Academic Integrity – What is Academic Dishonesty?

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is synonymous with cheating. Cheating can refer to a situation in which authors ask others to write a part of a document or the entire document.

High schools and colleges in the U.S. have unique policies for addressing plagiarism. Some colleges, for example, expel students after their first offense; others place an “FF” on the student’s transcript, creating a permanent blemish on the student’s academic record.

Students are guilty of academic dishonesty when they

  1. Secretly arrange to have an entire document written for them by other individuals and then submit the ghost-written material to their instructor.
  2. Copy all or part of passages from a work written by others without properly attributing sources.
  3. Receive unacknowledged assistance from others.
  4. Submit the same paper to multiple courses (without permission).

Web sites that sell student essays are increasingly popular. Sites such as SchoolSucks.Com receive over 40,000 hits a day, and there are literally dozens of such sites. In a recent national survey of 4,500 students conducted by the Rutgers Management Education Center, 75 percent of the students report they routinely cheat. In a survey of students at Penn State, 44 percent of the students reported cheating on college assignments.

In response, educators are fighting back. Many instructors now:

  1. Require students to visit Web sites that define plagiarism and review conventions for citing sources.
  2. Require students to sign honor codes.
  3. Use software tools to check documents that seem questionable.
  4. Design writing assignments that are so specialized that substitutes are not easily found online.

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