Cheating in academics is a malpractice that has been an issue forboth students and educational institutions. The vice can take theform of plagiarizing a school assignment, referring to study notes ina sit-in assessment, or working in groups for an assignment that ismeant for individuals. At the professional level, cheating mayinclude influencing the results of a research project in order tomatch the set hypothesis (News and world report 54). Any form ofcheating and academic dishonesty has short term and long-term effectson the individual as well as the society. The discussion aboutacademic integrity explores the effects of academic dishonesty on thesociety by drawing conclusions from credible sources.
According to Pavela (31), Abraham Lincoln failed severally in hislife endeavors, but not even once did he consider cheating. Lookingat the number of times that Lincoln failed, it proves that he was aman of determination. Among the things that he failed in includebusiness, election to the presidency, nomination for the post ofspeaker, and a defeat for congress nomination. However, despite thesetbacks, he was able to maintain his integrity. He lived a straightand honest life. From the books of history, not once is it mentionedthat Abraham Lincoln engaged in electoral malpractices in order toachieve his political ambitions. At a time when stealing votes wasthe order of the day, Lincoln opted to stay true to election resultsinstead of imposing himself on the people like some contestants woulddo.
Lincoln’s story of success is a clear indication of the linkbetween integrity, leadership and success in public life. Afterseveral attempts at holding public offices, the USA electoratefinally gave him the mandate to hold the highest office in the land.His integrity in the election process was also extended to hisservice to the people. He served the country diligently because itwas in his heart. The policies that he championed give a clearindication of a man who upheld integrity. His success in public lifeis a testimony that integrity will always have its rewards. Thisquote goes to length to show people that even after a series offailures, success is still within reach. Therefore, students shouldadhere to academic integrity no matter how many times they fail. Inthe end, there is always a reward for hard work and integrity.
The consequences of academic dishonesty and lack of integrity ingeneral could be dire for the society. It is for this reason that theMichigan State University has a strict policy against academicdishonesty (4). The institution plays its role in promoting integritybecause people who academic dishonesty is always a breeding groundfor people who do not uphold integrity in their life after campus.According to Bishop (8), cheating in academics hurts the otherlearners who genuinely worked hard. The situation is worse in agrading system that standardizes the results of the students based onthe performance curve. Academic dishonesty also contravenes the moralfabric upon which the society stands. It opens the avenue for theperpetrators to engage in more acts of dishonesty.
Dishonesty in academics could also lead to the production ofhalf-baked professionals. If the story by Zamost et al (1) isanything to go by, then it means we have plenty of unqualifiedradiologists putting the lives of their patients at risk. In the end,the same people that promote cheating will face their karma when theyreceive supposedly life-saving services from the half-bakedprofessionals that they helped create.
My responses to the previous questions have shown me howinterconnected we are a society. My actions today will not onlyaffect me, but also other members of the society. It is thereforeupon me to uphold integrity in everything I do. Although some peoplemay be dishonest, it is the responsibility of every right-thinkinghuman being to do the right thing for the rest to follow suit.
I chose to be part of the solution by upholding integrity andacademic honesty as opposed to being part of the problem- lying backand doing nothing about it. The exercise has also created a differentperspective of education. I have realized that quality education isnot all about mastering hard concepts and replicating them in theexam answer sheet it is about gaining new knowledge and skills andapplying them in life.
My future career goals are to be involved in academia. I want tostudy to the graduate level and involve myself in contributing to theexisting knowledge through research. As a researcher, it is my dutyto publish all the information I gather. Most importantly, I havelearned that the fabrication of results is a capital offense inacademia. In addition to being morally wrong, the consequences ofcheating in research could be dire. According to Daily Californian(1), a research scientist was fined $125,000 for falsifying hisresearch finding regarding an energy device. When the governmentfound out that the device was not working, it sued him. I do not wantto meet a similar fate, hence my decision to uphold academic honestyand general integrity in my career.
Bishop Michael. What is wrong with cheating? Florida StateUniversity(1993).
Daily Californian. Livermore chemist punished for false testresults. August 1989. P.1
Michigan State University. MSU Policies, Regulations and OrdinancesRegarding Academic Honesty and Integrity. 2016. Retrieved from <https://msu.edu/unit/ombud/academic-integrity/ > accessed July 10,2016.
News and world report. Behind the scandals in science labs.March 1982. P. 54.
Pavela Gary. Lincoln failures. Seminar online.2016.
Zamostt Scot et al. Exclusive: Doctors cheated on exams. CNN.com,January 2012. Retrieved from <http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/13/health/prescription-for-cheating/index.html>accessed July 10, 2016.