What’s the Big Deal about Cheating? Everybody Does It.

 Most of us have cheated at some time in our academic career.

We usually think of cheating on a test. This might mean:

  • Copying another student’s answers during a test.
  • Using our phone or secret cheat sheets during a test.
  • Leaving the room to “use the bathroom” and looking for test answers along the way.

Cheating can also mean copying someone else’s homework.

Don’t plagiarize for your work!

Cheating can also mean plagiarizing, using someone else’s research or copying someone else’s paper and presenting it as your own.

Many students ask what’s wrong with this. They see school as just a stepping stone to something they value more, such as a high-paying job. They think successful cheaters are clever. Or they think that it’s OK to cheat to help a friend.

Others would argue that cheaters show poor character. They game the system rather than actually acquire necessary skills.

Too, cheating can cause problems in the future. You wouldn’t want to be operated on by a surgeon who cheated her way through medical school or fly in an airplane with a pilot who cheated his way through flight school.

Finally, many would say that cheaters cheat themselves out of a chance to acquire discipline and a particular set of skills. If you cheat at a language school like this one, you aren’t learning the grammar, vocabulary, writing, and listening skills that would make you fluent in the target language.

One final reason not to cheat in an academic setting is that you can be kicked out. Many American universities have Honor Contracts that incoming students must sign. Cheating breaks this contract. It would be embarrassing  and disappointing to be sent home for having cheated.

Most schools have a tutoring center that can help students who are struggling. Find out from your school who can give you extra help.

You may still choose to cheat, but at least now you know why some people think it’s a big deal.