything is in perception of academic integrity and honesty. Honest students do what is right not only in academic affairs, but they are also honest with themselves and surrounding people.
Some students may say that the academic burden is too heavy and there is no possibility to complete everything singlehanded. Yes, the intensity of studying increases every year, however, there is always a possibility to manage everything: a bit of planning and time management and there will be enough time to for studies and pleasant pastime with friends and family.