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The Issue of Academic Integrity, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 910

Essay

Introduction

Academic integrity is one of the leading concerns in the education sector. Some of the common forms of academic dishonesty include plagiarism, cheating, and misconduct. These behaviors have become Prevalent in the last couple of years to due to the use of technology in learning such as the internet. The internet has made information easily available, and students can be tempted cheat to make learning easier especially when doing examinations. Plagiarism is one of the common forms of dishonesty and it entails presenting another person’s work as your own. This paper will compare and contrast two articles on the subject of academic integrity to determine the similarities and the differences.

Perspectives on academic integrity from two articles

The subject of academic integrity has been a subject of interest to researchers for many years.  In their article, Belter and Pre (2009) explored the subject of academic integrity by focusing on plagiarism. In their study, the authors found that teaching learners about academic integrity resulted into low levels of plagiarism. They underscored the significance of having students go through an academic integrity module and receiving a good score before forwarding any assignments.

Although they main focus of their research study was on academic integrity, Chandler and Gregory (2010) focused more on the role that Wikipedia plays in academic integrity. In their article titled “Sleeping with the Enemy: Wikipedia in the Classroom” the authors argue that Wikipedia can be a good source of information for students, but it’s not suitable source for college academics. They faced their argument on the fact that most contributors to Wikipedia articles lack expertise in their subject areas.

The article by Belter and Pre (2009) offers strategies that can help in reducing plagiarism in an undergraduate college course. They give two definitions of plagiarism. First, plagiarism is suing someone’s work, which may comprise ideas, words or artistic creation, and presenting it as your own without giving credit to the person (Belter & Pre, 2009). Their second definition of plagiarism is stealing people’s intellectual property. Since in any academic undertaking one is expected to Present their ideas as their own, and identify borrowed ideas by using clear citations and reference, this is not the case for most students.

To avoid these forms of academic dishonesty, Belter and Pre (2009) offer several strategies that can be useful in combating plagiarism. The first strategy is useful o the modern student due to the Prevalence of technology in the classroom. The act of cutting and pasting information is a common form of cheating by students in order to save time and the hassle of paraphrasing information. To overcome this practice, the authors suggest the importance of creating a personal note-taking system that can allow the students to differentiate which words are theirs and which ones are borrowed.

The authors also stress the significance of paraphrasing information properly. This is one of the most effective ways of avoiding plagiarism and it involves altering the sentences structure and wording. This can be achieved by treading through the source and writing it in one’s own words. Citing sources is another strategy offered by the authors to avoid plagiarism. This is applicable when one sues the author’s exact words, which demands that they must be placed in quotation marks. However, it is important to avoid relying on direct quotes because students are assessed on their ability to create ideas and write competently.

Belter and Pre (2009) define cheating as giving or receiving information that is used in grading academic work. This is a common practice among students and it comprises assisting one another during a test and suing unauthorized material during a test. To overcome this vice, the authors suggest tips such as having enough time to prepare for a test and avoiding the easy way out during examinations.

Chandler and Gregory (2010) do not write off the significance of Wikipedia as a source of information. Accordingly, the information in Wikipedia is continuously updated, which is unlike traditional printed sources. Another benefit of Wikipedia is that the information found there is build according to the standards of knowledge as a process. It is structured just like older printed sources and it benefits from a good deal of expertise. According to the authors, subjective evidence shows that individuals with doctoral degrees have contributed to the information found in Wikipedia. Their concern for using Wikipedia as an academic source is the blanket acceptance of the information by students as shown in their study. The reason why faculties ban the use of information from Wikipedia is that students are not aware of its disadvantages and are not careful when using it. They conclude by underlining the benefits of teaching students the nature of sources such as Wikipedia in order to hone their critical awareness since college education is about critical thinking.

Conclusion

Although the two articles approach the topic of academic integrity from two different perspectives, their aim was to emphasize its significance to the education sectors. Belter and Pre focused on plagiarism and cheating, which are the common forms of dishonesty in learning. Chandler and Gregory focused on the issue of Wikipedia as an academic source. The overall idea from the two articles is the importance of teaching students about the dangers of dishonest behavior in learning.

References

Belter, R. W. & du Pre, A. (2009). A strategy to reduce plagiarism in an undergraduate course.  Teaching of Psychology, 36, 257-261.

Chandler, C. J., & Gregory, A. S. (2010). Sleeping with the Enemy: Wikipedia in the College Classroom. History Teacher, 43(2), 247-257.

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