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Does The Honor System Work Essay

1629 words - 7 pages

Does the Honor System Work

Almost everyone has cheated on something at least once, whether it was on a test or in a football game, everyone has cheated at least once. For the majority of us, it was only once and we felt guilty enough afterwards to quit, but there are some that continue to cheat at every opportunity. While most colleges and universities would like to think that this does not happen on their campuses, the fact is that it happens everywhere.

People have tried solving the cheating problem with various methods, most of which don’t work. The most popular procedure seems to be to spread the students out and keep a close watch. This method is most widely used to make sure that students do not look on each others papers or use a “cheat sheet” to help them with the answers. Some professors have even started making more than one exam, with the same questions just in a different order. For an experienced cheater however, these methods do not stop them, and, in some cases, it makes the desire to cheat even stronger. Almost as if the student feels that they “beat the professor at their own game” when they succeed at cheating. To get rid of this thrill, some colleges and universities have implemented an honor system. With this system, total trust is placed in the student because they are allowed to take exams home and return them the next day. Of course some students will take advantage of this since it would be so easy to cheat but a surprisingly small number have at colleges that already use this system. I believe this is because once students are trusted, they will not want to let that person down. To lessen cheating on college campuses across the nation and produce better prepared adults, the honor system must be implemented.

Many people ask what is wrong with traditional methods of catching cheaters. For one, there are so many new methods being thought up every day it would be impossible for any college, let alone professor, to keep up with them. Methods such as different exams, walking up and down the aisles during the exam, and using several proctors simply do not work any more. One student at the University of Arkansas confesses to cheating in almost every class. For example, in a Spanish computer lab the student was able to cheat on an exam by simply making a “cheat sheet” with all the answers on it and hiding behind his computer screen. He also describes how the student manages to cheat on the rest of their exams (Wein).

The Internet is also fast becoming a major tool for the cheater. There are many websites that will give you the information you need to become a successful cheater. One well known site is called which offers term papers to prospective cheaters. You can even get a customized paper written for you by a team of “experts”. The price ranges for papers being anywhere from free to $200 per paper (Brownstein). Not only can you find sites that will write your paper for...

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