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Alex Green Illustration, Cheating

Why Students Cheat—and What to Do About It

A teacher seeks answers from researchers and psychologists. 

“Why did you cheat in high school?” I posed the question to a dozen former students.

“I wanted good grades and I didn’t want to work,” said Sonya, who graduates from college in June. [The students’ names in this article have been changed to protect their privacy.]

My current students were less candid than Sonya. To excuse her plagiarized Cannery Row essay, Erin, a ninth-grader with straight As, complained vaguely and unconvincingly of overwhelming stress. When he was caught copying a review of the documentary Hypernormalism , Jeremy, a senior, stood by his “hard work” and said my accusation hurt his feelings.

Cases like the much-publicized ( and enduring ) 2012 cheating scandal at high-achieving Stuyvesant High School in New York City confirm that academic dishonesty is rampant and touches even the most prestigious of schools. The data confirms this as well. A 2012 Josephson Institute’s Center for Youth Ethics report revealed that more than half of high school students admitted to cheating on a test, while 74 percent reported copying their friends’ homework. And a survey of 70,000 high school students across the United States between 2002 and 2015 found that 58 percent had plagiarized papers, while 95 percent admitted to cheating in some capacity.

So why do students cheat—and how do we stop them?

According to researchers and psychologists, the real reasons vary just as much as my students’ explanations. But educators can still learn to identify motivations for student cheating and think critically about solutions to keep even the most audacious cheaters in their classrooms from doing it again.

Rationalizing It

First, know that students realize cheating is wrong—they simply see themselves as moral in spite of it.

“They cheat just enough to maintain a self-concept as honest people. They make their behavior an exception to a general rule,” said Dr. David Rettinger , professor at the University of Mary Washington and executive director of the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service, a campus organization dedicated to integrity.

According to Rettinger and other researchers, students who cheat can still see themselves as principled people by rationalizing cheating for reasons they see as legitimate.

Some do it when they don’t see the value of work they’re assigned, such as drill-and-kill homework assignments, or when they perceive an overemphasis on teaching content linked to high-stakes tests.

“There was no critical thinking, and teachers seemed pressured to squish it into their curriculum,” said Javier, a former student and recent liberal arts college graduate. “They questioned you on material that was never covered in class, and if you failed the test, it was progressively harder to pass the next time around.”

But students also rationalize cheating on assignments they see as having value.

High-achieving students who feel pressured to attain perfection (and Ivy League acceptances) may turn to cheating as a way to find an edge on the competition or to keep a single bad test score from sabotaging months of hard work. At Stuyvesant, for example, students and teachers identified the cutthroat environment as a factor in the rampant dishonesty that plagued the school.

And research has found that students who receive praise for being smart—as opposed to praise for effort and progress—are more inclined to exaggerate their performance and to cheat on assignments , likely because they are carrying the burden of lofty expectations.

A Developmental Stage

When it comes to risk management, adolescent students are bullish. Research has found that teenagers are biologically predisposed to be more tolerant of unknown outcomes and less bothered by stated risks than their older peers.

“In high school, they’re risk takers developmentally, and can’t see the consequences of immediate actions,” Rettinger says. “Even delayed consequences are remote to them.”

While cheating may not be a thrill ride, students already inclined to rebel against curfews and dabble in illicit substances have a certain comfort level with being reckless. They’re willing to gamble when they think they can keep up the ruse—and more inclined to believe they can get away with it.

Cheating also appears to be almost contagious among young people—and may even serve as a kind of social adhesive, at least in environments where it is widely accepted.  A study of military academy students from 1959 to 2002 revealed that students in communities where cheating is tolerated easily cave in to peer pressure, finding it harder not to cheat out of fear of losing social status if they don’t.

Michael, a former student, explained that while he didn’t need to help classmates cheat, he felt “unable to say no.” Once he started, he couldn’t stop.

A student cheats using answers on his hand.

Technology Facilitates and Normalizes It

With smartphones and Alexa at their fingertips, today’s students have easy access to quick answers and content they can reproduce for exams and papers.  Studies show that technology has made cheating in school easier, more convenient, and harder to catch than ever before.

To Liz Ruff, an English teacher at Garfield High School in Los Angeles, students’ use of social media can erode their understanding of authenticity and intellectual property. Because students are used to reposting images, repurposing memes, and watching parody videos, they “see ownership as nebulous,” she said.

As a result, while they may want to avoid penalties for plagiarism, they may not see it as wrong or even know that they’re doing it.

This confirms what Donald McCabe, a Rutgers University Business School professor,  reported in his 2012 book ; he found that more than 60 percent of surveyed students who had cheated considered digital plagiarism to be “trivial”—effectively, students believed it was not actually cheating at all.

Strategies for Reducing Cheating

Even moral students need help acting morally, said  Dr. Jason M. Stephens , who researches academic motivation and moral development in adolescents at the University of Auckland’s School of Learning, Development, and Professional Practice. According to Stephens, teachers are uniquely positioned to infuse students with a sense of responsibility and help them overcome the rationalizations that enable them to think cheating is OK.

1. Turn down the pressure cooker. Students are less likely to cheat on work in which they feel invested. A multiple-choice assessment tempts would-be cheaters, while a unique, multiphase writing project measuring competencies can make cheating much harder and less enticing. Repetitive homework assignments are also a culprit, according to research , so teachers should look at creating take-home assignments that encourage students to think critically and expand on class discussions. Teachers could also give students one free pass on a homework assignment each quarter, for example, or let them drop their lowest score on an assignment.

2. Be thoughtful about your language.   Research indicates that using the language of fixed mindsets , like praising children for being smart as opposed to praising them for effort and progress , is both demotivating and increases cheating. When delivering feedback, researchers suggest using phrases focused on effort like, “You made really great progress on this paper” or “This is excellent work, but there are still a few areas where you can grow.”

3. Create student honor councils. Give students the opportunity to enforce honor codes or write their own classroom/school bylaws through honor councils so they can develop a full understanding of how cheating affects themselves and others. At Fredericksburg Academy, high school students elect two Honor Council members per grade. These students teach the Honor Code to fifth graders, who, in turn, explain it to younger elementary school students to help establish a student-driven culture of integrity. Students also write a pledge of authenticity on every assignment. And if there is an honor code transgression, the council gathers to discuss possible consequences. 

4. Use metacognition. Research shows that metacognition, a process sometimes described as “ thinking about thinking ,” can help students process their motivations, goals, and actions. With my ninth graders, I use a centuries-old resource to discuss moral quandaries: the play Macbeth . Before they meet the infamous Thane of Glamis, they role-play as medical school applicants, soccer players, and politicians, deciding if they’d cheat, injure, or lie to achieve goals. I push students to consider the steps they take to get the outcomes they desire. Why do we tend to act in the ways we do? What will we do to get what we want? And how will doing those things change who we are? Every tragedy is about us, I say, not just, as in Macbeth’s case, about a man who succumbs to “vaulting ambition.”

5. Bring honesty right into the curriculum. Teachers can weave a discussion of ethical behavior into curriculum. Ruff and many other teachers have been inspired to teach media literacy to help students understand digital plagiarism and navigate the widespread availability of secondary sources online, using guidance from organizations like Common Sense Media .

There are complicated psychological dynamics at play when students cheat, according to experts and researchers. While enforcing rules and consequences is important, knowing what’s really motivating students to cheat can help you foster integrity in the classroom instead of just penalizing the cheating.

Joseph E. Davis Ph.D.

The Real Roots of Student Cheating

Let's address the mixed messages we are sending to young people..

Updated September 28, 2023 | Reviewed by Ray Parker

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  • Cheating is rampant, yet young people consistently affirm honesty and the belief that cheating is wrong.
  • This discrepancy arises, in part, from the tension students perceive between honesty and the terms of success.
  • In an integrated environment, achievement and the real world are not seen as at odds with honesty.

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The release of ChatGPT has high school and college teachers wringing their hands. A Columbia University undergraduate rubbed it in our face last May with an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled I’m a Student. You Have No Idea How Much We’re Using ChatGPT.

He goes on to detail how students use the program to “do the lion’s share of the thinking,” while passing off the work as their own. Catching the deception , he insists, is impossible.

As if students needed more ways to cheat. Every survey of students, whether high school or college, has found that cheating is “rampant,” “epidemic,” “commonplace, and practically expected,” to use a few of the terms with which researchers have described the scope of academic dishonesty.

In a 2010 study by the Josephson Institute, for example, 59 percent of the 43,000 high school students admitted to cheating on a test in the past year. According to a 2012 white paper, Cheat or Be Cheated? prepared by Challenge Success, 80 percent admitted to copying another student’s homework. The other studies summarized in the paper found self-reports of past-year cheating by high school students in the 70 percent to 80 percent range and higher.

At colleges, the situation is only marginally better. Studies consistently put the level of self-reported cheating among undergraduates between 50 percent and 70 percent depending in part on what behaviors are included. 1

The sad fact is that cheating is widespread.

Commitment to Honesty

Yet, when asked, most young people affirm the moral value of honesty and the belief that cheating is wrong. For example, in a survey of more than 3,000 teens conducted by my colleagues at the University of Virginia, the great majority (83 percent) indicated that to become “honest—someone who doesn’t lie or cheat,” was very important, if not essential to them.

On a long list of traits and qualities, they ranked honesty just below “hard-working” and “reliable and dependent,” and far ahead of traits like being “ambitious,” “a leader ,” and “popular.” When asked directly about cheating, only 6 percent thought it was rarely or never wrong.

Other studies find similar commitments, as do experimental studies by psychologists. In experiments, researchers manipulate the salience of moral beliefs concerning cheating by, for example, inserting moral reminders into the test situation to gauge their effect. Although students often regard some forms of cheating, such as doing homework together when they are expected to do it alone, as trivial, the studies find that young people view cheating in general, along with specific forms of dishonesty, such as copying off another person’s test, as wrong.

They find that young people strongly care to think of themselves as honest and temper their cheating behavior accordingly. 2

The Discrepancy Between Belief and Behavior

Bottom line: Kids whose ideal is to be honest and who know cheating is wrong also routinely cheat in school.

What accounts for this discrepancy? In the psychological and educational literature, researchers typically focus on personal and situational factors that work to override students’ commitment to do the right thing.

These factors include the force of different motives to cheat, such as the desire to avoid failure, and the self-serving rationalizations that students use to excuse their behavior, like minimizing responsibility—“everyone is doing it”—or dismissing their actions because “no one is hurt.”

While these explanations have obvious merit—we all know the gap between our ideals and our actions—I want to suggest another possibility: Perhaps the inconsistency also reflects the mixed messages to which young people (all of us, in fact) are constantly subjected.

Mixed Messages

Consider the story that young people hear about success. What student hasn’t been told doing well includes such things as getting good grades, going to a good college, living up to their potential, aiming high, and letting go of “limiting beliefs” that stand in their way? Schools, not to mention parents, media, and employers, all, in various ways, communicate these expectations and portray them as integral to the good in life.

They tell young people that these are the standards they should meet, the yardsticks by which they should measure themselves.

In my interviews and discussions with young people, it is clear they have absorbed these powerful messages and feel held to answer, to themselves and others, for how they are measuring up. Falling short, as they understand and feel it, is highly distressful.

At the same time, they are regularly exposed to the idea that success involves a trade-off with honesty and that cheating behavior, though regrettable, is “real life.” These words are from a student on a survey administered at an elite high school. “People,” he continued, “who are rich and successful lie and cheat every day.”

cheating in school essay

In this thinking, he is far from alone. In a 2012 Josephson Institute survey of 23,000 high school students, 57 percent agreed that “in the real world, successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating.” 3

Putting these together, another high school student told a researcher: “Grades are everything. You have to realize it’s the only possible way to get into a good college and you resort to any means necessary.”

In a 2021 survey of college students by College Pulse, the single biggest reason given for cheating, endorsed by 72 percent of the respondents, was “pressure to do well.”

What we see here are two goods—educational success and honesty—pitted against each other. When the two collide, the call to be successful is likely to be the far more immediate and tangible imperative.

A young person’s very future appears to hang in the balance. And, when asked in surveys , youths often perceive both their parents’ and teachers’ priorities to be more focused on getting “good grades in my classes,” than on character qualities, such as being a “caring community member.”

In noting the mixed messages, my point is not to offer another excuse for bad behavior. But some of the messages just don’t mix, placing young people in a difficult bind. Answering the expectations placed on them can be at odds with being an honest person. In the trade-off, cheating takes on a certain logic.

