Cheating on Assignments

Though cheating on assignments is frowned upon, it is a very common occurrence in all schools. There are numerous causes of students choosing to cheat such as exuberant amounts of stress, lack of time, and unpreparedness. It may seem like a simple solution to a difficult task, but there are many negative effects of cheating that many individuals are either unaware of or see themselves as immune to. For example, suspension, expulsion, and failure are just a handful of many repercussions students have experienced as a result of cheating. The act of cheating can easily be described through the saying, ¨no risk no reward.¨ Most individuals believe there is no way they could be exposed to the risks, making it seem as though the reward comes freely, but this is not the case.

According to one source, ninety-five percent of students have cheated to some degree (Simmons). This is accredited to causes such as students lacking a sense of importance in an assignment, students seeing great benefits in an assignment, lack of time, high stress, high expectations, and much more. One of the overruling causes of cheating seems to be the desire to succeed and be seen as exemplary in the eyes of others. Even more ambitious students are pressured into completing assignments unethically because of the fear of what others may think, such as their parents or potential colleges. Older students especially feel the pressure as they start thinking about life after high school. Grades very much have an impact on their future success, so any chance at a more desirable grade will most likely be taken. Similarly, high amounts of stress often times lead to the simple solution of cheating. One source explains the point of view of a student who was caught cheating on an examination (The Causes-and the Consequences-of Cheating). Their reasoning was that they were ¨overworked¨ and ¨overextended¨ due to the workload put upon them during finals week. Students are expected to memorize such large amounts of information in a short period of time, which some consider to be a nearly impossible task.

Instead, students end up coming unprepared and look for the quickest and most convenient answer to their problem. In scenarios such as this one, a student may consider cheating as an easy way out, relieving them of some stress and making their life easier by having less work to worry about. One final cause behind cheating is students not being aware of the importance of an assignment. Teachers often assign small assignments as ¨busy work,¨ which students do not see as valuable to their education. In turn, students resort to putting off the task and end up cheating off a student who put in the time to complete the assignment. A students honesty and integrity is reflected in an educators effort towards them. Not only does cheating have an effect on the student who committed the act, but it also has an effect on those around them. Cheating places a physical burden on the accused due to repercussions they may receive. These punishments vary based on different honor codes, but often stitch together into a common theme. Some examples are failure, suspension, expulsion, destruction of academic reputation, and may even go as far as legal consequences. Though all of these are very serious results of cheating, those who take part in the action do not see themselves getting caught. Cheating also places an emotional burden on those around the student, such as fellow peers and teachers. One article explains how cheating becomes an issue for innocent students because it provides an ¨unfair advantage¨ to the cheaters (The Causes-and the Consequences-of Cheating).

In the same article, it made a point that teachers are beriden of their time, because it is spent identifying the crisis and determining a solution. Overall, it creates a conflict for many individuals surrounding the cheater. Even though cheating may seem to be an unsolvable epidemic, there are many tips educators can take to limit the extent to which it happens. A journal which researched the cause and effects of cheating suggests that teachers perform routine tasks such as spacing desks, prohibiting electronics and leaving the class during exams, and monitor students during their testing time (Diego). Additionally, another source proposes that teachers emphasize how to seek help as well as use rubrics so that students can direct their efforts properly (Carnegie). Making the curriculum easily understandable and manageable for students is the key to their honesty. Measuring their ability by their overall performance on a more creative assignment rather than a typical test may encourage them to work freely and independently. Similarly, improved relationships with their educators may result in decreased amounts of cheating. The desire to succeed, stress, and unawareness of value are all very prominent causes of cheating. Though there are many ways to help avoid cheaters, it is a very difficult conflict to put an end to. It is important to make cheaters aware of the many negative consequences that can be brought upon committing the act, such as destruction of reputation, expulsion, and failure. Overall, cheating is one large problem the world is facing that requires a solution.  

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