Cheaters will never prosper

By By Janice Kopaunik

By Janice Kopaunik

During the past few semesters, a growing number of university professors have started using digital assessment tools to quell plagiarism. With the help of intensive cross referencing applications such as TurnItIn.com, teachers and administrators hope to teach good scholarship and promote academic honesty.

According to a recent US News & World Report, nearly 85 percent of college students polled said that cheating was necessary to get ahead.

I’ll admit it — I’ve cheated on a test before. When I was younger, I found that writing answers hard onto a stack of papers would produce an almost unnoticeable cheat-sheet. This technique was perfect for spelling tests. I got the grade, but failed to have pride in my 100 percent and smiley face.

No one ever found out, but after that point I never cheated again. What kept me from cheating was the shame I felt from that undeserved grade.

What I discovered at 12 seems to have been learned by few college students. A practice relatively unheard of 50 years ago has moved toward the norm, not only for a select few marginal students, but by enough of the mainstream to move professors to take preventative measures.

You would think that the launch of the Internet and its vast amount of information would produce smarter, more capable students, with less effort on their part than ever before. Instead, the opposite has occurred — students are feeling pressed for time and the Internet has provided a marketplace for easy outs.

From comprehensive summaries of Shakespearean plays to the history of the Middle Ages, sites such as Spark Notes not only give a student a helping hand at studying, but are also used as a substitute to doing actual class work. Other sites such as MyCustomEssay.com will do all the work of a paper at surprisingly low rates — but at what cost?

College is hard — anything worth anything is. Pressed up against deadlines, in pursuit of a needed grade, or torn between school, work and friends, all too often make cheating more and more appealing, but hardly worth it. The value in education is in the journey, not the destination.

The most important thing you will take from life, let alone college, will not be a grade attached to a project or the validation of another, but rather the personal growth through work and personal enlightenment. There are no shortcuts to life. The old adage “cheaters never prosper” holds more than just a grain of truth.

People lacking enough moral fiber and integrity to cheat will get what they deserve. In the end, the real world will bite them in the ass when they are incapable of dealing with real-world situations.

Really, if you are going to cheat, save yourself the time and money — skip college altogether. Faking your way through life is an art form in and of itself. Take up used car sales; you don’t need the meaningless diploma on your wall to validate yourself.

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