The proposed remedies to academic dishonesty typically focus on parents and schools. One commonly recommended strategy is to do more to promote student integrity. That seems obvious. Yet, as we saw, students already believe in honesty and the wrongness of (most) cheating. It’s not clear how more teaching on that point would make much of a difference.

Integrity, though, has another meaning, in addition to the personal qualities of being honest and of strong moral principles. Integrity is also the “quality or state of being whole or undivided.” In this second sense, we can speak of social life itself as having integrity.

It is “whole or undivided” when the different contexts of everyday life are integrated in such a way that norms, values, and expectations are fairly consistent and tend to reinforce each other—and when messages about what it means to be a good, accomplished person are not mixed but harmonious.

While social integrity rooted in ethical principles does not guarantee personal integrity, it is not hard to see how that foundation would make a major difference. Rather than confronting students with trade-offs that incentivize “any means necessary,” they would receive positive, consistent reinforcement to speak and act truthfully.

Talk of personal integrity is all for the good. But as pervasive cheating suggests, more is needed. We must also work to shape an integrated environment in which achievement and the “real world” are not set in opposition to honesty.

1. Liora Pedhazur Schmelkin, et al. “A Multidimensional Scaling of College Students’ Perceptions of Academic Dishonesty.” The Journal of Higher Education 79 (2008): 587–607.

2. See, for example, the studies in Christian B. Miller, Character and Moral Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, Ch. 3.

3. Josephson Institute. The 2012 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth (Installment 1: Honesty and Integrity). Josephson Institute of Ethics, 2012.

Joseph E. Davis Ph.D.

Joseph E. Davis is Research Professor of Sociology and Director of the Picturing the Human Colloquy of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

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Essays About Cheating: Top 5 Examples and 9 Writing Prompts

Essays about cheating show the value of honesty, see our top picks for examples and prompts you can use in writing.

In the US, 95% of high school students admitted to participating in some form of academic cheating . This includes exams and plagiarism. However, cheating doesn’t only occur in schools. It’s also prevalent in couples. Psychologists say that 50% of divorce cases in the country are because of infidelity . Other forms of cheating exist, such as cheating on a diet, a business deal, etc.

Because cheating is an intriguing subject, many want to read about it. However, to write essays about cheating appropriately, you must first pick a subtopic you’re comfortable discussing. Therefore, we have selected five simple but exemplary pieces you can read to get inspiration for writing your paper.

See below our round-up of top example essays about cheating.

1. Long Essay On Cheating In School By Prasanna

2. the reality of cheating in college essay by writer kip, 3. why cheating is wrong by bernadette mcbride, 4. what counts as cheating in a relationship by anonymous on gradesfixer, 5. emotional cheating by anonymous on papersowl, 1. types of cheating, 2. i was cheated on, 3. is cheating a mistake or choice, 4. tax evasion and cheating , 5. when i cheated, 6. cheating in american schools and universities, 7. review a famous book or film about cheating, 8. a famous cheating quote, 9. cause and effects of cheating.

“Cheating is a false representation of the child’s ability which he may not be able to give without cheating. It is unfair to everyone involved as it deprives the true one of the chance to come on the top.”

Prasanna begins the essay by defining cheating in schools and then incorporates how this unethical behavior occurs in reality. She further delves into the argument that cheating is not learning but an addiction that can result in students losing self-confidence, sanity, and integrity. 

Apart from showing the common causes and harmful effects of cheating on students, Prasanna also adds parents’ and teachers’ critical roles in helping students in their studies to keep them from cheating.

“It’s human nature to want to win, and some of us will go against the rules to do so. It can be harmless, but in many cases, it is annoying, or even hurtful.”

Kip defines cheating as human nature and focuses his essay on individuals who are hell-bent on wanting to win in online games. Unfortunately, these players’ desire to be on top is all-consuming, and they’re willing to go against the rules and disregard their integrity.

He talks about his experiences of being cheated in a game called AoE. He also incorporates the effects of these instances on newbies. These cheaters will humiliate, dishearten, and traumatize beginners who only want to have fun.

Check out these essays about cooperation .

“A cheater is more than likely lying to themselves more than to the people around them. A person can only go so far before their lies catch up to them, begin to accumulate, and start to penalize you.”

Mcbride dedicates her essay to answering why cheating is wrong, no matter the circumstance. She points out that there will always be a definite punishment for cheaters, whether they get caught. Mcbride believes that students who cheat, copy, and have someone else do their work are lazy and irresponsible. These students will never gain knowledge.

However, she also acknowledges that some cheaters are desperate, while some don’t realize the repercussions of their behaviors. At the end of the essay, she admits to cheating but says she’s no longer part of that vicious cycle, promising she has already realized her mistakes and doesn’t want to cheat again.

“Keep in mind that relationships are not based on logic, but are influenced by our emotions.”

The author explains how it’s challenging to define cheating in a relationship. It’s because every person has varying views on the topic. What others consider an affair may be acceptable to some. This includes the partners’ interaction with others while also analyzing the individual’s personality, such as flirting, sleeping in the same bed, and spending time with folks.

The essay further explains experts’ opinions on why men and women cheat and how partners heal and rebuild their trust. Finally, examples of different forms of cheating are discussed in the piece to give the readers more information on the subject. 

“…emotional cheating can be described as a desire to engage in another relationship without physically leaving his or her primary relationship.”

There’s an ongoing debate about whether emotional cheating should be labeled as such. The essay digs into the causes of emotional cheating to answer this issue. These reasons include lack of attention to each other, shortage of affectionate gestures, and misunderstandings or absence of proper communication. 

All of these may lead to the partner comparing their relationship to others. Soon, they fall out of love and fail to maintain boundaries, leading to insensitivity and selfishness. When a person in a relationship feels any of these, it can be a reason to look for someone else who can value them and their feelings.

9 Helpful Prompts in Writing Essays About Cheating

Here are some cheating subtopics you can focus your essay on:

Essays About Cheating: Types of cheating

Some types of cheating include deception, fabrication, bribery, impersonation, sabotage, and professional misconduct. Explain their definitions and have examples to make it easier for readers to understand.

You can use this prompt even if you don’t have any personal experience of being cheated on. You can instead relay events from a close friend or relative. First, narrate what happened and why. Then add what the person did to move on from the situation and how it affected them. Finally, incorporate lessons they’ve learned.

While this topic is still discussed by many, for you, is cheating a redeemable mistake? Or is it a choice with consequences? Express your opinion on this matter. Gather reliable evidence to support your claims, such as studies and research findings, to increase your essay’s credibility.

Tax evasion is a crime with severe penalties. Explain what it is and its punishments through a famous tax evasion case your readers can immediately recognize. For example, you can use Al Capone and his 11-year imprisonment and $215,000 back taxes . Talk through why he was charged with such and add your opinion. Ensure you have adequate and reliable sources to back up your claims.

Start with a  5 paragraph essay  to better organize your points.

Some say everyone will cheat at some point in their life. Talk about the time you cheated – it can be at a school exam, during work, or while on a diet. Put the perspective that made you think cheating was reasonable. Did you feel guilt? What did you do after, and did you cheat again? Answer these questions in your essay for an engaging and thrilling piece of writing.

Since academic cheating is notorious in America, use this topic for your essay. Find out which areas have high rates of academic cheating. What are their penalties? Why is cheating widespread? Include any measures the academe put in place.

Cheating is a frequent cause of conflict on small and big screens. Watch a film or read a story and write a review. Briefly summarize the plot, critique the characters, and add your realizations after finishing the piece. 

Goodreads has a list of books related to cheating. Currently, Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens has the highest rating.

Use this as an opportunity to write a unique essay by explaining the quote based on your understanding. It can be quotes from famous personalities or something that resonates with you and your experiences.

Since cheating’s cause and effect is a standard prompt, center your essay on an area unrelated to academics or relationships. For instance, write about cheating on your diet or cheating yourself of the opportunities life presents you.

Create a top-notch essay with excellent grammar. See our list of the best grammar checkers.

cheating in school essay

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Articles & Advice > Majors and Academics > Blog

This Is What Happens When You Cheat in School

Lots of students admit to cheating in school. But even when it seems like a harmless shortcut, there are serious repercussions whether or not you get caught.

by Cathleen Freedman CollegeXpress Student Writer

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Originally Posted: Apr 1, 2016

Between 75%–98% of college students admit to having cheated in high school. Typically when one thinks of a “cheater,” they think of some hooligan who doesn’t even try to learn the class material. But even top students who make good grades cheat. Cheating in school might seem like a harmless little shortcut, but there are real and seriously harmful repercussions—whether or not you get caught. Let's take a look at why students cheat, the serious consequences you can face, and more honest alternatives for when you need academic help. 

Common reasons students cheat

There's no excuse for cheating, but many students still try to come up with reasons to try to justify it. Have you ever had one of the following thoughts?

“I want to get the grade, not the education”

With the pressure to achieve a high GPA  and class rank, it’s easy to lose sight of what school is actually about: learning . You're in school to get a good education, first and foremost. Then  you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge in your good grades. Learn the material; the grades will follow. And if you’re so overwhelmed that you think cheating is your only way to keep your grades up, there are much better options (keep reading!).

“If I cheat, I’m only affecting myself”

Wrong! By cheating, you’re stealing the work of another student who has put in the time to learn the material. By cheating and getting a good grade you didn’t actually earn, you can also hurt the curve for the entire class and make the students who are struggling with the material believe there is something wrong with them for not understanding.

“My teacher isn’t any good, so it’s okay if I cheat to get by in that class”

While it's unfair for any student to have a low-caliber teacher, it isn’t fair for anyone to cheat. When you cheat and make a good grade without understanding the material, the teacher thinks they’ve taught the criteria well, and they will continue to teach the same way or perhaps at a faster pace. 

Related:  Think Smarter and Work Harder: Never Use an Essay Writing Service  

Consequences of cheating in school

It’s way more than a Saturday suspension. Here are just a few things that could happen when you cheat in your high school or college courses—it could affect a lot more than you think! 

Cheating in high school

  • You could get an automatic failure for the assignment.
  • You could get an automatic failure for the whole course.
  • You could be expelled or punished in other ways.
  • Your teacher, friends, family, teammates, coaches, etc. could lose respect for you.
  • You could hurt your own self-esteem, mess with your ability to actually think critically and solve problems, and develop a warped sense of morality.
  • Cheating goes on your permanent record, which brings me to…

When applying to colleges

  • The black mark on your permanent record could cost you your chances of getting into your top college —or any college.
  • Scholarship providers could also see your permanent record and not offer you scholarships.
  • Teachers won’t provide you with good (or any) recommendation letters. Even if you don’t get caught cheating, when you need a teacher to write your recommendation letter for college or job applications, they’ll remember that one time your Scantron answers looked eerily similar to someone else’s, and they won’t hesitate to tell your dream college or future employer about it. (Your teachers aren’t clueless, even though you think they might be.)

Cheating in college

  • You could be suspended or expelled.
  • You could lose your scholarship(s) or, again, not get any in the first place.
  • You could face copyright infringement troubles. That’s right—you could be sued for cheating on a paper.

Then there’s the aftermath of cheating in the “real world.” You will not have developed that skill you cheated on. And if you think you “got away” with cheating in high school or college, you might be tempted to take other shortcuts in life. But out in the real world, those shortcuts have pretty bad repercussions too. You know, like getting fired—not to mention losing the respect of those around you.

Alternatives to cheating

Okay, so you’re struggling in class. Cheating seems like your only option. Obviously it's not, and you should try to learn the material and do the work on your own. But if struggling to do that is why you’re thinking about cheating in the first place, here are some ways to rise above:

  • Ask your teacher, friends, or upperclassmen for help. You might be surprised by how much people can and want to help you!
  • Get a tutor. Your high school, college, or local library might offer free tutoring. Or if there is NHS at your high school, many of the inductees need to get volunteer hours and would probably offer free tutoring. Check it out.
  • Rethink how you spend your time. If you’re so overwhelmed with school work and activities that you think cheating is a solution, it’s time to rethink your priorities. Maybe it’s time to quit a club, change your class schedule, or give up your Tuesday night bowling league. (Or at the very least, rethink how you budget your time .)
  • Remember what’s really important. Yes, the learning. But if you’re hell-bent on getting the grades so you can get into a super selective college, you’re missing the point of what college is all about.
  • Use resources online. There are study guides and advice for basically every academic subject, every book you’ve been assigned, and every kind of homework problem. Watch some videos, read some stuff. (Just be careful relying on the answers you get from public online forums and familiarize yourself with what counts as plagiarism!)  

