Academic Integrity and International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

October 16, 2018

Academic integrity is a foundation of the education system. International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating promotes academic integrity, combats cheating and reminds students about legitimate ways to get help.

What is academic integrity?

Having integrity means being honest and sticking to morals that most people would agree with, such as telling the truth and not stealing. To some extent this comes down to personal choice. C. S. Lewis wrote that, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching”. We hope you have integrity when it comes to your studies, other students and the University – this is what we mean by academic integrity.

Why is it important?

As a University we rely on people’s integrity to be able to function. We take active measures to encourage and enforce proper behaviour, such as using turnitin for essay submissions, but it’s not possible to police all aspects of students’ academic activitiy and nor is it desirable.

Why is it important to me?

If you cheat then you are not doing what you came to University to do, which is to learn and become a better, more skilled and more knowledgable person. You will have gaps in your knowledge that future colleagues and employers will pick up on and which may cost you dearly. If you get caught it could lead to disciplinary action, expulsion from your course and more.

If another student on your course cheats, it’s you they are cheating, by devaluing your hard work and accomplishments.

International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

October 17th is International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating, which aims to raise awareness of this issue and fight against it.

“Contract cheating” is when a student gets someone else to complete academic work (e.g. writing an essay or doing an assignment) for them and passes it off as their own.

Essay writing services exist, and whilst the services themselves are not intrinsicly illegal, your use of them may breach University rules and is almost certainly unethical.

Practically speaking, if you buy an essay you have no way of knowing that it’s not copied from somewhere else, which would be caught when you submit it through turnitin. The service may also ask for more money after you have already paid and threaten to tell the University that you have asked them to do work for you. If you use an unethical service you are dealing with unethical people!

You don’t need to cheat

You have a place at this university because the University believes you are capable of completing the course you’re on.

We don’t expect you to do everything alone, here are some ways to get help:

  • If you’re not sure what is required ask your tutor.
  • Discuss the work with other students. But don’t copy or allow others to copy from you.
  • Do any informal exercises or extra work you have been set, it prepares you for assessments.
  • Learn from previous feedback – it’s how you’ll improve.
  • Research the subject, the library has great resources and Faculty Librarians who can help you individually.
  • Advice Zones can help with any issues surrounding Uni and are a good starting point if you know you need help but don’t know where to turn.

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