Plagiarism, Cheating, and Academic Integrity
Plagiarism and cheating are both forms of intellectual dishonesty that undermine academic integrity. Plagiarism is stealing someone’s work, and claiming it’s your own without giving proper credit. Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary; It could mean not putting quotes around a phrase, or buying a paper online, or changing a few words but not the structure of a phrase. In short, it is a “literary theft” Plagiarism.org.
Cheating is another form of intellectual dishonesty. It includes cheating on tests and exams, falsifying data, copying someone else’s homework, or letting them copy yours, sending or receiving test answers via texting, changing your grade by hacking into the teacher’s account, accessing the internet during an exam, using your cellphone’s pictures during exams, tiny electronic earpieces and Bluetooth transmitters, using putting math formulas or history dates into a calculator. I read about a complex cheating scheme involving a shared Google Doc.
Why do Teachers and Professors Care so Much about Plagiarism and Cheating?
Teachers and professors don’t want students to plagiarize because they want to see what students have actually learned. Can they take a thesis statement, research it properly, and present their own ideas in written form, while acknowledging the origins of those ideas?
Why YOU Should Avoid Plagiarism and Cheating
Plagiarism can result in a failing grade and can even get you kicked out of college. Honestly. I had a student who turned in a college paper that wasn’t on the topic I’d assigned. In fact, it sounded like it was written by a polished, adult writer, not by a college freshman. After a little research in the library, I discovered numerous phrases, sentences, and entire paragraphs directly lifted from several sources. My department chair and the academic dean agreed with my findings. When I met with the student, he denied he had done anything wrong, despite the evidence so I had to give him an F for the paper. His mother actually called me to object. His mother! But I stood by my decision. He didn’t show for the final, and failed the course. He never returned for the spring semester.
Moral of the story: don’t plagiarize around people who do research for a living.