Academic dishonesty is an act which is becoming a growing concern amongst adults in institutions globally. It is an issue that begins in elementary schools and goes all the way to colleges and universities. Some of the reasons that have been identified for the increasing rates of academic dishonesty include pressure from peers, teachers, and parents. The ever-changing technology, classroom environment, and self-centered cultures also contribute greatly to academic dishonesty. Students get successful techniques to cheat in exams without being caught, which aggravated this problem. Many researches have been conducted on how to maintain academic integrity through academic honesty and presentation of original academic work.
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Academic honesty and presentation of original academic work are increasingly essential aspects of the process of education system. From research it has been established that the concerns of presentation of original academic work, academic honesty, and the lack of it are greatly increasing. As a result, institutions such as universities and colleges take enormous measures to regulate the academic dishonesty that has found its way into these institutions. This academic paper will first explain about the definition of academic dishonesty as explained by Hard, Conway, and Moran. Students can develop confidence in their academic assignments and improve themselves academically by acquiring and building academic integrity (Freeman & Scheidecker, 2012). The students in various institutions, for instance universities and colleges will be able to learn that an academic excellence cannot come through cheating in examinations but through hard work.
Academic dishonesty refers to a form of academic cheating whether inadvertently or deliberately. Academic dishonesty is a serious issue, and the essentiality of this subject has been discussed by teachers. It has been at the top of the discussion that exists between students and their teachers at each education level, mainly within adult students with both online and face-to-face courses in the current world. According to Hard, Conway, and Moran (2006), academic dishonesty is defined as follows:
receiving or providing support in a way not approved by the tutor in the development of a work to be submitted by a student for academic assessment, including examinations, papers and projects, and even presenting the document as an individual’s own work. (p. 1059)
Presentation of the concepts of another individual for academic assessment without appropriate acknowledgement is known as plagiarism.
Besides, academic dishonesty can consist of fabrication or falsification of information or citations, fraud by mimicking a particular student with the intention of offering an advantage that particular student, testing officials or corruption of instructors as well as disrupting fellow students’ projects or work, or even disrupting the students’ educational environment. Academic dishonesty does not only apply to students but also to the educators who are responsible for testing and instructing the students and awarding grades. Professional unlawful activities can also include preference for a particular viewpoint or student, inappropriate grading of the assignments of students, trading of good grades in exchange for favors such as bribes and support towards cheating.
With the issues of lack of integrity and academic dishonesty among older students, over the previous few years colleges and universities have designed policies and guidelines to resolve the issues that have become epidemic. The guidelines and policies that are developed by institutions are modernized regularly so as to shun the persistence of academic dishonesty by the students. The adult students’ unawareness of dishonesty in academics is mainly caused by particular aspects, for example inadequate memory from the previous academic knowledge. The anticipations of particular students are not to cheat in their academics but to have a common knowledge. In other situations, the students might not have been tutored or might not have the knowledge of citing the references of their original work. Proper citation of sources allows the reader to understand that the information is not an original work and will assist him or her to easily find the original source of information. The university or college will take severe actions against any student when he or she engages in an academic dishonesty. This is done by using a particular set of rules and regulations that can eventually result in the expulsion of the student from the university or college.
Academic honesty is very important as it involves the students to be extremely sensitive and attentive so as to undertake the integrity about the originality of the information they are conveying. As indicated in the introductory part of the paper, developing and acquiring integrity and honesty academically will assist the students to have motivation and feel more confident of their work that is completed and submitted to the tutor. Fairness is an essential value. Therefore, whenever a particular student cheats in an academic work, he/she benefits from a short-term advantage compared to other students. It is not a fair practice and it does not help the student as well as the institution. It is also unfair to possess cheat notes when fellow students are dependent on their memories or to turn to writing or an article that has been published by another author when other students are turning to their original works. The students who are engaged in sharing of their assignments with the other students or even in copying other people’s work without using proper citation are also subject to facing severe consequences of breaching the academic rules. For instance, if the students share their work, then the consequence of sharing that work will be that both the students will be awarded an equal grade of zero.
The long-term effects of academic dishonesty might be very damaging. However, these damages can be prevented through proper academic honesty. This is because students who participate in academic cheating are very likely to continue with the concept of cheating in the near future as well as in personal business or workplace dealings. It might eventually contribute to someone losing job or going at a loss in work places. Therefore, it is significant to note that academic honesty is very important and deserves an academic award, for instance degree through honesty can result in the owner of the award getting a job that they are fully qualified for. As a result, in case one was recruited with someone who cheated in his or her academics, they will perform better than the other student who cheating, thus resulting into more production at workplace (Ryan, Bonanno, Krass, Scouller, & Smith, 2009). Therefore, academic honesty plays a very essential role. No one should engage in dishonest kind of behavior as it can affect both the company and an individual. Besides, the reputation of the institution can be damaged if one got a job opportunity by using a dishonest academic qualification, and consequently the result from the work will be poor.
Another importance of academic honesty is that it is an essential factor in the transformation of the cultural behaviors of students that takes place within the society to a very healthy educational environment where all the students are treated equally and fairness is the motto of the institution. From research, it has been established that academic honesty contributes greatly to the honesty of students when they grow up and reside within the society. In case students who practiced examination cheats relocate and reside within the society, they will think that everything is obtained in an easy manner like cheating in an exam. Therefore, they will not be ready to take responsibility even if they are adults. Academic dishonesty is not a good trait and, therefore, students should desist from such acts of unfairness (Mayer, 2009).
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Academic honesty also prevents plagiarism and loss of authors’ money. For instance, if the students engage in honest work, there will be nobody who will be interested in another person’s work and therefore, the authors of academic documents such as research projects will be guaranteed full pay for their articles. There will be no piracy of information as the right will be bestowed on the student or the author of the articles. The consequences of plagiarizing another person’s work are illegal and if such fact will be revealed, one can be detained for a long period of time. Therefore, the best way to avoid such kind of consequences is to be honest in your academic studies. Even though it is a harsh treatment for other people who like cheating, it is very essential since it will assist students, teachers, colleges, universities as well as the general public.
Finally, academic honesty and presentation of original academic work are essential attributes for the transformation that takes place in the cultural behavior of the students or readers to a healthy educational environment. Making the correct decisions and practicing academic honesty will result in the improvement of the academic as well as personal qualities of students, universities, and colleges. Practicing academic dishonesty is not a good habit and it can be put off by allowing room for fair hearing for the accused individuals with the most suitable punishments. Besides, the student’s board can also adopt the honor codes in order to promote academic honesty. The student will be prepared for future challenges as well as opportunities that are on their way when they practice academic honesty. Academic honesty requires confidence, trust, and belief in yourself, thereby success will be on your way. Do not practice academic dishonesty because others are doing that (Gray, 2012). Finally, students have to engage in reading so as to acquire high quality skills in order to perform good in academics.