The Lack of Regulatons Against Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct

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Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct can be defined as any form of cheating that takes place in a formal academic exercise, this can include plagiarism, fabrication, deception, or sabotage. With todays technology, having an incredible vast amount of information readily available at the touch of a finger has proved to be both a boon and a bane. It makes both finding information and misusing services easier.

The first report on academic dishonesty was published by Bill Bowers. Bowers surveyed 5000 students from 99 colleges were asked if they had ever engaged in acts of academic dishonesty to which 75% students admitted to being dishonest in atleast one situation (1964).In 2006 the international journal for educational integrity was established and helps scholars educate and acclimate international students to standards of academic integrity.

Reasons for the rise in academic dishonesty could include factors such as the change in demography of the system, the last few years have seen significant change in structure of universities, where the workload on the students has increased with pressure from parents and the high expectations from family. Not wanting to disappoint their parents and could be a reason that some students find themselves in a tough spot decide to take the short route to cope up, making cheating seem like an attractive option.

This isn’t an infeasible issue, the lack of defined laws to govern the sites being published online is the reason why these services are easy to obtain, passing laws to illegalise these websites will noticeable reduce the ease of access to contracted help, doing so will be considerably easy as the practice is frowned upon by universities and handing in work from such sites results in the university taking action against the student. Students should work for their own grades and not have it handed to them in exchange for money, which is what happens when contract cheating goes unnoticed, this gives unfair advantages to one student over another which isn’t the fundamental principle of universities.

Some students could seek help even from family members who have experience writing essays, unfortunately can be incredibly taxing and laborious to detect for it is not easily noticeable by the examiners unless the writing style differs dramatically, but can be detected by a keen eye. Students should not share their assignments as they sometimes tend to do in order to help their friends, in such cases the one who sent the assignment can also be accused of plagiarism from similarities in the two essays. Accidental dishonesty is easily combatable as it occurs from carelessness in referencing or citation, keeping track of these will keep them in the clear.

Academic dishonesty is currently a problem with university students that is easily solvable with the right actions, most students are aware of the seriousness of academic work in a formal environment, since it is actively being dealt with tirelessly. We can hope to see it completely eradicated in time with properly defined rules in place.

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