Long story short: You shouldn’t cheat. Besides all the reasons listed above, don’t you owe it to yourself to work honestly? In the words of Journey, don’t stop believing … in yourself and all that you can do—not the guy sitting next to you in Physics class.

Need help handling all your classes, tests, homework, and other assignments? Check out our Majors and Academics section for expert tips on acing everything the right way.

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About Cathleen Freedman

Cathleen Freedman attends the High School of Performing and Visual Arts, where she is preparing in the best possible way for college. She would also have to say that writing in the third person is as fun as you might think it is.

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cheating in school essay

Why Students Cheat and How to Stop It

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Cheating in schools has reached epidemic proportions. The vast majority of young people (and adults for that matter) believe that cheating is wrong. Yet, by nearly every poll, most young people cheat at least once in their high school career. Why students cheat poses a challenging question for educators and parents. Here are some answers to these questions followed by possible solutions to minimize or eliminate cheating.

Why Students Cheat

Everybody does it: It's disturbing to discover that young people in middle school and high school think that it is acceptable to cheat. But the majority of tests that educators give encourage this behavior. Take multiple-choice tests, for example. They literally invite students to cheat.

Unrealistic academic demands: The public education sector is accountable to the government. State legislatures, state boards of education, local boards of education, unions, and countless other organizations demand action to correct the real and imagined failings of the nation's public education system. As a result, students must take standardized tests so that officials and parents can compare one school system to another nationally and at the state level.

In the classroom, these tests mean that a teacher must achieve the expected results or better, or she will be viewed as ineffective, or worse, incompetent. So instead of teaching students how to think, she teaches them how to pass standardized tests.

The temptation to plagiarize: Years ago cheaters lifted whole passages from an encyclopedia and called them their own. That was plagiarism. Plagiarism's current incarnation is even easier: The students simply points and clicks his way to the website with the relevant information, copies and paste it, reformats it somewhat, and passes it off as his own.

Possible Solutions

Schools need to have zero-tolerance policies concerning cheating. Teachers must be vigilant and alert to all of the newer forms of cheating, particularly electronic cheating. Smartphones and computer tablets are powerful tools for cheating. Fighting the tools that make it tempting to cheat can be challenging, but if the stakeholders are willing to take the necessary steps, they can help reduce cheating.

Teachers:  The best solution is to make learning exciting and absorbing. Teachers should make the learning process student-centric. They should allow students to buy into the process and empower them to guide and direct their learning. Teachers can encourage creativity and critical thinking as opposed to rote learning. There are some specific steps teachers can take:

  • Model integrity, no matter what the cost.
  • Don't assume young people know why cheating is wrong, both from a personal and corporate perspective.
  • Enable students to understand the meaning and relevance of an academic lesson.
  • Foster an academic curriculum that perpetuates real-world applications of knowledge.
  • Don't force cheating underground—let students know that you understand the pressures and, at least initially, be reasonable in responding to violations.

Parents:  Parents have a huge role to play in combating cheating. That's because children mimic almost everything parents do. Parents must set the right sort of example for their children to emulate. Parents must also take a genuine interest in their children's work. They should ask to see everything and anything and discuss everything and anything. An involved parent is a powerful weapon against cheating.

Students:  Students must learn to be true to themselves and their own core values. They should not let peer pressure and other influences steal their dreams. Parents and educators should emphasize that if students are caught cheating, there will be serious consequences.

Also, this might seem simplistic, but students need to understand why cheating is wrong. Dr. Thomas Lickona, a developmental psychologist and education professor, defined a few points to emphasize to students about cheating. Lickona says that parents and teachers should explain to students that cheating:

  • Will lower self-respect because you can never be proud of anything you earned by cheating.
  • Is a lie because it deceives other people into thinking you know more than you do.
  • Violates the teacher's trust and undermines the whole trust relationship between the teacher and his class.
  • Is unfair to all people who aren't cheating.
  • Will lead to more cheating in other situations later in life—perhaps even in personal relationships.

Foiling Electronic Cheating

When essay topics are generic, there seems to be more opportunity to cheat. By contrast, when the essay topic is specific to class discussions and/or unique to the course's stated goals, it becomes more difficult for students to go to web sources to lift material or download papers.

When the teacher expects the paper's development to follow a step-by-step process that requires students to document their topic, thesis, outline, sources, rough draft, and final draft, there are fewer opportunities to cheat. If there are regular in-class writing assignments, a teacher can come to know the students' writing style, allowing him to recognize plagiarism when it occurs.

There are a few steps teachers can take to combat and prevent plagiarism and other electronic cheating:

  • Use a plagiarism detection service like  Turnitin.com  to catch plagiarism.
  • Forbid the use of smart devices in exam rooms.
  • Secure the grade program and database.
  • Look for crib notes anywhere and everywhere.

Teachers need to be vigilant. Trust but verify. They must be aware of the possibilities for cheating which are all around them.

  • Lickona, Thomas. “ Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues .”  Amazon , Simon & Schuster, 2004.
  • Niels, Gary J. “ Academic Practices, School Culture and Cheating Behavior. " Winchesterthurston.org.
  • “ NMPLB: Cheating. " FlyLady.net.
  • “ One Third of Teens Use Cellphones to Cheat in School. ”  U.S. News & World Report , U.S. News & World Report.
  • Sperling, Melanie. “ Cheating: Today's High School Norm? ”  Wayland Student Press.
  • Wallace, Kelly. “ High-Tech Cheating On The Rise At Schools.”   CBS News , CBS Interactive, 17 June 2009.

Article edited by  Stacy Jagodowski

  • Tips for Teachers to Make Classroom Discipline Decisions
  • How Teachers Can Build a Trusting Relationship With Their Principal
  • 7 Back to School Tips for Teachers
  • Pros and Cons of Teaching
  • Strategies to Handle a Disruptive Student
  • Problems for Teachers That Limit Their Overall Effectiveness
  • Tips for a Successful Parent-Teacher Conference
  • Meaningful Life Lessons We Learn From Teachers at School
  • What Is the Gaokao?
  • How to Promote Student Growth
  • The Ultimate Teacher's Guide to Discipline Referrals
  • What Is the Role of a Teacher?
  • Ten Common Myths Regarding Teachers
  • Field Trips: Pros and Cons
  • Why Students Cheat and How to Stop Them
  • Classroom Assessment Best Practices and Applications

Home Essay Examples Education Cheating

Cheating In School: Reasons And Consequences

  • Category Education
  • Subcategory Learning
  • Topic Cheating

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The desire of every student is to achieve good results in school. However, the passion for good results in schools has pushed most students beyond the borders of integrity (Velliaris, 2016). Several students are openly engaging in exam cheating to score highly. The behaviour of cheating in schools is against school rules, guidelines, and core values. Therefore, cheating in schools is wrong, and the practice must be stopped.

Several students defend their cheating behaviours by stating that they are only interested in scoring high grades and not gaining education (Robinson & Simonton, 2019, p. 42). Also, the basis for cheating is incited by the pressure of attaining high levels of class ranking. Some students, therefore, claim to have lost the importance of schooling hence choosing to engage in exam cheating.

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Another reason for students engaging in exam cheating is the claim that they are only affected, persons. To them, it is their life, and nobody should interfere with their cheating tendencies since it is only them who are affected. In my response, this explanation statement is unreasonable. Cheating is wrong since engaging in it is equal to stealing the results of honest students who dedicated their time to learning and reading the appropriate examinable materials (Kingston & Clark, 2014, p. 39). More so, a student who engages in exam cheating and is not caught is likely to score a high grade. However, the truth is that the student does not merit the grade, and therefore, by earning the grade, the entire class curve is hurt. Thus, other students in the same class who scored lowly in the same exams are most likely to believe that they are missing something important because of their inability to perform well that is not the case.

The other idea that students use for their reasoning to engage in exam irregularities is the claim that their teachers are incompetent and unprofessional in the delivery of content (McCabe, Butterfield, & Treviño, 2012). Thus, some students consider adopting wrongful exam practices to go through a class by pointing a finger at accusation to their teacher. Though it is educationally wrong to subject students to poorly trained and incompetent teachers or instructors, the is no reason still for students to use such a claim to cheat in schools. More so, by students cheating and scoring highly, they mislead their teachers. The teachers are deceived in the sense that they perceive the dishonestly earned grades to be an accurate reflection of the students having appropriately understood the material which is not the case. Hence, such a teacher will maintain the same teaching method and possibly even consider increasing the pace of instruction.

There are several consequences arising from cheating in schools. However, it is essential to note that these consequences are spread across several spheres of daily human life. For example, lying in schools affects a person’s future career, level of trust and credibility, ethics and integrity, societal issues, among others (Mason, 2019, p. 54). Therefore, this paper explores the consequences of cheating from some of the viewpoints mentioned above.

One of the most important roles of all learning institutions is to produce individuals who are ethically and morally sound. Morally upright students are therefore expected not to engage in school cheating. Essentially, there is no difference between a student who is involved in school cheating and a thief or liar. Cheating in schools, just like stealing, is unethical and immoral behaviour. Students engaging in exam cheating from an ethical perspective lose their integrity just like the case of an apprehended thief. Submission of examinable schoolwork by a student involved in cheating is typically lying to the teacher that the work is genuine which is lack of integrity and stealing (Koretz, 2017, p. 22). Therefore, I firmly stand to emphasize cheating in school as an unethical and immoral behaviour due to its undeniable aspect of stealing and lying as well as the loss of integrity.

The establishment of trust between two or more individuals or parties is not a problem; however, the restoration of trust where it once existed is a big challenge. The loss of trust in a student only requires a single instance when a student is caught red-handed cheating. Once the trust has been lost, the student will always be a suspect to the people in authority, and his or her work will frequently raise suspicion (Benninga & Berkowitz, 2016, p. 66). More so, once the information of a student cheating in school spreads all over, the student’s credibility will be lost, and those who know the alleged student will compromise their opinion about the student. All the positive and good status of the student will immediately be replaced by the exam cheating comments thus damaging the overall reputation of the student among his or her fellow students, family, the community and teachers.

From an academic outlook, cheating in school only makes a fool of oneself. The person involved in cheating is primarily hurting him or herself. This is because lying is a short cut to score high grades, but the truth of the matter is that the individual involved in cheating learns nothing. Mostly, the student will be going to school to pass the time since he or she will not be gaining any relevant instructional information taught in school. Therefore, the learner will be wasting resources, the time of the teacher and most likely get into trouble with the authority.

Besides, going to school is not just tied to scoring good grades. The focus of schooling is learning. Hence, those who involve themselves in cheating only look forward to getting good grades. The significance of academics is for students learning the lesson even if they score lowly since they will be much better than the students involved in cheating and scored high grades (Balázsiová & Balázsi, 2019, p. 41). Cheating students will, therefore, lack knowledge of the subject matter and even though in the long run they will graduate, however, they will be unable to appropriately perform assigned duties in comparison to the students who scored low grades but were able to learn (Berry, 2013, p. 41). Hence, cheating students are incompetent and not well prepared to be hired in the job market.

Living in peace within a society demands equality and fairness. However, individuals engaging in cheating hurt their colleagues. Rules and regulations are set when doing assignments and exams in schools. This is the same in participating in a game such as a football match. Winning the game by compromising the rules is unfair. People who get involved in cheating, therefore, don’t play by the rules of the game. The ensuing effect on the honest students who are members of the society is high levels of frustrations. The honest students feel wasted and unfairly treated owing to the lots of time they dedicate in reading and learning (Cizek & Wollack, 2016, p. 30). More so, cheating students end up receiving undeserved grades and recognition that is otherwise deserved by the honest students.

The main consequence of cheating in school to a person’s career is a high level of career uselessness. Individuals who honestly accomplish their careers feel good since their self-confidence and self-esteem is strongly built. Students who cheat in school openly highlight the fact that they lack trust in their abilities. These students may get high grades, but deep within they are aware that they do not merit for their careers. As a result, they cannot take on work-related responsibilities when hired.

Additionally, cheating in school is a hindrance to career progress. Learning is a progressive process, and basic problems must be learned before complex problems. Failure to learn basic problems by cheating students, therefore, compels them to keep on cheating or go back and cover the unlearned instructions hence compromising career progress (Jones, 2019, p. 37). Thus, every cheating attempt usually denies a student the opportunity to acquire critical learning lessons and skills needed for career development.

