Daily Prompt: Cheat

One of my many job roles in life has been to work as part of a team of administrators dealing with Breaches of Academic Regulations within a London University.

The most common breach of academic regulation we came across was that of plagiarism, the taking of someone else’s words and/ or ideas without acknowledgement and passing them off as your own – otherwise known as cheating. It never ceased to amaze me that so many university-level students saw absolutely nothing wrong in copying and pasting whole swathes of text direct from the internet without even trying to edit them in any way, as they seemed to have formed the impression that if it’s available online, it’s free to use without censure, and therefore a legitimate method of resource gathering.

Another common form of cheating was paying someone else to write your essays for you – again, many students simply understood this as a way to get through life. If you don’t have the knowledge to fix your car, you pay a mechanic to fix it for you. In the same vein, so their thinking goes, if you don’t have the knowledge to write your own essay, you simply pay someone else to do it for you. Many were outraged that having ‘legally’ bought written-to-order unplagiarised essays from what they considered to be a ‘reputable’ source, they were being ‘unfairly’ penalised through being failed by the academic marking the work.

The written evidence provided by the students in their defense was sometimes amazingly naive – one even provided the receipt from the online essay-writing service he had used to prove that his essay wasn’t stolen from anyone, which he would consider to be immoral. But he felt that having paid for it, all was above board. In his book, stealing was bad, but buying an essay and handing it in as his own work was perfectly OK…

Another student was only caught cheating when he complained to the academic who had marked his essay, saying that he had handed in an exact copy of his friend’s essay from a previous year for the same subject (although taught by a different tutor), yet had received a lower mark than his friend, and he felt this disparity in marking was unfair, so he wanted the work to be remarked. Suffice to say, despite his continued indignance the work was summarily failed…

Just to say, only a very small proportion of students cheat their way through university – but it was certainly a lot more than I’d expected before taking on that particular job role πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Cheat





6 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Cheat

  1. amileinmyshoes August 28, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Imagine the audacity in telling tutor that it was copied work form the year before and you’re unhappy at the marks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth August 28, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      I know, it was quite astounding! πŸ™‚


  2. Dan Antion August 28, 2016 / 11:40 pm

    “The previous bank robbers got more money than I did.” The thing that amazes me, is the fact that they think they won’t get caught.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth August 29, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      True – but now that universities run plagiarism software it’s much harder for other people’s words to be stolen. All these essay writing services are much harder to detect though 😦


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