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Plagiarism-Free Zone: How to Foster a Culture of Academic Integrity

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From the start of a fresh year, students must responsibly adhere to the university standards and maintain their academic integrity. Of course, the instructor must also play a role here. They must help learners grasp their responsibilities via frank in-class discussions to diminish occurrences of academic deceitfulness. Besides explaining their expectations and students’ responsibility towards academic integrity, professors must also educate candidates to plan correctly and freely communicate their assignment-related difficulties in dicey situations. 

The tutor can share helpful potential solutions to help students overcome their task hurdles and refrain from engaging in questionable practices that jeopardize one’s scholarly reputation. Typically, students engage in dishonest academic practices whenever they’re overwhelmed with their assigned projects. Often, they feel the deadlines are unjust and can’t find sufficient time to finish them properly for submission. Many even hire plagiarism-free essay assistance from sites like MyAssignmentHelp to ease their struggles. 

The platform mentioned above does deliver legit and reliable assignment guidance to struggling candidates. Hence, it is continually making positive waves among the students’ fraternity, despite many critics believing that such services manifest negative habits among students and compromise their integrity and reputation. 

Ideally, students must have self-accountability and use such proofread essay service only for reference purposes and as a base for further topic research. That way, they won’t stain their reputation and develop independent learning habits.  

Below, we present a detailed discussion on why students commit dishonest practices and helpful strategies to foster learning integrity.

Why do students commit dishonest practices?

We discussed that one reason for students committing dishonest practices is the pressure of their assignments. However, in some instances, the candidate commits fraudulent practices intentionally. 

Here’s listing out common reasons why students resort to deceitfulness:

  • Cultural or regional differences 
  • Insufficient knowledge and familiarity in citing sources properly
  • Not understanding task instructions or struggling to meet the specified expectations
  • Improper time management skills, disorganization, or succumbing to procrastination
  • Feeling disassociated with the course/subject curriculum
  • Fear of failure or lack of self-confidence
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
  • Struggling to meet unrealistic expectations of family or peers

Helpful strategies to foster learning integrity

Many college and university tutors state that in recent times, students are committing more dishonest practices due to the learning environment structure. Hence, by reshaping the in-class sessions into a supportive and learning-centric environment, such ill practices can be mitigated. Another crucial thing is to understand the student’s perceptions about cheating. By helping candidates comprehend concepts like cheating, attribution, and transparency, they will show more honesty toward their learning pursuits.

Some useful strategies to prevent academic dishonesty

1. Formulating relevant and unique tasks syncing with students’ interests and experiences

Schools, colleges, and universities must manifest a culture of honest academic practices by formulating relevant and unique tasks syncing with the students’ experiences and interests. Such tasks must simulate real-world problems and scenarios that learners may face in their professional and personal lives. 

Tutors must also focus on creating assignments and structuring course models that complement students’ educational goals, values, and future motivations. The more learners get such tasks, the more they’ll be inclined to take ownership of their education and develop intrinsic curiosity and motivation. Eventually, they won’t be tempted to plagiarise or cheat.

2. Acknowledging the value of the research approach (not simply the learning outcome) 

Academic learning and assignment writing are all research-oriented. While the process of conducting extensive research is arduous and slow, its importance is irrefutable. Students must understand the value of developing good research habits to compile various assignments and deepen their subject know-how beyond the scope of their textbooks. They must work hard to identify authentic sources for writing and use their critical thinking skills to organize content clearly and coherently. Plus, students must also learn to cite sources, add references to support their claims, and make their work credible and verifiable (if required). 

Using writing tools is a form of self-cheating and impedes students’ autonomous learning to deepen their knowledge and spark new ideas and insights. 

Other crucial measures must also be taken to acknowledge the student’s research approach. They are included as follows.

  • Instructing candidates to submit their work drafts and receive feedback to learn their flaws and gain confidence to continue researching.
  • Giving students the freedom to alter or pick the research topic per their preference to increase time and effort in the task
  • Constantly motivating them to ditch using AI tools and craft papers using their research and writing abilities. 

3. Encouraging reflection through collaboration

Another effective way to promote honest learning habits is encouraging students to collaborate with peers and course instructors and reflect on the traded knowledge. Through such conjoint sessions, candidates can share and receive ideas and resources, thus allowing them to self-improve and identify areas for improvement constantly. 

Tutors must organise or encourage peer discussions or create projects requiring group work that model good behavior and practices. 

4. Define expectations and consequences of engaging in academic dishonesty

Besides encouraging students, institutions must also establish certain boundaries and clearly define the expectations and consequences of engaging in any form of deceitful practice. Students should be educated on all academic and ethical principles and even share examples of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. 

Plus, instructors must also mention how they will detect plagiarism to address such incidences and keep students in line. 

5. Celebrate student’s achievements to acknowledge their honest hard work

To manifest ethically appropriate and honest learning practices, instructors must acknowledge every student’s honest, hard work. Those slightly falling short of the expectations should receive proper encouragement and support to do better next time. 

Recognising efforts and celebrating achievements must be done through specific awards, certificates, and badges. Such efforts will help in crafting a supporting and optimistic learning community. 

End note – academic integrity is a crucial pillar to inevitable success

In a world surrounded by a plethora of AI academic writing tools, meaningful practices must be taken to avert dishonesty like cheating in exams or plagiarizing other’s work. Preventing such ill deeds may prove daunting since most students prefer taking the easier path to success by asking someone else to write the paper.

But the strategies mentioned above will help instructors and institutions achieve and instill in students the importance of hard work and staying true to one’s self without giving in to questionable temptations.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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