In winding up, cheating in school is a wrong behaviour and needs to be stopped. The need to discourage cheating in school is based on its large share of negative consequences spread across people’s future careers, level of trust and credibility, ethics and integrity, societal issues among others. Therefore, by discouraging cheating in schools, society is assured of producing a morally sound, competent, and reliable breed of generation.  

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Education: Why Do Students Cheat? Essay


Cheating is a common phenomenon among students at all levels of education. It happens in high schools, colleges, and universities. In addition, it occurs in both traditional and online settings of learning. Students have sufficient time and resources that give them the opportunity to work hard and pass their exams through personal effort (Davis et al. 35). This begs the question: why do students cheat?

Research has revealed that several reasons and factors are responsible for cheating in schools. A study conducted to find out the prevalence of cheating in colleges found out that approximately 75 percent of college students cheat at one time in the course of their stay at school (Davis et al. 36).

There is need to find a lasting solution because cheating does not reflect the real potential of students. Effects of cheating are reflected in students’ performance at workplaces. Students cheat because many schools define excellence through grades, lack of self-confidence with one’s ability, pressure from parents and teachers to do well, and poor teaching methods that do not fulfill the goals of learning (McCabe et al. 51).

Students cheat because many institutions of learning value grades more than attainment of knowledge (Davis et al. 36). Many school systems have placed more value on performing well in tests and examination than on the process of learning. When assessment tests and examinations play a key role in determining the future of a student, cheating becomes an appropriate channel to perform well (McCabe et al. 51).

Few institutions encourage mastery of learning materials rather than tests. In such institutions, students develop a positive attitude towards education because they are not worried about their performance in tests (Davis et al. 37). They focus more on the attainment of knowledge and skills. Psychologists argue that placing high value on tests teaches students to value short-term effects of education and ignore the long-term effects.

True or false questions, multiple choice questions, and matching tests are examples of assessments used by institutions that value grades (McCabe et al. 53). On the other hand, essay questions, research papers, and term papers are methods used to teach in institutions that value the learning experience and attainment of knowledge more than grades (Davis et al. 39).

Lack of confidence in their abilities motivates students to cheat. Lack of adequate skills and knowledge are some of the reasons that lead to the loss of confidence by students. According to McCabe et al,

“Teachers who focus more on grades have poor methods of teaching compared to teachers who value knowledge.” (51).

Students who think that they are not smart enough to cheat are more likely to cheat in order to get good grades. Learning that puts emphasis on grades involves repetition and memorization of learning materials (Davis et al. 41). Students forget much of the knowledge gained after sitting for their exams. Bored students have little or no connection to their teachers and are therefore likely to cheat because they are never prepared.

Such learning methods make learning boring and uninteresting (McCabe et al. 53). It does not motivate students to work hard and attain knowledge that could be useful in their careers. Interactive learning endows students with the confidence, which makes them believe in their ability to handle all kinds of challenges and situations (Davis et al. 42).

Students cheat because of pressure exerted on them by their parents and teachers to attain good grades (McCabe et al. 54). Many teachers and parents gauge the abilities of students by their grades. Many colleges use grades as a way of choosing the students who are qualified to join college. Self-efficacy is an important aspect of learning because it gives students the confidence to handle various tasks (McCabe et al. 55).

Teachers can cultivate a sense of self-efficacy in students by believing in all students regardless of their grades. However, many teachers alienate students who get low grades and give more attention to students that get high grades. On the other hand, many parents promise to take their children to college only if they get high grades. This motivates students to cheat in order to gain entry into college.

It is important for teachers and parents to find the weaknesses and strengths of all students and help them to exploit their potential. Sidelining some students is wrong and a good enough reason to cheat.

Another reason that explains why students teach is poor leaning and teaching methods (Davis et al.44). Good learning methods involve movements, inventions, creativity, discussions, and interactions. These methods improve comprehension among students and facilitate proper sharing of knowledge. However, many teachers find these methods tedious and time-consuming.

The aftermath is resentment form students because the teachers use methods that make learning boring. People learning through various methods. In addition, different students have different learning needs (McCabe et al. 56). Therefore, using a single teaching method does not serve the needs of all students. Some students develop a negative attitude towards learning and their teacher.

These students are likely to cheat in exams. Teachers should evaluate their students in order to develop teaching methods that cater to them all (McCabe et al. 58). Otherwise, some students might feel neglected in case they fail to comprehend certain subjects or disciplines.

Finally, students cheat because of laziness and lack of focus. According to Parker, students cheat because of lack f goo morals and laziness. According to Parker,

“A startling number attributed variously to the laziness of today’s students, their lack of a moral compass, or the demands of a hypercompetitive society.” (McCabe et al. 59)

She further argues that society demands much of students. This leads to cheating because students feel under pressure to perform well. Laziness is common among students. Students who waste their time on unimportant things have little time to study and do their homework (McCabe et al. 62).

They are unprepared during exams and result to cheating in order to perform well. On the other hand, many employees determine the capabilities of potential employees based on their grades. This motivates students to cheat in order to get high grades.

Reasons for cheating include lack of self-confidence in one’s ability to perform well, pressure from parents and teachers, and poor teaching methods that do not fulfill the learning needs of all students. In addition, many learning institutions place great value on grades rather than the acquisition of knowledge. Cheating is a common phenomenon among students at different levels of learning.

More research needs to be conducted in order to ascertain why students cheat. Further research is necessary because different students cheat for various reasons. Moreover, it is important for teachers to lay more emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge and skills rather than good grades.

Students have different learning needs that are satisfied using different teaching and learning methods. Teachers should evaluate their students in order to determine the most important teaching methods that cater to the learning needs of all students.

Works Cited

Davis, Stephen, Drinan Patrick, and Gallant Tricia. Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do . New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.

McCabe, Donald, Butterfield Kenneth, and Trevino Linda. Cheating in College: Why Students Do It and What Educators Can Do About It. New York: JHU Press, 2012. Print.

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Cheating in School: Facts, Consequences & Prevention


  • Kids have programmed answer sheets into their iPods or recorded course materials into their MP3s and played them back during exams.
  • Students have text-messaged test questions (or used their camera phones to picture-message tests) to friends outside the classroom.
  • When essays are assigned, some students simply cut and paste text from websites directly into their papers.
  • Some students prep for pop quizzes by inputting math formulas or history dates into their programmable calculators.
  • Students can buy term papers from a growing number of online “paper mills,” such as schoolsucks.com, for up to $10 a page.

In a recent survey of 18,000 students at 61 middle and high schools:

  • 66% admitted to cheating on exams,
  • 80% said they had let someone copy their homework, and
  • 58% said they had committed plagiarism.

Our society seems to promote that you should do whatever it takes to win or succeed. Children don’t like to lose. Our culture appears to say that it is acceptable to step on others as you climb ahead. Some parents have contributed to the problem by not focusing their attention on instilling positive values – such as honesty, doing your best, and integrity – and instead pressuring their children to excel. Some parents are afraid that their child won’t have a good job or life if they don’t get to the best college, which requires the best grades. Nearly one-third of teens and 25% of tweens say that their parents push them too hard academically, according to a recent national survey commissioned by Family Circle . Additionally, when kids see other kids cheating and not getting caught, it makes them question the importance of honesty. If the cheaters get better grades, an honest youth can feel frustrated.

Consequences of Cheating

The consequences of cheating can be hard for a tween or teen to understand. Without the ability to see the long-term effects, children may feel that the pros of cheating (good grades) outweigh any negatives. That’s why it’s important for parents and teachers to explain the consequences of cheating, such as:

  • Cheating lowers your self-respect and confidence. And if others see you cheating, you will lose their respect and trust.
  • Unfortunately, cheating is usually not a one-time thing. Once the threshold of cheating is crossed, youth may find it easier to continue cheating more often, or to be dishonest in other situations in life. Students who cheat lose an element of personal integrity that is difficult to recapture. It damages a child’s self-image.
  • Students who cheat are wasting their time in school. Most learning builds on itself. A child must first learn one concept so that they are prepared for the next lesson. If they don’t learn the basic concept, they have set themselves up to either continue failing or cheating.
  • If you are caught, you could fail the course, be expelled, and gain a bad reputation with your teachers and peers.
  • When you are hired by future employers based on the idea that you received good grades in a certain subject, you will not be able to solve problems, offer ideas, or maintain the workload in that subject area. A teen is only cheating themselves out of learning and discovering how good they could really do.
  • students who repeatedly plagiarize Internet content lose their ability to think critically and to distinguish legitimate sources from those that are not.
  • students who cheat in high school are more likely to do the same in college, and college cheaters, in turn, are more likely to behave dishonestly on the job.

Ways Schools Can Prevent Cheating

Schools are trying to fight the cheating epidemic. Here are some ways they can be successful:

  • Set up an Internet firewall so students can’t exchange e-mail and instant messages that might contain exam questions or answers.
  • Require students to submit their papers to websites like TurnItIn.com. For about $1 per pupil per year the company analyzes writing assignments for more than 5,000 middle and high schools, comparing a digital copy of a student’s composition to a database of books, journals, the Internet and previously submitted papers. Students and teachers get instant feedback with suspect material highlighted. Of the 100,000 papers TurnItIn.com checks daily, about a third contain unoriginal, unsourced “cut-and-paste” content, from a few sentences to a paragraph or even more.
  • Create a school honor code that clearly spells out ethical behavior and defines academic misconduct.
  • Establish specific penalties for those who plagiarize or cheat on exams, or those who fail to report classmates who do.

Complicating matters is that schools are sometimes reluctant to bring cheaters to justice for two main reasons. First, accusing a student usually results in very angry parents and sometimes lawsuits. Second, the federal government’s No Child Left Behind policy penalizes schools whose students perform poorly on standardized tests by forcing them to close or replace staff.

Ways Parents Can Prevent Cheating

Parents need to provide guidance and support to their teens to keep them from cheating. Education experts have this advice:

  • Talk to your kids about the importance of ethical behavior and how cheating will hurt them in the long term (use the consequences listed above). Point out negative examples when you see them and explain the problems those people will suffer.
  • Be honest with yourself about whether you might be putting too much pressure on your children to succeed at school. Explain to your kids that ambition is fine, but honesty and integrity are more important than academic success achieved through deceit.
  • Be a good role model. If your child sees you cheat at board games or other small things, you are giving them the message that cheating is acceptable.
  • Check your computer history to see if your teens are using websites that sell written papers. If you see anything suspicious, talk to them about it.
  • Stay involved in your teen’s academic life. Review their homework and read your teens’ essays to see how they are doing.
  • develop an honor code.
  • create ways for kids to identify cheaters anonymously so they don’t fear retaliation from others.
  • include lessons on proper paraphrasing and how to cite Internet sources.
  • have teachers develop multiple versions of tests to deter students from sharing answers via text messaging.

Final thoughts…

Schools and parents must both actively discourage cheating if we have any hope of stopping this epidemic. Studies show that America is lagging behind other countries in academics. Our nation will not be globally competitive if we raise a generation of undereducated cheaters. Parents and teachers should emphasize the importance of integrity.

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That is a good lesson for all of schools, parents and students. it reminds us the ways cheating can be avoided and what is expected if not done so. Thanks for your contribution

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Home / Essay Samples / Education / Academic Concerns / Cheating

Is Cheating Getting Better Or Worse in School

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Academic Concerns

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The factors contributing to cheating, the role of technology, the changing academic landscape, conclusion: a complex issue.

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Ethical Issue in Education: Cheating in Schools


Cheating has been a big issue of concern in many educational institutions. The notion of cheating has been defined as the act of presenting the work of others as your original work (McCabe, Terivino, & Butterfield, 2001). It may involve copying during exams, seeking unauthorized assistance when doing assignments, or plagiarizing other peoples’ works (Wilkinson, 2009). Cheating in academics has already been a big issue of concern and the issue has seemingly been getting out of hand in a vast majority of countries, including the U.S., where the instances of reported cheating take 64%, with plagiarism being represented by 58% of cases (McCabe et al., 2001).

It has been a problem from elementary schools straight through graduate schools. Several researchers have confirmed this and agreed that it was a problem that was global (McCabe et al., 2001; Johnson & Martin, 2005). The process of cheating has been evolving. For instance, while cheating in the past was simplistic, it nowadays has involved the use of technology. Students have begun using smartphones and other technological devices to get unauthorized access to examination materials before the date of examination or to get answers illegally during examinations. The use of technology in cheating has made academic cheating even more difficult to stop for educational officials and policymakers.

