Is Internet cheating r-r-really cute?!

Moscow State University students think:



STUDENTS are not only getting music from the Internet - they're downloading good grades. An ENQUIRER investigation discovered an explosion in cheating and plagiarism - made possible by outrageous Web sites. It's as easy as punching a couple of keyboard buttons to summon up ready-made term papers, research projects and other information from Web sites that have such brazen names as and And if you don't find the paper you like in their huge files, you can pay scholars-for-hire to write one for you.

The cheating is so rampant, say experts that the "three Rs" are becoming Reading, 'Ritin' and Rip-off, The research done by the nonprofit Center for Academic Integrity shows that Internet plagiarism is a growing national concern. The survey show that over 75 percent of all students admit to cheating on some level. Students who are caught often say their lives are so busy with extracurricular activities - they plagiarize to save time. When a student gets caught, typically, they'll say, 'Why don't you worry about something that really matters? It's the American way…'

The Enquirer's investigation found there are thousands of "term papers for sale" sites on the Internet. For example, boasts more than 10,000 essays for sale. Its creator Jens Schriver distances himself from matters of integrity. "I provide a service not too different from that of that of a library" he rationalizes - "It can be used legitimately, to do research and get inspired". Another site features such 'elegant touches' as chat rooms that can be accessed by clicking on a button that says, 'I hereby agree school sucks'.

A university professor, who asked that his identity be protected, claims: 'Basically, lying is the part of our culture. Some members of our society are lying and using marketing spins to get away with it., so today's student thinks: 'Other people get away with it, so why shouldn't I?'

The need for a deterrent to student cheating became so pressing that a special Web site was created - called which uses Web-crawling robots to search the Internet for proof of plagiarism. This site can be accessed by educators who want to check on a suspicious term paper. If a student knows that his term paper will be compared by a room full of computers to over two billion pages from the Internet, then he will probably be motivated to write his own!


MSU Kids Speak Up:

Sergey Yeremin, law faculty, believes:


Sergey Yeremin

…there are many cheats and there are many Internet sites for them. But is there any problem of cheating? If a students isn't keen on writing his term paper himself, he has an option to download it from the Internet, sometimes going to the expense of it! Is it a big deal? From time immemorial people have used wage labour. Nowadays using scholars'-for-hire labour is just another form of exploitation of resources. […] The Interent is not the only source of paid term papers and cheating is not always a vulgar rip-off. Sometimes it is a kind of creation. […]

Leyla Salavatova, law faculty, has made an "on the spot" investigation


Leyla Salavatova

At first I thought I'd approach the problem from the point of view of an A-student, who never uses this trick to succeed and who usually looks down at cheats, while giving them his/her exercise-book to crib out. But I realized that I am not that kind of person and I am never going to be one. There are a lot of contradictory opinions on cheating. To get a complete picture we should check them all. So I decided to carry on an opinion poll on the issues of cheating.
As a result, I've divided my pollees into the 3 categories.

Category No. 1 - 35 %
These people, mostly teenagers, consider plagiarism to be a very important part of their everyday life. They download almost everything from the I-net and can't imagine their life without it. When I asked them why they do it, they said, "It 's just like a drug .Once you get addicted, you never give up".
My comments: Of course cheating is the easiest way to survive, without making any effort for those who have absolutely no desire to study, to learn more. If the Internet disappears one day, it might be a final crash for them and they will probably waste away in school routine. Stupid ...Don't you think so?

Category No. 2 - 55%
Part-time swindlers. Those who use the I-net resources, only in case of "emergency", for example, if they don't have enough time or necessary materials to get ready for a class, a quiz or whatever.
My comments: Most of those people are college or university students. And to tell the truth I am just one of them. So from the position of the second-year student of MSU law school, I can say that they only deceive themselves, trying to give this ridiculous justification for cheating.

Category No. 3 - 10%
Those "Mummy-Daddy's Angels" who never cheat. Normally they never lie, never miss classes, and are always ready and saddy with each and every assignment.
My comments: No comments!

