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Academic dishonesty is any form of misconduct that is associated with formal education in all levels and it is practiced from the lowest form of formal education, in most countries being elementary school, to the highest form of education in most countries being the university. It is the practice of being involved in plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, sabotage and deception in relation to education. Plagiarism is the illegal use of other people’s ideas or works to gain in education examinations and term papers (Students’ Society of McGill University, 2001).
Fabrication is the practice giving false information or data in any education related exercises. Deception is the giving of false information in regards to education especially practiced by students on teaching on why the students did not do a certain exercise or task pertaining to education. Cheating on the other hand is the attempt of obtaining help especially during examinations and it can be performed by a student who willingly tries to help somebody or who willingly accepts somebody’s help. Cheating also involves the use of illegal materials during examinations time. Sabotage is the illegal practice of hindering other students and concerned people from accessing information meant to help them to accomplish certain education related goals like completion of an assignment (Center for Academic Integrity, 1999).
An honest students protects and preserves the award earned after a successful education breakthrough, like a university student protecting and preserving the degree he or she has earned in that institution. It is also important because it also protects and preserves the integrity of the student who is involved in honest practices in his or her endeavors in education. This is also a good avenue for preparing students to become responsible citizens in the future (Students’ Society of McGill University, 2001).
The efforts made by both the institution and the students to promote academic honesty mostly results in the creation of a good environment for the students’ learning and this environment play a crucial role in the character of the students in the future life. This can be basically translated into the statement that when students and the institutions put in place efforts of promoting academic honesty, the result will be in the better and responsible citizens the students will become in the future. This acts as the basis of good citizenship and which is full of integrity and honesty. This is because even after the contents of a course is wrong forgotten; the principals of honesty and responsibility will still be instilled in the students as they approach adulthood (Bernardi, 2004).
In addition education experts have pointed out that students who are sincere in their academic works especially in documentation benefit from the factor that correct documentation also results in a courtesy which the students find helpful in accessing the sources and the documents. This means that honest students will have an easy access to materials that will help them in their studies and hence excel without the need for cheating or plagiarizing other peoples’ works. The information that is accessed by this students also tends to be accurate and not misleading as those works dishonest students often get to use (Beemsterboer, 2003).
Academic honesty also helps the students in evading such things as penalties and the disgrace that comes with being discovered that you have been involved in illegal practices related to education. The penalties are sometimes very harsh and it is not worth the risk of being caught in an act of academic dishonesty. Most cases that have been reported indicate that the students receive severe punishments which may also result in discontinuation of education from that point on. However, one of the benefit that is accrued to honesty is that the student will never be found in such a situation and hence they records are straight from day one to the last day (Center for Academic Integrity, 1999).
Honest students who have worked hard and have not been involved in cheating or fabricating also find themselves adapting quickly and easily to their employments unlike those students who were involved in dishonest practices during their education. This is because these students have already learned enough of their training m1aterials and hence they can easily adapt to their field of operation when employment is afforded to them. The students who have been dishonest may find it difficult to come into terms with their respective employment. This is because the student may find that some of the things they are required to have a knowledge in, they do not have a clue of them because instead of studying their were involved in dishonesty which limits the exposure of students to their respective fields (Students’ Society of McGill University, 2001).
Honesty students have the advantage of having the opportunity to do well in their examinations in conditions that may require strict supervision by the examiners. This means that honest students who do not rely on cheating may have the advantage of passing an exam that is strictly supervised because the students have the ability to the exams on their own without any help whatsoever. On the other hand, dishonest students may find it difficult to do an exam under similar conditions because in the first place they have not fully prepared for the examination. This is because initially the students have relied on cheating for their past exams and hence they may not have the confidence of doing an examination without cheating (Beemsterboer, 2003).
- Beemsterboer, P. L., & Turner, S. P. (2003). Enhancing academic integrity: Formulating effective honor codes. Journal of Dental Education, 67, 1122-1129.
- Bernardi, R. A., Metzger, R. L., Bruno, R. G. S., & Hoogkanp, M. A. W. (2004). Examining the decision process of students; cheating behavior: An empirical. Study. Journal of Business Ethics, 50, 397-408.
- Center for Academic Integrity, “The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity“, Duke University, 1999.
- Students’ Society of McGill University,” Academic Mission Statement.” 2001.