Ethics is the English word for the Greek term Ethos. The word ethics was derived from Latin and Greek which referred to both ethical and character. The character has been defined as moral behavior and could be influenced by religion, culture, and society. Therefore, ethics with regard to school leadership has become the sum of moral behavior or rules that dictate behavior or conduct in schools. Ethics has always been seen as a set of standards that delineated the difference between right and wrong behaviors. In other words, it was what society held as acceptable or unacceptable.

Ethics has been defined by both unwritten and documented principles and standards. Accordingly, ethical leadership has become a leader’s ability to model individuals to follow certain behaviors and rules in their decision-making (Tomal, Brierton, Wilhite, & Graham, 2016). Thus, ethical behavior has not always been standard; perception and analysis of situations usually have determined the actions or decisions that would be taken.

As a phenomenon observed in academic settings, cheating takes numerous forms and is intrinsically connected to numerous concepts. Some of them are worth considering to understand the gravity of the problem and the urgency thereof. Plagiarism is typically viewed as the most common and blatant type of cheating. As the existing definitions suggest, plagiarism is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own” (Bryman & Bell, 2015, p. 123). The notion of plagiarism is quite broad, encompassing all instances in which a citation was not attributed to its due author.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that the wrong use of citations is seen as a form of plagiarism and implies appropriate penalties. While the case of misusing the citation format may not be a malicious intent and suggests only the lack of skill rather than the endeavor at cheating, it nonetheless counts as such (Bryman & Bell, 2015). In the described case, a student who misappropriates a quotation is not excused by virtue of their ignorance of the subject matter.

While plagiarism is typically deemed as the most common type of academic dishonesty, there are other specimens thereof. Cheating as academic malpractice may also include fabrication, or falsification, deception, and sabotage (Cronan et al., 2018). Fabricating data for research, deceiving a teacher to avoid punishment for failing to complete a task, and preventing others from successfully accomplishing their assignments are all punishable deeds. Therefore, establishing an academic policy that delineates the boundaries for the conduct, ethical standards, and repercussions for refusing to follow them is necessary.

Cheating has become more widespread in high schools and even on college campuses throughout the country. It has become a massive problem and has turned students into seekers of unwarranted success instead of honest young men and women with the integrity and courage to take tests without any support. Cheating has been defined in diverse ways through literature. Simply put, cheating was academic dishonesty. But a comprehensive definition of the vice has been that it was the act of students getting or providing unfair and unauthorized support for the purpose of passing an exam or an assignment. It was unfair and immoral behavior. According to Kaufmann (2008), plagiarism has also been considered a form of cheating throughout the body of research on student cheating.


Several assumptions will be made for the purpose of understanding why individuals engaged in academic cheating. The main assumption will be that students cheated because it paid off. There were obviously huge risks for academic cheating but those who did it undetected usually ended up getting into the superior colleges and graduate schools desired and ended up with high-paying jobs. The study will also assume that students cheated because they feared failing because they were lazy because they did not have good role models, because of poverty, or because of lack of enough time to prepare for exams.

Another assumption was that technology has made it easier for students to cheat. Technology included smartphones and hearing aids that have made it easier for students to get unauthorized access to answers during examinations. Some students also felt a lot of pressure to perform. The pressure usually resulted in them plagiarizing assignments or cheating during exams to impress their parents or peers (Moeck, 2002). Lastly, this study will assume that many students did not regard academic cheating as a serious offense. They thought of it as sort of bending the rules and not breaking them. This made them justify cheating and did it while downplaying the possible consequences.

However, other explanations for the phenomenon of academic cheating also exist. There is the assumption that students fail to understand the effects that cheating has on their professional progress and, instead, view it as a valuable tool for gaining leverage in the academic field. Indeed, studies show that very few students actually realize that cheating comes at the price of their professional deterioration and missing the opportunity to build the skill set that will make them valuable in their field (Kaufmann, 2008). Applying the theory of planned behavior to consider the reasons behind the students’ choice, one will find out that some learners consider themselves to be disadvantaged compared to others as far as the available amount of resources or skills is concerned (Chudzicka-Czupała et al., 2015).

The phenomenon in question is especially common among ESL and EFL learners, who experience major impediments in learning due to their language issues (Kaufmann, 2008). Therefore, to approach the problem from a multifaceted perspective, one may introduce the theory of social conflict and the problem of resource allocation as some of the primary factors that motivate students to cheat.

In addition, the sense of support and camaraderie among learners may encourage them to cheat by plagiarizing each other’s works. As the study performed by Cronan, Mullins, and Douglas (2018) has shown, the misconstrued sense of moral obligation and the fear of the subsequent feeling of guilt motivate students to share their homework with others, encouraging further academic dishonesty and thus closing the cycle.

Therefore, the problem of cheating among students should be addressed on the foundational ethical level by encouraging them to revisit their perception of academic honesty and the effects that cheating has on their performance and the progress of their peers. It is imperative to introduce the academic philosophy and ethical code that will encourage students to reconsider the practice of offering their peers cheating options.

Theoretical Framework

In order to address the problem of cheating in the academic setting, one will have to look at it from the perspective of several theories. These include the School Effectiveness Theory, Social Learning Theory, and Achievement Goal Orientation Theory. The proposed theoretical perspectives will allow locating the factors encouraging cheating, creating the setting in which cheating will be useless for learners, and the framework that will help students to reevaluate their approach toward learning.

School Effectiveness Theory

Studies on school effectiveness theory have discussed school organizational factors and how they affected the students’ learning outcomes and behaviors. The theory of school effectiveness indicated that some particular contextual factors could be significant for the school to develop positive student outcomes and reduce negative behaviors. The study also indicated that researchers agreed on what school contextual factors were significant for the students, such as strong school leadership, teacher cooperation, and school ethos.

These factors of school effectiveness have impacted school organizational structure from the leadership to teachers and staff members, and then students. Moreover, research suggested that the significance of the school contextual factors effectively reduced undesirable students’ behaviors (Ramberg & Modin, 2019). The reason could be assumed that they had an influence on students’ cheating at school.

Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory indicated that human behavior was learned through the interaction of individuals with their environment and could preserve the behavioral problem by negative or positive reinforcement. The behavioral knowledge treatment looked at how thoughts could impact to preserve the problem. The focus was to change the deranged thoughts which could impact the behaviors and the ways in which this theory was followed by progressive formation of new behaviors by negative or positive reinforcements, modeling, and pressure management (Madara, Namango, & Katana, 2016).

Albert Bandura’s main argument in his social learning theory was that learning was cognitive and that it occurred in a social manner (e.g., through direct instruction or observation regardless of whether there was direct reinforcement or motor reproduction). Apart from observation and direct instruction, learning also could happen via observation or awareness of the rewards and the punishments for certain actions (Madara et al., 2016). This was referred to as vicarious reinforcement. Bandura’s theory was an expansion of several classic behavioral theories that primarily posited that learning was by reinforcements but did not clarify what internal processes resulted in behavior being picked up or shunned.

The social learning theory (SLT) posited that learning was observing and forming behaviors based on the observed consequences. Social learning theory explained academic cheating as a consequence of observed behavior. Practically, SLT could be used to explain cheating as a consequence of students observing or becoming aware of the positive results of cheating (e.g., better grades or less work).

The results or “rewards” pushed them to cheat. Social learning theory could also be used to explain cheating in terms of moral disengagement. A student who cheated several times is likely to suffer cognitive distortion resulting in them viewing the transgressive behavior as acceptable and not an abandonment of societal norms (Farnese, Tramontano, Fida, & Paciello, 2011). Thus, moral disengagement could lead to more continued cheating regardless of the risks. Moral disengagement was usually utilized to explain how people known to be generally committed to certain moral and ethical principles may end up violating some of them without being conflicted or feeling any guilt or shame.

Achievement Goal Orientation Theory

The achievement goal orientation theory is a framework that clarifies the academic motivations in terms of the goals which the students seek to achieve when doing the academic tasks which are (personal goals) and their understanding of the goals of their teachers (goal structure). In addition, the achievement goals could be understood as a concentration on mastery (which is referred to the students’ goals to learn materials) or a performance (which is referred to the students’ goals to have proficiency) (Wankat & Oreovicz, 2015).

An extra goal that was argued in the studies on academic cheating was called an extrinsic goal, in which a student’s goal was to have a higher grade or reward or avoid lower grades or punishment. Much research has mentioned that the kind of goals that students follow, and goal structures affect the decisions to cheat or not cheat. The results of the research on cheating found that students were less likely to cheat if they had master goals or structures. This meant that they were less exposed to involvement in academically dishonest behaviors in class, as Anderman & Koenka (2017) explain. Thus. The issue of cheating has to be addressed as a serious concern that affects learners’ potential and development.

Rationale and Factors Associated with Cheating

The issue of academic cheating has seemingly been on the rise even though the problem has been morally and societally unacceptable in many countries. Some students might, through moral disengagement or other psychological processes, considered cheating to be normal but it was unacceptable. This study will investigate the issue and develop a plan to deal with it comprehensively. The thinking behind the development of the plan was that cheating was a huge problem in global education and that was why it must be checked and properly controlled. Many students were already aware of the fact that cheating was breaking the rules and it was not fair to those who worked hard but they still did it.

Even though cheating seems to have its rewards, it almost always leads to catastrophic failure. One may successfully pass a test by cheating and convince the teacher that they have mastered the course, yet, in the end, it is the student who loses the opportunity to gain new skills and acquire the knowledge that will advance them in their professional field. It should be noted that what is initially perceived as a reward by a cheating student is going to provide the foundation for professional collapse.

While being ostensibly a short-term win, successful cheating leads to the perceived interpretation of a positive grade as the main objective; as a result, a student fails to focus on their academic and professional growth (Dahiya, 2015). Thus, the basis for developing inability and the lack of motivation to progress in the selected field of studies is planted. Herein lies the need to define the failure in question as catastrophic.

The inability to evolve professionally and focus on self-directed learning will entail problems in advancing in one’s career and, ultimately, attaining professional excellence (Cronan et al., 2018). Cheating entails not only problems in managing one’s academic life but also addressing issues in professional development, in general. Therefore, educational institutions must invent strategies and plans to deal with cheating and punish those who were not ready to learn and master their subjects the right way.

Cheating has been a big and somewhat prevalent problem in schools, colleges, and universities. However, the question of why students cheat needs to be answered to resolve the issue. Modern society has been the main factor for students to cheat because it has been very competitive. It was expected that everyone should work as hard as they could to succeed. However, when the competition became too much, especially in schools for grades that could get a student admitted to top schools, the pressure and stress could lead to young men and women resorting to cheating (Shalvi et al., 2011). Therefore, the pressure from society to succeed and to do everything they could was a factor.

Another factor that made students resort to cheating was the failure to adequately prepare for an exam. This failure made cheating sound like the only other alternative. Researchers have discovered that there were also situational factors that could lead to teaching (e.g., a lecturer’s teaching methods, the difficulty of an assignment or a class, where a student was seated in class, the size of the class, and the size of the educational institution). In many studies, researchers have noted that students seemed to demonstrate a lack of fear for punishment (Arnold, Martin, Jinks, & Bigby, 2007). Most cheaters usually just weighed the risks versus the rewards before deciding on whether to engage in academic dishonesty. If the situation was right, they cheated and if it was not, they were less inclined to cheat.

Researchers have also investigated the influence of personal factors in the inclination to cheat. Some of the personal factors that have been investigated previously included self-esteem, membership in certain character-building organizations, course enrollment, personality, work ethic, GPA, and gender (McCabe, 1992).

Some of these factors contributed to cheating while others made it difficult to cheat. In yet another study, researchers Barnett and Dalton (1981) noted that some of the factors that have had a very significant influence on whether or not someone would cheat included: moral will and judgment, lack of awareness of what constitutes constituted cheating, personality, intelligence levels, the environment, and pressure to obtain good grades. Understanding these and the other factors of cheating discussed in this section would help in the development of solutions.

Action Plan

Prevention of cheating.

One of the best ways of minimizing cheating has been to come up with a surrounding that does not encourage cheating itself. When a good relationship was existent between a professor and his learners and amidst learners themselves, the act of cheating was significantly minimized. The decision to cheat is reported to be easier to take when the rapport between a teacher and a student is very weak or nonexistent (Wankat & Oreovicz, 2015).