The main purpose of my research was to find the "golden medium" of cheating. But I finally realized that cheating is a big mistake of the teens who are usually not aware of the real consequences of such tricks. They don't understand that when they apply for a job, the employer will only be interested in your qualifications. So if you cheat, you're depriving yourself of you really are, of your "real self". There is a famous American proverb: With no cows the stable is clean. To my mind, if you're not doing anything yourself, if you're just taking advantage of other people's achievements, your stable is gonna be pretty clean. But that's not real life. What's the good of having a clean but EMPTY stable?
On the contrary, if you are doing something noteworthy: if you live, if you breath, if you buy, if you sell, if you do your own home tasks or create your own web pages, you sometimes make mistakes and your stable is not clean. But you do have the real feeling of satisfaction, when you do things yourself and there is no way to download them from the I-net. And your mistakes are just another chance to self-actualize.

Tamara Boukhtiyarova (faculty of World Politics) reasons:

On the one hand, cheating is a necessary thing in our everyday life, first of all in a student's life. It is much easier to look through several ready-made term-papers taken from the Internet, than, for example, to read ten huge and thick books. I don't want to say that I am a lazy girl. But my life is very busy. I wake up at 6 o'clock and at 7 o'clock I've already left home, because I need to come to University in time. And I usually come back home at 7 p.m. - so it's physically impossible for me to find the time to read ALL books.
I prefer to create my term-papers gathering some interesting facts from different sources and putting them in a new file. When you are trying to compile one term-paper on the basis of several sources, your brain is still working. And as for me, I can always recognize low-quality papers, I can easily distinguish them. A bad work is seen immediately if you know the main idea, main issues of your project.
I'd also like to say that when you are sitting for exams it's not horrible if you make cribs. I think that it is even very good for students, because when you are making your cribs, you memorize things better. First of all you remember such things visually. As for me, I always make cribs but I use them very seldom.
I think that the Internet is also necessary because it is a huge source of additional materials. However, I really hate people who order term papers from scholars-for-hire. In such situations people are trying to look more clever, than they are. And some professors say to such people: "Oh! You are a brilliant student! You are THE BEST STUDENT!", however it isn't true. I always ask myself: "Don't professors really see that these "brilliant" term papers have been written by their own colleagues?" I think that there is a kind of "vicious circle": if you order a term paper once, you will want to do it again and again.
I also hate people downloading ready-made term papers from the Internet to hand them in, often without even reading them! There are so many ridiculous situations, when finally the professor has several term papers, which are absolute "clones"! In conclusion I'd like to say that everybody ought to decide themselves whether cheating is good or bad - as it depends on the life goals ot this or that person. But we have to admit that there will be too many situations in our life when we should make decisions without cheating.

Stas Dokshyn (faculty of World Politics) intellectualizes

After thinking a lot I've come to the conclusion that every subject in our faculty's curriculum is necessary for my future career and for my whole life in the modern world. In my opinion, there are no useless subjects at all.
"Information is money" as businessmen say. And our math's professor Pavel Nikolaevich Alexandrov says that " Information is freedom". I totally agree with him. We are robbing ourselves by putting cheating into practice.
The most amazing delusion is the delusion that human happiness is doing nothing. (Leo Tolstoy).
There is one more aspect of cheating and especially plagiarism. For some people it's the way to earn money. But what satisfaction could one get from it? Could it help a person succeed in the future? NO, NO, and NO again!!!
Who knows, may be I would have to work in such a sphere where that particular kind of information would play the major role. What do you think I'll do than? I would have to waste my precious time to learn it again.
Altogether, cheating is not the best solution. But each medal has 2 sides. Sometimes cheating is the only way to escape being expelled from the University.
To sum it up I'd like to quote a saying of Momet:
Which result is the best? The one you have achieved yourself.

