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The Importance of Academic Honesty

By TFD Unlimited Collaborator March 13, 2019

What is Academic Honesty? 

Academic honesty is an integral part of a student’s success in class and later in life. It is the foundation for the success of a university. Original ideas are generated from students that think independently. A key aspect of academic honesty is to acknowledge what efforts can be attributed to the student’s merit. This goes a long way in life. A student must be able to accurately assess their own performance. This requires a student to separate their work from the work of others. A student that is academically honest can improve their performance in school by the ability to measure their own proficiency. 

A student assumes full responsibility to submit honest work. This means that all papers are properly cited, the work is the student’s own, and the work adheres to specified guidelines. A student is also held accountable for the actions of others. Academic dishonesty observed by any student should be reported to the appropriate faculty member. 

The reputation of every institution is built on academic honesty. Once a student graduates and enters their professional career, they are a representative of the university. Employers want to make sure that the candidates that they hire understand their job. 

The Consequences of Academic Dishonesty 

A student who is academically dishonest will most likely not demonstrate the level of proficiency that they indicate to employers. This area of weakness will reveal itself to an employer during the interview process or during the job. It will be difficult for the employer to trust future candidates from the same university. 

Academic dishonesty can eventually catch up to a student. The main objective of the educational institute is to prepare a student for a professional career. The skills that they learn in class build on each other. An attempt to cheat in these classes make it more difficult to perform well in later classes. Incompetency in a particular subject becomes more apparent in the workforce when a service is not well-received or a device does not work. For certain professions, this can be dangerous. For example, an engineer that designs a miscalculated engine for a car can cost the company millions in call-backs. There are many other cases where a simple mistake can lead to profound consequences. 

Academic dishonesty is a risky business and is not worth it. Most universities have a zero tolerance policy towards academic dishonesty. A course of action that fails a student or dismisses them from the university may be imposed. Even a seemingly small act of academic dishonesty can lead to serious consequences. 

Many students take the time to devise strategies which allow them to cheat on an assignment. This is especially true in the IT field. Many of these plans are quite well thought out and sometimes succeed. This is highly frowned upon by many. The time that a student takes to come up with a plan to cheat on an assignment could be used to learn the material. In the end, the student ends up with a shallow understanding of the material and hurts the integrity of the institution. 

Plagiarism is another form of academic dishonesty. Many lawsuits take place over plagiarism. Therefore, it is important to learn how to cite sources properly. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional, but all plagiarism is seen as academic dishonesty. 

Academic dishonesty can foster other bad habits. A student cannot understand the value of their education and the rewards it brings if they are academically dishonesty. This is likely to carry into other aspects of life. It’s quite feasible to find a solutions manual for an assignment or project from some source. In industry, academia, or life, there is no solved solutions manual. The student must work on projects that have never been done before. This is where the real challenge begins. A student who cannot perform well in their profession may have to leave. 

Why Resort to Academic Dishonesty? 

Many students do not want to resort to academic dishonesty. The thought of cheating on an assignment usually comes as a last resort. Many students try their best to give their honest efforts and faculty members recognize this. For some students, it may seem that their best is not enough. Students who are placed in a stressful situation such as academic probation sometimes become desperate. This pushes the student to find a solution that will allow them to pull through even if entails academic dishonesty. 

While it is understandable that no student wants to be penalized for their performance, academic dishonesty is not the answer. The first step to improved performance is for the student to be honest with themselves. From there, they can recognize areas that need improvement and find the appropriate resources that can help them. 

In some cases, a student may feel that a faculty member is not fair to them. A student should discuss the concern to the faculty member or discuss with the appropriate department if the student suspects unfair treatment. It’s important that the student present their case in a professional manner. 

How to Foster Academic Honesty 

Students should look to a community for support. The main advantage of a community is that it helps with accountability. A reliable community such as a study group should review course material to make it more manageable. Students should teach others the material rather than exchange solutions. If solutions are shared, there should be some review to back this up, otherwise, the student does not learn anything. 

Students should ask questions. Many students are worried that their question might be perceived as too simple, but there is a good chance that many others have the same question. Teachers and professors are happy to hear questions from their students. It fosters a conducive learning environment. 

There are many tutoring resources available to students. This is a good way to solidify the material. It’s easier for students to receive individualized support from a tutor. There university and college students, there are also office hours. This is an opportunity for students to ask questions about the course. It can also be a time for students to learn more about the professor and their research. It may even lead to a job as a research assistant. 

Students should double-check the work that they submit. There’s a good chance that something may be specific to a certain author. It can be easy to mark off information as general knowledge. Nevertheless, it is good practice to check the credentials and cite if necessary. 

Encouragement is another key aspect of academic honesty. It is easy to get overwhelmed from the vast amount of work from courses, extracurriculars, and so forth. Simple talks with a faculty member, friend, or relative can be enough sometimes. There are also counseling services available that specialize in more serious matters. Faculty members want to see their students succeed so a simple conversation can well be worth the time. 

The Importance of Academic Honesty 

Society is built on trust. A degree carries weight because it is a symbol that a student earned their degree and is knowledgable about their field. Understanding a tough subject provides a feeling of immense accomplishment that cannot be achieved through academic dishonesty. 

The hard work and discipline that comes with honest work benefit a person’s life in every aspect. It is important for a student to accept that failure is part of the process. It is what makes success all the more rewarding.

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