A pupil that saw themselves as a number and knew that their professor had no knowledge of their name found it much easier to cheat when compared to a pupil that the professor knew by name. There was less cheating in a class of learners with common goals and where learners were excited to learn. The described phenomenon can be explained with theories of motivation, such as the Theory of Self-Efficacy and Theory of Rational Choice (Fida, Tramontano, Paciello, Ghezzi, & Barbaranelli, 2018). Allowing learners to focus on their professional progress as opposed to the grades that they receive, the approach in question reduces the phenomenon of cheating by virtue of changing students’ perception of tests and exams.

A class whereby the learners viewed their professor as a learning partner would most likely have very little cheating. Additionally, a professor that developed a repute of coming up with fair tests and fair grading would experience less cheating when compared to a professor that had a repute of coming up with unfair tests or being a “difficult” grader (Wankat & Oreovicz, 2015). Learners must be challenged but not overwhelmed. Discussing the rules of plagiarism and cheating with learners would be important. A lot of learners were simply not aware of the rules regarding plagiarism, and so this particular discussion was very important and should definitely be held.

Another way of reducing cheating was minimizing the anxiety placed on exams (Kibler, Nuss, Paterson, & Pvela, 1988). Pressure on exams could be minimized by giving several tests or quizzes to learners. Allowing equal access to examination files would minimize the need to cheat among those who did not have access. The described solution allows managing the problem of cheating from the perspective of the Social Conflict Theory, by reducing inequality and offering students equal opportunities (Kibler et al., 1988). Also, a short help session or access to TAs or professors for assistance right before the exam would help minimize pressure as well.

Having a TA stand at the back of the class or lecture room would be a good deterrent in the huge lecture halls as learners would not be capable of easily keeping track of the supervisor’s location. Also, if possible, have the learners sit in alternating seats as this would significantly minimize cheating involving wandering eyes. If a large room was not readily available, consideration should be given to making use of two rooms. Allocate learners to both rooms in advance with supervisors for each room.

Another option would be to use alternate exam forms that contain either the answers or questions in different orders or simply use different values for calculations. Before commencing the exam, one should ask the learners to place their books beneath their desks, unless it was an open-book exam (Kibler et al., 1988). Given that a lot of calculators are now capable of storing huge quantities of alphanumeric data, it should be considered a potential cheat sheet.

Given that the intent was prevention and not finding proof of any cheating, immediate action should be taken when something suspicious was observed. An appropriate deterrent might be going to stand near the learner while waiting to give answers to the queries of fellow learners.

Asking the pupil if they had any questions would be an intelligent way of making them aware that you were actually being watching. However, if the situation still persisted, have the pupil move elsewhere. If the pupil mentioned that they preferred remaining in their present seat, suggest that that the preference would be that they move. Other professors have stated to the entire class that learners should not look around the class. This could be effective, especially if the professor stared at any suspicious learner but would be somewhat distracting for the rest of the learners (Wankat & Oreovicz, 2015). Thus, the premises for preventing cheating from taking place in the academic context will be created.

Cure for Cheating

As soon as cheating was detected, solving the situation could be quite time-consuming and painful. Cheating should be totally documented. Where possible, have an individual witness the evidence. In case of reasonable doubt that cheating had indeed taken place, put down the learner’s name on a piece of paper and be watchful. When proof of cheating was very clear, obtain a copy of the institution’s regulation and carefully read and follow the appropriate steps. The majority of institutions, especially universities, have rules and regulations in place that offer learners a proper due process for such occurrences. AS Kibler et al. assert (1988) if the cheating allegations were made in good faith and regulations were abided by by the university, then the professor would be protected from individual liability even when the learner was found not to be guilty of the offense.

An effective way of affecting norms and minimizing cheating in higher learning institutions would be using honor codes. Learning institutions with honor codes generally have lower cheating levels compared to those without. It has, however, been debated that it was not the honor codes themselves, but instead the learner’s perceived outlook towards integrity, ethics, and the supposed seriousness of the act of cheating that impacted behavior (McCabe, Terivino & Butterfield, 2001).

Learning institutions without official honor codes might come up with a casual code of conduct that would minimize cheating. Indicating an institution’s devotion to integrity appeared to be a major factor amidst these particular findings. For instance, various researches revealed that, for the effectiveness of the honor code, learners actually would need to be constantly reminded of the high ethical standards, as McCabe et al. (2001) explain, using ethical primes in examination scenarios being a good way of reminding learners.

The professor, however, would be accountable if the learner was found innocent and they still decided to enforce penalties regardless. There have been universities that permitted the learner and their professor to discuss the case, and in these cases, the learner confessed their offense, the penalty was decided by the professor (Grym & Liljander, 2016). The penalty might range from scoring a 0 on the exam to a lower overall grade in the unit or course.

According to Kibler et al. (1988), in case the learner later withdrew and stated that they were forced into confessing, the professor might be accountable and blamed even if the learner signed the confession. The advisable way of handling cheating would be to go through formal university channels. In addition, the university committee would have access to student records that might show whether the learner had past cheating cases, something that might lead to a harsher penalty (Cronan et al., 2018). There have been professors who reduced the learner’s grade without necessarily discussing the claims with the student. This would be unfair and unwise because proper due process had been clearly denied to the learner and the professor might be held liable. Once again, it would be better to try to prevent cheating compared to dealing with the situation once it had taken place.

Ethics and Cheating

School officials have had to make many decisions every day in the running of schools. For example, they have had to develop and implement school programs. They also have had to evaluate the said programs regularly to make sure things were going as planned. Additionally, they have had to administer the day-to-day operations of the school, supervise the school’s teachers and other employees, respond to the needs of students, manage the financial aspects of school operations, respond to and implement government policies, and manage public relations (Tomal et al., 2016). All the decisions that school officials make could influence either the school, teachers, students represented by learners aged 12 and older, or other stakeholders in one way or another.

Apart from the direct effects, it has also been known that the decisions taken by the school officials and their behavior had influenced the ethical culture of the schools they ran. When school officials understood this, they gained a lot by then positioning themselves to offer ethical school leadership (Fida et al., 2018). The positioning involved taking active steps to learn about ethical leadership and becoming more aware that most decisions involved considered ethical issues.

This helped them to learn how to make the right decisions, how to prioritize the right things, and how to positively inspire and mentor students into doing the right thing. When the officials consistently provided ethical leadership, they created an ethical culture that would automatically be adopted by most stakeholders (Tomal et al., 2016). Therefore, the existing set of values and ethical standards requires revisiting.

Ethical Priming

One’s ethical behavior is usually has been influenced by both his/her conscious and subconscious mind (Reynolds, 2006). The subconscious influence of ethical behavior could happen via priming. According to Meyer and Schvaneveldt (1971), priming was a psychological concept where, when one was exposed to a certain stimulus and made to react in a certain way, they would react in similar behavior when exposed to the same stimulus (Cojuharenco, Shteynberg, Gelfand, & Schminke, 2011). So ethical behaviors could be primed. In other words, one could be molded to act the right way. In a study conducted a couple of years ago, it was found that students primed to consider their relational selves were less likely to cheat compared to those primed to consider their independent selves.

A study by Mazar and Ariely (2006) concluded that many people could tolerate a bit of cheating. They also concluded that honest students and cheating students did not have major differences in terms of the perception of their morality and honesty. Their point was that those who did a bit of cheating did not update/adjust their perception of self in any negative way and that this made them think of cheating as more of bending existing rules (Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008; Shalvi, Michel, Handgraaf, & de Dreu, 2011; Welsh, Ordóñez, Snyder, & Christian, 2014).

Nevertheless, it has been found that such types of students could be primed to do the right thing. This could be done in several ways, such as by reminding them that cheating affects their professional development adversely and by asking students to abide by the school moral code, and by having students do a mandatory ethics course (Mazar et al., 2008; Welsh et al., 2014). Expecting an immediate change in learners’ behaviors would be naïve, yet an open discussion of the reasons for students to cheat may spark solutions to the problem.

Cheating and Emotions

Several studies have attempted to investigate the emotions that cheating and non-cheating students felt about academic dishonesty. Some have concluded that non-cheating students felt they had been robbed and that it was unfair when they found out there had been cheating. However, the non-cheating students had also been found to be forgiving when the cheating students confessed, apologized, and showed remorse. Those who did not confess or show remorse were usually perceived negatively for a long period of time (Kerby & Johnson, 2005; Caruana, Ramaseshan, & Ewing, 2000). Nevertheless, the most frequently reported emotion by non-cheating students was indifference.

In the academic world, honesty has been a lot larger compared to other ethical and moral issues on university campuses. Students that cheated developed an unethical and non-moral character that was carried into other aspects of their lives. Learners that cheated in class or outside class were constantly in search of shortcuts. Learners that displayed dishonesty in their schoolwork were most likely going to act dishonestly in the employment world after they graduated from campus. All schools need to endorse and apply honor codes in order to hold pupils responsible for integrity and honesty when learning.

A university surrounding that encourages integrity and honor would inspire these particular traits upon learners in and out of class (Kaufmann, 2008). It would be important to teach students the value of following ethics. It was highly unlikely that pupils who cheated all through their education would suddenly become ethical after graduation. Professors should not assume that their students were naturally ethical. Ethics has been something that has been instilled by including it all through the curriculum instead of just including a course on ethics at the conclusion of the student’s learning period.

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Cheating in Schools (Essay/Paper Sample)

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Cheating in Schools

“Cheating is an improper action that is not allowed in this class,” one of the common phrases familiar with students in school. This statement is often written either in bold, italics or underlined. Cheating is an improper way mostly ‘shortcuts’ in finding information in particular questions or achieving a specific goal. Moreover, cheating not only refers to leaning over someone else’s’ work to copy them but also associated with any other actions like being completed for assignment by someone else. Students cheat for different types of reasons. Some due to laziness, peer pressure, insufficient study time, and pressure to succeed. Reasons, why people cheat, is not a basic way of handling any cheating encounters since some reasons can be comparative. Besides, despite not identifying the reasons for cheating, this does not justify cheating.

Many students associate plagiarism in their tests because they want to keep their parents and teachers happy. With an increase in their grades, they are congratulated and do not pass through any punishments due to low grades. When one identifies the methods people use on cheating, possibilities of reducing fraud rates can be high. Also, there are different types of fraud. Cheating where an individual copy directly an exam automatically leads to failure of the particularly taken course. To many students, it is often easy to look at someone else’s work. Copying someone else’s work is a very unfair thing where an individual benefit from someone’s effort. Moreover copying someone else’s work is taken into consideration by many students who often lack confidence with their answers. Also, such students often want a confirmation of the correct answer about their answer. In this cases, not enforcing consequences involving punishment tends to make the student develop a feeling that reading is not a must at school. However, the most constructive way of dealing with cheating that entails copying other people’s work is by setting exam paper that has the same topic but different questions.

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In resolving the cheating issue in schools, teachers and administrators are united to reduce and if possible adequately address fraud issues in schools. Banning any use of electronics in school is one way to address fraud issues. Electronic devices are not supposed to be allowed in school. Any scholars found with this devices should be punished severely even by the cancellation of exams or a suspension. Also, teachers should implement particular procedures that will help identify plagiarism during marking. In having this method in place, the rate of copying by students will profoundly reduce. Besides, the national security department should develop measures to protest on test security, fraud detection, and even hold teachers and students responsible in any cases of dishonesty. Through this, teachers will be very keen when checking students before allowing them in exam halls. The students will also take an initiative to report cheating issues among their fellow students. Also, recruiting of parents to help restore academic integrity and support the ethical development of the student’s traits is important. This recruiting provides a basis of parents to nurture their children starting from home. One every student has healthy habits as per the way raisin occurs, they can have a conscience that enables them to know cheating in school is a bad principle. Also, websites used by students to buy papers or borrow them without identifying the original basis should be banned. Any individuals still running the website should be charged as inciters to the breaking of the school rules. These will help students depend on themselves.

In conclusion, cheating in schools is rapidly increasing all over the world. Serious measures should be implemented to help develop responsible and hardworking people. No one should be favored when they break the set standards.

cheating in school essay

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Why Cheating in School is Wrong: 15 Reasons and Consequences

Why Cheating in School is Wrong

Why Cheating in School is Wrong

In recent times, students have been engaging in cheating, especially in colleges and universities.

However, it is something you should consider not doing. In this guide, we explore all the reasons why cheating in school is wrong and the ethical questions on why you should try to avoid it.

