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  Are You a Cheater? (Doll Article)

(November 14, 2010 by JeZz Send DollMail )
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I read an interesting article last week about cheating. I’m talking about cheating on homework and tests – not cheating on your special someone, although I’m sure there are plenty of fun articles about that. The key points of this particular article were some things those of us in school already know on some level, but it still wasn’t pretty to see them in print:
• The top kids tend to cheat more than the bottom ones.
• The internet is a huge source of material for cheating.
• Kids rationalize cheating to make it sound, well, like not cheating.

The Top Kids Cheat

Does everyone cheat? Probably not, but there is a lot of cheating going on up there at the top of the class. Why would these seemingly bright kids need to cheat? Because they have really smart ways of doing it! Well, that’s only partly true. Smart kids can be pretty clever about cheating, but they also have a huge amount of pressure to succeed and that pressure can make them take a few shortcuts. One study cited in the article actually said that kids in the remedial or bottom level classes cheat less and have a higher standard of behavior than those at the top who often see cheating as a means to an end.

For these top kids, the goal is at the end of it all is college. Earning a way into the best university programs and on to the next step. To get there, of course, we have to have jobs, extracurricular activities, high ranking classes, fine arts involvements and plenty of club memberships. The top kids are busy – much too busy to worry about getting every answer every time! Why not just have your friend do half the homework and you do the other half and then switch on the bus ride to the game tonight? Saves time and energy, right? Eh, wrong.

The Internet and Cheating

The internet opened up a new avenue of cheating for us. Now with the help of smart phones and internet connections, we can find the answer to virtually anything we need in a moment. Why actually read the text you’re supposed to study if you can just Google the answers anyhow? Possibly even during the test itself! Of course, what most of us think about when it comes to cheating is taking papers off the internet and using them as your own assignment.

Many companies make plenty of money doing exactly this. Unfortunately, it’s still cheating to use someone else’s work. Seeing something for sale doesn’t make it right to buy. Taking an essay and changing enough of the text does not make it right. The essay is still not your own work and if you’re caught – as many plagiarized essays are thanks to advancements in software to detect cheating, you’re risking your grade, your GPA and everything that comes with it.

Excuses, Excuses

So when is it okay to borrow someone’s answers? What can you use the internet for if not for some quick ideas about what to write? It’s a very fine line to walk, but always think about how you’re explaining it. Would your teacher or principal or college admissions office agree with you that the means to an end was okay? Don’t bother trying to fool yourself either.

Most college admissions offices don’t think rearranging words from a website counts as research and your English teacher isn’t likely to be fooled by the book report you pulled together from the book summary online. Sometimes you invent your own punishment by not doing the work properly in the first place – if you don’t ever finish your own homework, how reasonable is it to expect to do well on a test in the class?

Cheating is all around us all the time it seems, and if you’re thinking of taking a short cut here or there, you’re not alone. I just hope that you’re one of the few that manage to resist the temptation.

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Palatine, IL
Posted On: November 28, 2010
...essays for you? We know about them, too." I really don't understand how people can be so thick as to think they'll get away with plagiarism, Just write your own essay; it's really not that difficult to form words. Editing is another story....Anyway, if you have down your research and editing and all, please, please, please remember to cite properly. I have a friend who neglected to spend the five minutes it would have taken him him to add citations to his big second semester English research paper, and he ended up failing the class. He will have to retake it second semester this year.

Spark-notes are fine as a supplementary tool, in my opinion. obviously you cant just go off of those, you have to actually do the reading, but they can be helpful if you want extra insight or preparatory materials. Using them without doing the assigned reading is akin to icing a plate instead of a cake: you'll get some of the flavor, but no substance. /"rant" about academic dishonesty.
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Palatine, IL
Posted On: November 28, 2010
In all honesty, math is the only class I come close to cheating in...but it's not actually cheating because when I work off of another person's problems (we have this things called "Friday Problems" due every week, and we are encouraged to work together), I'm really trying to understand where I messed up in my own work. And most of the time, it's because I forgot to put in a zero (changing .0002 to just .002) or messed up a negative. very small stuff because I'm dealing with level 1 calculus. it gets incredibly frustrating when you can understand the quotient rule and mean value theorem very well and still somehow think in the madness of a test that 2+3 is 6.

As for plagiarism, that is a GIGANTIC no-no. That is something that has been drilled into my head for at least the past 9 years. Especially in high school, though. The teachers are very serious about what an academic offense it is. And as it says on UMich's admissions website: "You know those websites that will write your...
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Nashville, TN
Posted On: November 27, 2010
I can happily say I never in my life cheated to gain.

I cheated for my sister though, lol. She wasn't very good at L.A. or typing so I would type up her reports for her (she would write rough drafts) and while I was typing them out I'd fix punctuation/spelling/etc. She did the leg work but got off easy on the small stuff.

What was in it for me? When I'd agree it'd make living with her easier, lol. She wasn't a very nice sister, but when I did her favors she was grateful.
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Bronx, NY
Posted On: November 27, 2010
nov 24 was miley cyurs BRITH DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
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United Kingdom
Posted On: November 26, 2010
Someone I know told me about this guy who ended up with a zero on one of his college assignments cuz he lifted the whole thing of wikipedia. XD The tutor was one of those people against using the internet as anything more than a research tool; he'd punish anyone who thought otherwise by giving them zero.
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