Working Thesis-Academic Dishonesty

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Research Question: Has the Internet facilitated the growth of academic dishonesty since the 1980s in higher education in general, and Trinity College in particular?

To most educators, the essential element to the success of their mission is academic integrity. It can be said that higher education as well as society will benefit from standards of integrity that pave the way for vibrant academic life, promote scientific progress, and prepare students for responsible citizenship. Despite efforts to uphold such principles, academic dishonesty is a growing concern for most educational institutions. Academic dishonesty has been a problem in schools as long as schools have existed, but over the past decade researchers and teachers have reported a dramatic climb in the occurrence of academic dishonesty especially among students in higher education, seemingly sparked by the rise of the Internet. Although increased technological developments of the last twenty or so years have been critical in creating new aids in research and avenues for faculty to publish their works, the Internet has made it easier for students to plagiarize, fabricate, and tamper with information. Another important factor that can be considered is student confusion over the nature of originality and textual appropriation when it comes to using online resources. Because many students do not know exactly what constitutes cheating and plagiarism through the use of the Internet, it is becoming increasingly more common and acceptable among students to use sources found on the Internet in some way that is not in accordance with higher education institutions.

A Campus Fad That’s Being Copied: Internet Plagiarism-

This article is about how a study conducted in 2004 on 23 college campuses has found that Internet plagiarism is rising among students. Out of the undergraduate students surveyed said that in the last year they had engaged in some sort of Internet plagiarism without citation. In a similar survey three years earlier than this study, only 10 percent of students had acknowledged such cheating. This study in 2004, by Donald L. McCabe from Rutgers University, surveyed over 18,000 students, 2,6000 faculty members and 650 teaching assistants at large public universities and small private colleges nationwide, not including Ivy Leagues. Professor McCabe says, “There are a lot of students who are growing up with the Internet who are convinced that anything you find on the Internet is public knowledge and doesn’t need to be cited.” This studied revealed that about half the students who participated in the study considered Internet cheating to be trivial plagiarism while only twenty-two percent of undergraduates acknowledged that they have cheated in a “serious” way in the past year. According to the majority opinion of students, the more serious way of cheating is copying from another student on a test, using unauthorized notes or helping someone else to cheat on a test. Most students believe that cheating and plagiarism through the use of the Internet is less serious and therefore students are more likely to partake in this sort of plagiarism. The article also adds that administrators at Princeton have said that many times students as well as parents do not understand why it is wrong to using sections of text for academic word without using citation. The author ends by saying that colleges need to make it clear to their students what defines cheating and that is important to uphold principles of academic integrity in order to stop the growth of academic dishonesty within educational institutions.

Student Online Plagiarism: How Do We Respond?-

In this article the author talks about how it has been perceived that Internet plagiarism by college students is on the rise and that professors and administrators are alarmed. It reviews quantitative studies of student plagiarism over the past forty years, as well as how institutions have responded weakly. Lastly it offers strategies for addressing and preventing such plagiarism. The author reveals that quantitative studies based on student self-reports have reported high levels of academic dishonesty over several decades, but vary from 9 to 95 percent of students admitting to some form of academic dishonesty. It is found that Internet plagiarism is highly influenced by peer behavior on students’ decisions to plagiarize and that it is on the rise among high school students. Because of this, it is now even more critical how colleges respond to such dishonesty. In the past, cheating and plagiarism was more time consuming, as it required students to obtain books, read, and copy. Now students can find online resources in a matter of seconds, with just the click of a mouse, which has led to the growth of academic dishonesty.

Works Cited:

Rimer, Sara. 2003. “A Campus Fad That’s Being Copied: Internet Plagiarism.” New              York Times, 3 Sept.

Scanlon, PM (2003) “Student Online Plagiarism: How Do We Respond?” College                Teaching, 51: 161-5. Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. New York:              Basic Books.

One thought on “Working Thesis-Academic Dishonesty”

  1. Academic dishonesty and the internet is a terrific idea! The internet has its positives as well as its negatives and I think this is an important one. I thought your draft was well written and your sources were right on point. I would say keep looking into news or research from the past. It’s important to get information about what happened in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to address change over time. Were there any newspaper articles? Television segments from shows like 60minutes, 20/20, etc ? If you do find a segment you could post it with your research paper. For Trinity, you could look at the Tripod, emails we’ve gotten regarding academic dishonesty and the internet, etc. You could also give more of a background about academic dishonesty and the internet and maybe mention academic dishonesty before the internet.

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