The issue of cheating is diverse, but its main motivation comes from the desire for better grades. There is also a high burden of work.

cheating in school essay

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However, others earn higher grades and escape the hard work of passing tests fairly. Let us discuss why this could land you in trouble.

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1. Cheating Hampers Progress

The main reason why we learn is usually to build in the future. When we are learning in various institutions, we obtain several basics. These basics are what we apply in the future to solve the problems we encounter.

If you cheat, you will not know these basics. You will have two options. Either to continue cheating or start learning newly. This becomes a stumbling block to any progress you want to make.

Every student, regardless of their study level, should know that when cheating, you are not learning lessons or skills that could be important later in life.

2. Cheating is not Different from Stealing and Lying

Cheating in university is lying

The instructor always expects that every piece of work you hand in was completed through your effort.

When you present the work as your own and know that you cheated, that is lying.

By doing this, you will always take credit for the wrong purposes and may feel guilty.

Cheating becomes stealing when you hand in assignments to your instructor as your own and it belongs to someone else or was done by someone else.

3. Cheating is Unfair to Others

When you cheat, you do not deserve any plaudit. You may feel good after cheating and even get a better grade, but your recognition will be unfair.

When you think of it, it is very unfair to cheat in school and get better grades than your fellow students who studied hard and worked to achieve what they have achieved.

The students also feel bad if they notice. They did everything right and you just found a mechanism to surpass them. It is usually very frustrating when you play by the rules and someone just decides to cheat.

4. Cheating causes Stress

Students think that cheating is easy. It is not. The psychological torture you put yourself into can cause stress. When you decide to cheat, you constantly worry about being caught.

Consequences of cheating may land you into must cross your mind. Whether it’s your parents’ reaction or the disciplinary actions of your school. You even come up with a fake story that you will use to cover up for your actions when caught.

You will always feel insecure if you suspect somebody knows about your cheating and might report you to the administration. All these thoughts are too much to hold into and may eventually cause stress.

5. Cheating in school is unfair to you


The pleasure comes from knowing you completed an assignment or a test independently. You will feel good. Lack of confidence is one of the effects of cheating in college, making it feel unfair to yourself.

You will also build self-confidence in every academic work you do and build your self-esteem too. On the other hand, it feels bad to cheat.

In addition, you may score a high grade on your assignment, but deep down, you will know that you do not deserve it.

When you cheat, you doubt your abilities. You will never find out if you can make it on your own.

6. Cheating Becomes a Habit

When you cheat, you will most probably get a high grade. This will always give you the motivation to cheat again and again.

If you start cheating early in your academics, it becomes a habit and will follow you to high school, colleges, universities, and even in your career. It just becomes a part of you and spreads in everything you do in life.

When you become a cheating addict, it is very unlikely that you will know what is acceptable behavior. Cheating is a demonstration that you disregard others.

7. Eventually, Cheating leads to Course Failure

Success is usually hard to achieve but cheating offers a way out. When you cheat, you usually forego the hard work that every learner must be involved in to succeed.

Hard work instills traits in you that are important in the future. These traits include sacrifice, dedication, persistence, diligence, trustworthiness, and honesty.

It is usually very hard to achieve your goals in the future without these traits. When you are caught cheating in an examination, you fail that examination or even get expelled.

At the same time, failure and bad behavior at school may hinder you from getting a good job in the future.

8. Cheating in College kills Trust

Cheating in college kills trust

Everyone in institutions is opposed to cheating. You will completely ruin people’s trust in you if you are caught cheating.

The number of times doesn’t matter. One incident of cheating ruins trust.

You may opt never to cheat again but it will be very hard to regain your trust.

Everyone will have a hard time trying to trust you. Even when you submit your work to the instructors, they will always be suspicious and check it thoroughly before giving it back to you.

When people who have witnessed you cheating hear about you cheating again, their opinions will always be compromised, even if you are honest.

9. Cheating is Disrespectful

Cheating is a form of disrespect to our instructors. Instructors sacrifice a lot to see their students succeed. They work very hard, spend a lot of time with students, share knowledge with them, and treat students as their children.

Remember that all this effort is put in because they intend to see their students succeed in academics, careers, and life.

When you get involved in cheating, you have disregarded and disrespected all the instructor’s efforts to ensure you succeeded genuinely. Cheating is also disrespecting your fellow students.

10. Cheating is Embarrassing

Have you ever thought of how people will treat you when you get caught cheating? Your actions are always responsible for how those around you treat you.

Cheating expresses you as incompetent, disrespectful, unintelligent, selfish, lazy, and a person who cannot be trusted. You will feel embarrassed when those around you disregard you.

When you cheat, many institutions are likely to expel you. Think of the embarrassment that this can cause you. Cheating instances are always recorded.

Imagine being barred from reporting to a college and returning home because you cheated in your examinations. You will be seriously embarrassed if you cheat on a test.

11. Cheating makes the next Learning step Harder

When you cheat, you don’t learn and understand the basics. When you cheat in an introduction test, you will find it hard to understand the next topic of study.

This will lead you to cheat again. When you cheat in the final examinations at any level of study, you will find it harder to understand even the simplest concepts in the next level.

For example, when you cheat in your senior examinations and you are admitted to a college to do a course, chances are you will not succeed in this course because it will exhaust your capabilities. Unless you decide to cheat again.

12. In higher education, you can be Sued for Cheating

lawsuit notice

When you get to a college or university, one of the first things your instructors teach you is always to present original work.

Cheating and presenting work that is not yours can land you in trouble. You can be sued in court for cheating on a paper.

You are accused of copyright infringement. Only the owner of the work can accuse you of copyright infringement.

You must pay the owner for using his work without permission if proven guilty.

13. Cheating in school is a ‘Broken Window.’

The broken window theory dictates that petty acts that show disobedience and instances of not being civilized can cause much more serious crimes in the future.

When small crimes go unnoticed and unpunished, it seems no one is watching. Academic cheating can be easily classified as a broken window. When young students get away with academic dishonesty, they may assume that no one cares.

This can easily lead them to accept that no one will notice when they commit a more serious offense because no one cares.

14. Cheating in college undermines learning

Cheating usually disrupts learning. When a student is given an assignment and gives it to another student to do it for him, he will not learn what the instructor intended him to learn from the test.

Normally when exams are near, students are supposed to learn and revise for the exam. When the student knows he will carry a book to the exam room and copy the exam, he will not learn nor revise the topics involved.

At the same time, when cheating is a shortcut to passing an examination, the students disregard learning activities. While getting good grades is one of the reasons why students cheat, it undermines the learning process.

15. Cheating Devalues Diplomas and Degrees

We should not only look at cheating in schools using the students’ perspective alone. Some schools, mostly colleges and universities, help their students cheat in school to gain credibility and rise through the ranks of top institutions.

This becomes very tricky when it becomes known to the public that the institutions cheat. All graduates from these institutions will suffer.

Their degrees and diplomas become less valuable. They can be fired from their current jobs. Unemployed people will also experience difficulties when trying to secure jobs.

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Ethical Questions about Cheating in Colleges

How do non-cheating students perceive it.

Institutions should be concerned about how non-cheating students view cheating. Most students may feel comfortable not reporting those involved in cheating. They see it as normal. Some fear intimidation from others if they report those involved in cheating.

Ethical questions about cheating in colleges

Have Institutions Failed to Enforce Moral Values of Academic Integrity

The importance of curbing academic dishonesty must be considered if all approaches to curb it are to be developed. Morals such as respect, honesty, and self-discipline must be enforced in all institutions.

Are Students Trained in Making Ethical Decisions in Schools?

It is very obvious for a student trained to make ethical decisions to avoid cheating in examinations. Students who tend to cheat will probably engage in misbehavior or make other unethical decisions.

A study on cheating behavior showed that students who cheated in the experimental test are likelier to engage in other behavior that violates school policies. This proves that cheating is part and parcel of moral issues that educational institutions should address.

Institutions should set up seminars to teach students how to make the right decisions and enhance their academic skills.

A Universal Honor Code in Universities and Colleges

We might strive for academic integrity each day of our life but if the disciplinary actions depend on the instructor, we can never progress. Some instructors may favor some students over others.

Some instructors can even be bribed. This means that no action will be taken. The honor code should provide a unison action that is to be taken against anyone involved in cheating in all institutions.

Watch this video to learn more about this.

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With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our managing editor and is in charge of the writing operations at Grade Bees.

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The software says my student cheated using AI. They say they’re innocent. Who do I believe?

In the desperate scramble to combat AI, there is a real danger of penalising students who have done nothing wrong

  • Robert Topinka a senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London

W hen I sat down to mark undergraduate student essays in the spring of 2023, the hype around ChatGPT was already at giddy heights. Like teachers everywhere, I was worried that students would succumb to the temptation to outsource their thinking to the machine. Many universities, including mine, responded by adopting AI detection software, and I soon had my fears confirmed when it provided the following judgment on one of the essays: “100% AI-generated”.

Essays are marked anonymously, so my heart dropped when I found out that the first “100% AI-generated” essay I marked belonged to a brilliant, incisive thinker whose essays in the pre-ChatGPT era were consistently excellent, if somewhat formulaic in style.

I found myself in an increasingly common predicament, caught between software products and humans: students and ChatGPT on one side, lecturers and AI detectors on the other. Policy demands that I refer essays with high AI detection scores for academic misconduct, something that can lead to steep penalties, including expulsion. But my standout student contested the referral, claiming university-approved support software they used for spelling and grammar included limited generative AI capabilities that had been mistaken for ChatGPT.

The software that scanned my student’s essay is provided by Turnitin, an American “education technology” giant that is one of the biggest players in the academic misconduct market. Before ChatGPT, Turnitin’s primary function was to produce “similarity reports” by checking essays against a database of websites and previously submitted student work. A high similarity score does not always mean plagiarism – some students just quote abundantly – but does make it easier to find copy-and-paste jobs.

Generative AI makes copying and pasting seem old-fashioned. Prompted with an essay question, ChatGPT produces word combinations that won’t show up in a similarity report. Facing a threat to its business model, Turnitin has responded with an AI detection software that measures whether an essay strings words together in predictable patterns – as ChatGPT does – or in the more idiosyncratic style of a human. But the tool is not definitive: while the label announces that an essay is “X% AI-generated”, a link in fine print below the percentage opens a disclaimer that admits it only “might be”.

Unlike the “similarity report”, which includes links to sources so that lecturers can verify whether a student plagiarised or used too many quotations, the AI detection software is a black box. ChatGPT has more than 180 million monthly users, and it produces different – if formulaic – text for all of them. There is no reliable way to reproduce the same text for the same prompt, let alone to know how students might prompt it. Students and lecturers are caught in an AI guessing game. It’s not hard to find students sharing tips online about evading AI detection with paraphrasing tools and AI “humanisers” . It’s also not hard to find desperate students asking how to beat false accusations based on unreliable AI detection.

When my student contested the AI detector’s judgment, I granted the appeal. I admit to trusting the human over the machine. But the defence was also convincing, and this particular student had been consistently writing in this style long before ChatGPT came into being. Still, I was making a high-stakes call without reliable evidence. It was a distressing experience for my student, and one that is being repeated across the sector.

Many academics have translated the hype around AI to a heightened suspicion of students. And it’s true that ChatGPT can plausibly write mediocre university-level essays. A combination of ChatGPT and AI “humanisers” might even carry someone through university with a 2:2.

But if universities treat this as an arms race, it will inevitably harm students who rely on additional support to survive a system that is overwhelmingly biased to white, middle-class, native English speakers without disabilities, and whose parents went to university. Students who don’t fall into those categories are also more likely to turn for support to spelling and grammar checkers like Grammarly, which also uses generative AI to offer stylistic suggestions, putting them at risk of running foul of AI detectors even when the substantive ideas are original. Innocent students will inevitably find themselves in a kind of Kafkaesque computational scenario – accused by one automated software of improperly relying on another.

What is to be done? In the desperate – and largely futile – scramble to “catch up” with AI, there is a real danger that academics lose sight of why we assign essays in the first place: to give students the opportunity to display their ability to evaluate information, think critically and present original arguments. This may even be an opportunity to move away from the sort of conventional essay questions that can so easily be fed into ChatGPT. Students can present original, critical work in presentations, podcasts, videos and reflective writing.

