College and university students are increasingly cheating in various ways. Data suggests roughly 80% of students have cheated in some manner. This may be attributed to the increase in students taking classes online and the sheer volume of resources available on the internet today such as “essay mills.” Approximately 42% of respondents to a recent survey said they had purchased a term paper, essay, or other written assignment from an internet source.
Obtaining Written Essay or Paper
Essay writing for students has developed into a “cottage industry.” It obviously runs contrary to the goals of educational institutions. Some students may justify the action based on a lack of time available to compose an assignment. Many students have significant family obligations. With the high cost of college tuition, many students are working part-time or full-time while pursuing their education.
Is This Form of Cheating a Crime?
Submitting an assignment produced by someone else is unlikely to be an actual crime—unless perhaps it was stolen. Colleges and universities consider these actions to be violations of their honor code and may impose sanctions through the campus disciplinary process. The student may ultimately face fines, a suspension or even expulsion.
Purpose of Written Assignment
The educational institution assigns term papers, reports, and essays as a means of evaluating the student's knowledge. In contrast to tests in a multiple choice or true/false format, these assignments more broadly measure a student's understanding of a topic and their ability to communicate. When a student purchases the assignment they are seeking credit for another person's work.
Detecting This Form of Cheating
The instructor or professor that grades these assignments may be able to recognize that the student did not compose it. One potentially strong type of evidence may be comparing the work to another assignment that was previously submitted.
Form of Academic Misconduct
The university administration will consider the allegation as a serious form of academic dishonesty. Other students in the class are earning a grade based on their own efforts. The student will receive a failing grade for the assignment at the very least.
Colleges and universities each have processes for handling student disciplinary matters. Often a panel of several administrators reviews the evidence relating to the potential violation(s). A hearing is held where the accused is able to respond to the allegations and ultimately a ruling is made.
How Can an Attorney Assist?
Students who retain an attorney will likely be well prepared for disciplinary hearings. Your attorney will assist with preparing effective statements and responses to questions that you are likely to encounter. Although hearings are generally not conducted in a highly adversarial manner, your attorney helps to ensure you are treated fairly.
Lawyer Represents Students Accused of Academic Misconduct
Attorney Joseph D. Lento understands how campus disciplinary sanctions can potentially hinder your educational goals. Students who are facing possible harsh consequences are encouraged to contact the office today for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.