Last Updated 10 Aug 2020

Academic Dishonesty

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Academic dishonesty in whatever form is a direct attack upon a prestigious educational institution particularly the faculty concerned. It humiliates the integrity of the University and further, it dehumanizes the personality of the teaching personnel by insulting and injuring his individuality.

According to Miami Dade College Manual of Procedures, cheating during examinations, collaboration and misrepresentation of work, plagiarism as well as stealing examinations or course material and falsifying records constitute the subtle “criminal” act of academic dishonesty.

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As such Policy IV-5 on Student Rights and Responsibilities with Statutory Reference FLORIDA STATUTE 1006.50 has been implemented by said college.

Dishonest activities as mentioned above will not only demean and depreciate the values of students but may disturb them psychologically and emotionally. Somehow students may feel a tinge of guilt and maybe tension resulting to stress which could further affect their school performance and may not facilitate learning.

For whatever it is worth, the student performing acts of academic dishonesty will always be at the losing end especially when caught and penalized. Worse, it may destroy his future by committing an offensive record thus limiting his opportunities to more promising careers.

Submitted requirements by students must stand for the efforts they exerted in completing such. Cheating is the unauthorized use of information or study guides in any academic exercise (UCSB, 1995). It may include copying answers from others taking the same examination. Using irrelevant notes written on any material is also prohibited.

In take-home examinations, sharing of answers is also a form of cheating. Tampering of examination results and taking examinations for another person and asking someone else to take your examination are also taboo in colleges and universities.

And among the latest innovations of cheating is utilizing the assistance of essay-writing companies especially those found in the Internet. The so-called “Internet revolution” provides very accessible ways of helping students finish various types of paper work while earning.

Many writing jobs are open in the Internet which caters this need for papers in different academic levels --- high school, undergraduate, masters and Ph.D.  Any student may find this convenient and relaxing plus a guaranteed good grade, however, learning and money are sacrificed in this method. Writing is not enhanced and may hinder the development of this skill among future academicians and degree holders.

Another huge misconduct related to academic dishonesty among students, professors and researchers is plagiarism. Plagiarism is academic theft (UCSB, 1995). It is stealing and claiming the words and thoughts of another person without acknowledging it through proper citations. Thus, giving the author due credit is denied.

Proper citations and documentation must be given in quoted lines or messages, paraphrased or summarized lines, and unique ideas, facts and data given by a particular author. Plagiarism has expanded in the advent of Internet technology.

The “cut and paste” method of making papers has become frequent though some Internet programs to check paper works for plagiarism are now advocated to minimize this unethical behavior. As a consequence, penalties for plagiarism are oftentimes harsh.

High school students may fail on particular subjects where they plagiarized certain papers or projects. In colleges and universities, some policies allow for failure of the subject, suspension from attending classes and worst, expulsion from the institution.

In Miami Dade College, sanctions for academic dishonesty are categorized as Level I and Level II. For serious offenses, there are preliminary meetings conducted between the faculty and the student.

After which, a Notice of Charge is issued by the Dean upon the recommendation from the Department Chairperson if the sanction belongs to Level II. The hearing process follows in the presence of the Academic Hearing Committee (AHC) together with the parties involved in the case. The AHC then renders the decision as to the fate of the guilty party.

Collaboration and misrepresentation of work is also common among students especially the tardy ones and overly busy types and those involved in too many extracurricular activities.

Academic dishonesty in this case is hard to determine though as some professors may assign papers and projects by partners or groups, nevertheless, the pair or members of the group must work independently and do their share in making the requirement successful. Inventing data and manipulating results are also huge immoral offenses. The collaborators should give full credit to those who contributed to the work done.

Each writer should remember that one mistake of academic dishonesty may cost you your name and credibility in the academe which unfortunately is binding and irrevocable. It is difficult to regain back the respect you have earned as a student, professor, author or researcher.

Asking for assistance is not bad, however, it is but wise to use this other’s help only as a basis for our work. The best papers have always been our original ideas which can be appreciated more perhaps by our readers.

References

Miami Dade College. (2006). Miami Dade College Manual of Procedures. Retrieved November 3, 2007, from http://mdc.edu/procedures/

University of California Santa Barbara. (1995). The Academic Dishonesty Question: A Guide to an Answer through Education, Prevention, Adjudication, and Obligation

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