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Effects of Internet on Academic Fraud sample essay

It has been found out that the prevalent developments in the field of Information and Communications Technologies has made academic dishonesty easier and nonetheless more tempting and more efficient. This implies that the technology, especially the internet, has made a great negative impact on the society by making academic fraud more prevalent. (Eckstein, M. A. ) Academic fraud has appeared to be on a constant increase in developed and developing countries alike.

Many may not realize how this can be a very costly threat to the society and its efficient operation. Moreover, this increase in academic dishonesty would also impart a social disruption on public trust in the reliability and security of many academic and academic related institutions. (Rusch, J. J. ) Academic dishonesty is defined as any form of academic misconduct manifested by any form of cheating that is made in relation to formal academic exercise.

This would include plagiarism – which is to literally steal the intellectual property or ideas of other people by using their ideas and not properly citing the authors in the references, or by claiming ideas of others to be your own original idea; fabrication- which is the falsification of data (input of false data) or citations in any formal academic exercise; deception – which includes the providing of negativfe information to an instructor regarding a formal academic exercise (e. g. giving a false excuse for being late or absent or for missing a deadline); cheating – which is any attempt to obtain external assistance in a formal academic exercise, which is to be worked out alone, without due or proper acknowledgements; and sabotage – which is to make an act that would prevent others from completing their work. (McCabe D. L. and Trevino L. K. , 1997)

Academic dishonesty has been documented in mostly every type of educational setting; from preschool to elementary school, high school, college and even on graduate school, and has been met with varying degrees of approbation throughout history.

Today, educated society tends to take a more negative view of academic dishonesty. (Eckstein, M. A. ) In antiquity, the idea of such a thing as intellectual property did not exist. Ideas were made to be common property of the scholars, literate and the elite. Books were published by hand-copying them. Scholars freely made digests or commentaries on other works, which could contain as much or as little original material as the author desired, in other words, you could not expect published books to contain ideas, exactly as the author have written them.

There were no standard system of citation, because printing and pagination was not yet existent. In effect, the scholars became an elite and very small group that trusted each other, and relied on each others ideas based mainly on trust. (Robin R. , 2004) This system continued through the European middle ages where education was in Latin and occasionally in Greek. Some scholars became monks, lived in monasteries, and spent much of their time copying manuscripts. Other scholars preferred to be in urban universities and were vaguely connected to the Roman Catholic Church.

(Scheinder, A. , 1999) Academic dishonesty dates back to the first tests that were ever conducted. Scholars note that cheating was prevalent on the Chinese civil service exams thousands of years ago, even when cheating carried the heavy penalty of death for both examinee and examiner. (Eckstein, M. A. ) Before the founding of the MLA and the APA at end of the 19th century, there were no set rules on how to properly cite quotations from the writings of others, this is believed to have caused many cases of plagiarism out of plain ignorance. (Smith, K. J. and Davy J. A. , 2004)

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, cheating has become more widespread at college campuses in the United States, and was not considered a dishonorable act among students. It has been estimated that as many as two-thirds of students cheated at some point of their college careers at the turn of the 20th century. Fraternities and some academic-related organizations maintained by students, often operated so-called essay mills, where term papers, and old exams were kept on file and could be resubmitted over and over again by different students, or could be referenced at by them, often with the only change being the name on the paper.

At that time, college students, usually white privileged men, were expected by their parents and by society to live the life of the young gentleman, and were required to fulfill a number of social obligations, make connections with the future elite, find a suitable mate, become independent, that were considered far more important than grades. Accordingly, cheating was commonly used by students to put more time towards fulfilling their social obligations at the expense of their academic ones. As higher education in the U. S. trended towards meritocracy, however, a greater emphasis was put on anti-cheating policies, and the newly diverse student bodies tended to arrive with a more negative view of academic dishonesty. (Simmons, S. C. , 1999)

At present, academic dishonesty has become widespread in all levels of education. In the United States alone, studies show that 20% of students would begin cheating as early as at their first grade, in relation other studies also show that in the United States around 56% of middle school children and an alarming 70% of those who are at high school have already cheated.

(Smith, K. J. and Davy J. A. , 2004) What is more alarming is that it has been revealed that students are not the only ones to cheat in an academic setting. A study among North Carolina school teachers found that some 35 percent of respondents said they had witnessed their colleagues cheating in one form or another (plagiarism, falsification of data…etc). The rise of high-stakes testing and the consequences of the results on the teacher is cited as a reason why a teacher might want to inflate the results of their students. (Underwood J. and Szabo A. , 2003)

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