It’s also possible to ask students questions that include information that doesn’t exist in ChatGPT’s training data – for instance, by incorporating content generated in class. Lecturers could also address ambient AI anxiety head-on by prompting ChatGPT with assigned essay questions and asking students to critique the resulting output in class. The goal need not be just to fend off AI-generated essays: expanding the range of assessments can also help universities close the achievement gap that exists in part because traditional forms of assessment tend to favour more privileged students.

Of course, all of this puts more pressure on casualised, overworked staff, which is why the kneejerk response to revert to closed-door, handwritten exams is understandable, if misguided. We can be critical of AI, but we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist if we want to prepare students for a world where humans will have to live and work alongside thinking machines.

Achieving that goal would be easier if students arrived at university as open-minded critical thinkers instead of stressed-out, debt-burdened consumers. In this sense, the panic around AI is only the latest symptom of a broader crisis at UK universities, and it is a crisis that is not equally felt. The Conservative government’s move to force universities to cap admissions on “low-value” degrees – cutting off their primary funding source – is also an attack on working-class and minority-ethnic students. Responding to AI with punitive measures based on unreliable detection software risks contributing to that same attack. If there is any chance of avoiding the bitter irony of the biggest technological breakthrough since the internet entrenching enduring inequalities in education, it will come from lecturers working with AI, instead of joining a losing fight against it.

Robert Topinka is a senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at Birkbeck, University of London

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Universities
  • Higher education

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Cheating In School Essay | Why Students Cheat? and What We Do About It?

cheating in school essay

Cheating In School Essay: Cheating is a crime. Whether you cheat your friend, parents, or an unknown person, it is an unethical way of achieving your aim. For example – Cheating in exams is wrong as you’re supposed to study, practice, and understand the concept before answering in exams. If you skip all the previous steps and try to copy it from someone else or any other source, it is considered cheating.

Cheating is an act where a person acts dishonestly or in an unfair way to gain some advantage. Cheating in any manner or anywhere can not be justified. Cheating is also used by our children and most commonly they use it at school. Cheating in school is done in many ways like copying in exams, doing someone else’s work, copying the work from someone’s notebook without their permission.

You can also find more  Essay Writing articles on events, persons, sports, technology and many more.

Nowadays children have also started using mobile phones for Cheating in their exam papers and to tell the answers to their fellow students. All these forms of Cheating are wrong and unethical, no doubt they are the shortcut to the goal. But not all the students are involved in Cheating. Cheating has many major after effects like they can get expelled from the school which can make them lose their self respect, integrity, etc. So, as elders we should try to make our children understand that Cheating in no way is acceptable.

Long Essay on Cheating in School 750 Words in English

Cheating in school means an unethical way to get early and easy access to your aim. Cheating in school means when a student tries to get good academic grades through a dishonest and unfair way. Cheating is a false representation of the child’s ability which he may not be able to give without Cheating. It is unfair to everyone involved as it deprives the true one of the chance to come on the top.

In reality, the cheater, the teachers and the classmates all are getting deprived of the benefits. Actually Cheating is like a bad temptation which pulls you towards itself when you are able to get something easily with the help of it. Like if a child is able to get good grades in an exam by Cheating, he will try to do the same in other exams also as he will start finding it easy. It’s like an addiction which is not easy to get rid of. You can get an A grade in an exam through Cheating but you know that you didn’t earn it through fair means and will start self-doubting. It makes the student less self confident and gradually losing his sanity and integrity which hampers the overall growth.

The child is not trying to learn, rather he is trying to find ways which are easy but not right. Cheating also has major setbacks like suspension, repeating the same class, etc. Cheating is morally wrong because it gives the cheater an undue advantage over the others truly deserving. Students resort to Cheating because of many reasons – desire to get good grades, the fear of failing, competition with friends and classmates to excel in the class, parental pressure, etc. Cheating affects the child mentally as it increases the anxiety levels in the child. He may start feeling bad for himself as he knows that whatever he has achieved is not because of his own hard work, which will gradually make him feel helpless and trapped. The teachers and parents should make it a point to make the children realize that Cheating is not a good habit.

They can do so by giving their own life examples, making them understand and stressing that winning is not everything, teaching them how to cope with failure, and being compassionate with them while discussing this topic so that they do not feel embarrassed. Ask the child to do more practice of the topic he finds difficult, praise him in the little efforts he is putting to improve himself, try and explore new areas in which the child is good so that he can regain his self esteem.

Cheating In School

Short Essay on Cheating in School

  • Cheating is an act of behaving in a way that is unethical. Trying to achieve our goal through dishonest and unfair ways is not a way.
  • We all at some point of time resort to Cheating whether consciously or unconsciously. Our children also follow us.
  • Children follow the practice of Cheating in school in various ways and mostly during their exams.
  • In our education system, children get so many opportunities to work hard and get good grades. But instead of doing hard work, some children feel encouraged to take Cheating as a shortcut.
  • Students at that time don’t understand that Cheating is not the correct way to deal with it as it is leading them on a wrong path.
  • Cheating in school can be due to many different reasons like peer pressure, parental pressure, etc. and can have negative effects on a student in the future.
  • Cheating makes a child make wrong decisions as he is blinded by the aim of success. The student loses his ability of self confidence, honesty and critical thinking.
  • To excel in education or a subject, one must be clear with the basics of the topic. But when a child resorts to Cheating he is making way for future Cheating also as he will not be able to understand high level topics because he is not clear with the basics.
  • Cheating as all other unethical habits have serious consequences like suspension and expulsion from the school, spoiled academic reputation.
  • Parents and teachers as the well wishers of the students should try to make them aware of the severe consequences of it and try to make them come out of this bad practice as soon as possible.

FAQ’s on Cheating In School Essay

Question 1. Is Cheating in school common?

Answer: According to a survey, Cheating is very common at school level and 86% of students have cheated in school at one or another level.

Question 2. Why is Cheating in school so common?

Answer: Students cheat in school due to poor study skills, lack of confidence and the pressure to get good grades.

Question 3. What are some consequences of Cheating?

Answer: Cheating can lead to expulsion or suspension from school, class failure, degraded academic reputation, lowers self respect.

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Furthermore, Turnitin has a feature that compares your assignment to your previous works, potentially identifying differences in style and tone. However, this should not be a problem either. If you choose to buy essay papers online, be sure to provide your academic writer with with samples of your past writings. This enables them to mimic your writing style closely.

Is it safe to buy essays online?

Buying an essay on web platforms is absolutely safe as long as you stick to some important rules. First of all, you should always use anonymous profiles to protect your privacy. To ensure confidentiality, don’t provide any details about your educational institution, instructors, etc. In general, keep all your personal information secret.

It’s also important to stay away from public internet services because every time you use them, you leave digital footprints. As a result, you can be tracked down by hackers. So if you don’t want anybody to reveal your identity, you should hide your IP address.

It’s easy to do with the help of a VPN, which can be downloaded as an extension or software. This tool will mask your internet activities and prevent others from getting access to your data.

Before you decide to purchase a paper from a particular company, do proper research of the essay service you are going to use. Don’t turn to the first companies that pop up on your Google search until you check them. Obviously, it’s better to order an essay from a reputable site. Note that reliable agencies always have a lot of positive reviews on the web, so read as many comments as possible.

If you follow the recommendations given above, you shouldn’t worry about safety issues.

How much does it cost to buy an essay?

The prices for essay writing services vary significantly from one company to another. On average, a professional writer with an advanced degree and extensive experience charges between $10 and $30 per page. However, the rates depend on multiple factors. It’s possible to buy essay online for a lower price, but it’s better not to take the risk. The chances are that a cheap essay will be plagiarized or poorly written.

First of all, essay cost depends on task complexity. If you need to get a high school essay written, you will have to pay less than for a college or university essay. So the higher the academic level you have, the more you will pay for your order.

Also, your expenses depend on the type of platform you are turning to. Reputable companies usually set higher prices for their services since they provide guarantees for the quality of their work. Best writers and native speakers also charge more for their services than ESL specialists or those without a degree. Another important factor affecting the price is your deadline date. If it’s too close, you’ll have to pay extra.

Who will write my essay?

Some websites give you detailed information about their writers, allowing you to check the list of professionals at a particular company and pick one that meets your requirements. Pay special attention to the qualifications of your writer and their amount of experience.

However, remember that having a decent education and incredible experience doesn’t always guarantee top quality. Sometimes, less experienced writers are extremely dedicated to their work and can deliver excellent papers. Unfortunately, you never really know who will write your essay better.

Credible companies typically hire skilled specialists with Master’s or Ph.D. degrees, who might be teachers, researchers, or even professors. It’s quite common because many academics enjoy writing and take it up as a part-time job. Imagine, your essay could be written by a world-renowned scientist without you even knowing it!

Papers may be completed by both native English speakers and non-natives. Some students think that native speakers never make mistakes and their work is flawless. However, this isn’t always the case since they’re just human and can struggle with a loss of concentration or poor focus.

On the other hand, non-native writers at essay services often have an excellent command of English. Before being hired, they must provide certificates proving their language skills, so you can be confident in their knowledge.”

How soon can I have my essay written?

Any student faces a situation when a paper must be done urgently. It’s really stressful when only a few hours are left to submit your essay. In such circumstances, it may be risky to completely rely on somebody and ask for help. But what if there is nothing else to do? The good news is that custom writing companies can deal with your assignment within 3 hours. Of course, it won’t be cheap since you need to pay extra for urgency. Also, it works this way only if you need to have a short essay done. In case its length exceeds one page, you’ll have to wait from four to six hours at least.

The optimal deadline for most services is 14 days. If you set such time limits, you can count on good work and moderate prices. The more time you give to writers, the less you’ll have to pay. If it’s possible to wait for three weeks, you can save a considerable amount of money.

Is it illegal to buy essays online?

Many students are worried about legal issues when buying essays online. Since all schools strictly prohibit purchasing papers for money, learners think they’re breaking the law by doing this. But is this really true? In fact, there’s no law against custom writing companies. Their activity is absolutely legal as long as it meets government policies that regulate business functioning. If you turn to an officially registered business, you don’t risk anything.

It’s also important to note that your essay must be plagiarism-free. Of course, submitting a plagiarized paper obtained from an unreliable company can lead to serious consequences. In some countries, you can even get expelled for such actions.

Make sure to read as many customer reviews as possible about the website you’re considering, especially if you’re buying a cheap paper. This is to find out if anyone has faced plagiarism issues with them. Then, you can make your informed choice.

Is it cheating to purchase essays online?

It depends on what you are going to do with the paper that you bought online. If you want to pass it off as your own, then yes, it’s cheating. Representing someone else’s work as your own is an act of academic dishonesty.

Most companies that students use to buy college essays online put disclaimers on their websites that discourage customers from submitting these papers as their own work. According to these disclaimers, any essay paper produced by the website should be used as a model paper for your own essay.

That is to say, if you purchase essay from one of these sites, you have to read it, learn from it, and then write your own essay in your own words.

Where can I buy an essay online?

Today, there are a lot of ways to buy an essay online. Some students go to special forums where they can find peers or experts who complete homework assignments for money. However, it does not always work because you can’t check the qualifications and knowledge of a particular person. Moreover, there are no guarantees that your work will be completed in the right way and on time. Hence, this strategy is quite risky.

The most popular way to buy essay online is by turning to a custom writing company. So-called essay writing services, like PaperHelp.org, provide professional help for students. They usually have a big staff of specialists with extensive experience in academic writing, so you can find an expert that completely meets your requirements and expectations. In addition, credible companies offer a money-back guarantee and unlimited revisions upon your request.

Advantages of Purchasing an Essay From a Reputable Company

It’s important to buy essays only from credible companies with a good reputation among students. First of all, they have a refund policy, which means that you can get your money back if the requirements you’ve set weren’t met by writers. Secondly, reputable companies allow customers to request a revision. If you find errors or think that your paper is generally weak, you can ask a writer to revise it for free.

No matter what questions about your assignment arise, you can always get answers to them via a phone call or chat. And most importantly, top-rated writing agencies always stick to your deadlines. Even if you need your essay to be written in three hours, academic experts will do it for you because there is nothing impossible for them.

Managing all homework independently can be daunting, given the typically packed schedules of students. The substantial workload at school compels many young individuals to seek assistance from essay writing services. Finding the best place to buy essays online is challenging, as the current market is replete with reputable academic writing companies fighting for your attention.

Each of these services has its advantages and disadvantages, which must be carefully considered before making a decision. Hopefully, this article helped you understand the strong points of the most popular writing platforms.

Article paid for by: Ocasio Media The news and editorial staffs of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.

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