Tweeting about Cheating

On occasion, I see tweets where students offer to pay someone to write a paper or promise answers to an online course lab (for a fee).

I don’t get it.

Yes, I went to a college with a strict Honor Code. If you cheated, you ran the risk of being expelled (or separated from the campus community, which is the same thing in nicer phrasing).

But more than that, I wanted to learn and master my course material. Physical chemistry was HARD, but I worked through pages and pages of triple integrals to learn that my system was at equilibrium and the answer was, in fact, zero. I wrote papers about difficult literary theories and boring poems because it was a challenge and I felt up to it. Besides, I wasn’t paying thousands of dollars to take shortcuts. I wanted an education, not just a worthless degree.

I might note that when I tell my students that no, I never cheated in school, they don’t believe me. Apparently “everyone cheats.”

Again, I don’t get it. If you’re going to cheat, which is a violation of academic policy at pretty much any university, why broadcast it on Twitter? Why use a school-related hashtag so administrators and the world can see?

“But it’s a stupid class and a stupid assignment,” one might argue. So don’t do the assignment, I would respond. Take the “F” that you deserve for not doing the work, or, better yet, do the darn work. There’s a reason that not that many people have a college degree. It’s supposed to take some effort.

Get off of Twitter and write your paper. Even a bad paper is better than a zero or a conduct violation mark on your record. Take the $20 you would have spent buying lab answers on brain food, caffeine, and whatever else you need before you plant yourself at a computer and start on your assignments.

/ off minor rant


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