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The Importance of Academic Honesty

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The Importance of Academic Honesty

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Academic honesty is a trait that is expected to be exhibited by all students. Especially at Dougherty Valley High School, maintaining academic honesty is very important, as DVHS is a highly competitive school and pressure can run high. Students need to maintain their integrity throughout stressful times. Academic honesty is a necessary, lifelong skill that will also be important in college and in future careers.

An academically honest student has many responsibilities. He/She must not plagiarize any content in his/her work. Plagiarism can occur in many forms. A student should never copy another’s work and claim it as his own. Copy and pasting huge or small sections from an article is an example of this. If the student wants to take a direct quote from that article, he must include quotation marks and give credit where it is due. Paraphrasing, or rewording an author’s content, is a way around this type of plagiarism, however, credit still must be given. Citations are the general way of giving credit to sources that were used. Copying another student’s work is another form of plagiarism. This includes copying on tests and homework assignments but is not limited to other independent assignments, as well. Even with the other student’s permission, copying is still considered plagiarism. In addition, students are not permitted to bring anything, such as notes, to help them during tests and quizzes. A student should not have any advantage over any of his peers, and all students should have a fair chance at a good grade. Lastly, a student should never try to modify a teacher’s grade book. Students should never use dishonest methods to get good grades for their work. There are some things a student should avoid doing if they want to appear honest to their teachers. During a test, he should not let his eyes wander to others’ papers, even accidentally, because to a teacher, it looks like that student is cheating. Also, he should not talk during tests, even during the times that he needs to ask for a pencil, because teachers are supposed to give automatic zeros to those talking during tests, as they don’t know if the conversation is about the answers. When in need of something during a test, students should always ask the teacher.

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It is very important for students to be academically honest for several reasons. It shows that they can be trusted and are credible. If a student is caught cheating, his teachers will never trust him and all the hard work he does honestly will count as nothing. His entire academic career would be doubted upon and it may jeopardize any future opportunities that might have been available to him. Also, an academically dishonest student will never learn anything throughout his education. If that student is put into a situation where that knowledge needs to be applied, he will never succeed. There would be no one to cheat off of and no dishonest methods would benefit him. Additionally, plagiarism is comparable to stealing. Anyone who plagiarizes is stealing ideas and words from the author of the article. Cheating off of another student or plagiarizing from an article, is unjust toward the student and the author. They are putting their hard work and time into that piece of work and a dishonest student takes credit for that work without doing anything worthwhile. The dishonest student would not even feel the satisfaction of a good grade as he didn’t deserve to earn it.

The consequences of not being academically honest vary for every school. However, there are some common repercussions. There is a low tolerance for academic dishonesty. A student can be suspended or even expelled from school. Some lenient teachers allow the student to do the assignment again and take points off for cheating or plagiarizing. Other teachers are stricter and give an automatic zero or a failing grade on the assignment. Teachers also may have the ability to fail the student in the class. Parents are also notified of the offense and the student will have a meeting with the principal. Also, that student most likely will struggle in future classes because he doesn’t understand the content he submitted. The student’s file will also have a record of the time he was caught being academically dishonest. If a student is caught being academically dishonest, the police may get involved. The student may also be deprived of other opportunities such as afterschool sports and clubs and lose scholarships. No one would trust that student and all credibility would be lost. The student would be carefully monitored by the teacher.

An academically honest student is credible and trustworthy. He gets his grades through hard work and time. At DVHS, academically honest students are valued. They work hard and receive the grade they deserve.

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