Ira Komkova, law faculty, suggests that we are living in a

Can you imagine a student who never cheats? I think no. Each of us resorts to plagiarism to this or that extent. Every student happened to have no time to prepare a good quality report. Then there were two possible ways out: the first one – to appear in class without any report and to declare about your “sin” honestly, the other way –to try to do something to improve the situation. In our century of electronics and computers the best decision is to look for necessary information in the Internet. It is very easy to type in some key words, wait for several minutes – and …. you have a ready-made report. That’s it! This way of using the skills and knowledge of someone else can not of course be justified but sometimes it is better than nothing.
It goes without saying that students should calculate their time and try to have enough of it for their studying. It concerns term papers in particular. It is supposed to be a kind of scientific work which teaches us to investigate into a problem and to make conclusions of our own. So term papers rip-off is a waste of time. And even when you catastrophically lack time you should not cheat! You must concentrate on your work and perhaps you might ask for more time for it. But no cheating!
As far as other sorts of work are concerned, I think that students can use some papers from the Internet legitimately. But when they download a ready-made report it is not the end of their work: it is just the beginning. A student should work hard on it, trying to understand everything and make conclusions of his own.
To cut a long story short we can afford cheating but we should be very careful with it.

Karina Nesterova

Karina Nesterova, law faculty, claims:
These days cheating is so rampant that it can be called the incurable disease of the 21st century […] I consider cheating to be the first step toward intellecual come-down […] Cheating might be a good way to save time, but the other side of the medal shows us the ugly face of "frozen brains!"

Nadya Deeva, law faculty, provokes a riot:


Can you claim totally honestly that you have never cheated while studying? Haven't you experienced the feeling of self-satisfaction when you managed to get away with harsh punishment and your plan turned out to be a success? Wasn't it fun?! So let us speculate about the positive and negative sides of cheating.
Nadya Deyeva At first sight cheating is rather negative than positive. Of course plagiarism is immoral and a cheater robs himself of the possibility to acquire knowledge. But have you ever thought about the advantages of cheating? First of all I want to mention that there are a lot of subjects which are absolutely useless for our future job. For example, why should lawyers-to-be study mathematics and the calculus of probability? I'm sure that only a silly student wouldn't cheat in this case. Moreover, there are instances when teachers themselves try to cheat, and I'm proud to say that I've succeeded in cheating the cheat on such an occasion. The last but not least, cheating gives the smart scholars-for-hire the opportunity to earn money. So make your own decision. Maybe sometimes cheating is justified?

NB! The followong essay is not directly related to the Internet cheating, but we are publishing it because of its topical ideas and good style.

Lena Gorlevskaya, law faculty, claims:
I think that everyone of us has done a bit of cheating in our life. I suppose you will agree that making cribs is an inalienable part of school and student' life. There is a large variety of cheating techniques - making cribs, using hands-free wire on your handy, dictaphone and other devices. But that doesn't really matter.

Lena Gorlevskaya

Actually, it's quite a complicated thing to do. One needs to acquire certain skills. As people say, there are two sides of one coin. And this is related to the issue of cheating as well. It may be really useful if you make cribs yourself, but if you use someone else's, then they are of no use to you. As for me, I find it a good thing to do. I used to make cribs rather often, but I only turned to them a couple of times. I think there are certain advantages of making cribs: 1) you revise what you've already learned while making them; 2) secondly, perhaps it's my personal peculiar feature, it just makes you feel more confident when you enter the classroom, even when you are sure you know everything yourself.

The other thing related to the issue in question is cheating for sale. When I entered the university I saw an advertisement on the wall - offering help in writing essays, term and graduation papers for a certain fee. I made a small opinion poll among my friends. And that's what I learned from them: most of them had turned to that resource. But what you get is just a good basis for your own work - not more. You can use it as an expanded plan or additional information. Quite often you have to double-check it carefully, because people who offer such help just search information for you; they don't specialize in a particular field. That's why they make lots of mistakes.

Well, to conclude, I'd like to say that I don't blame people for that kind of cheating - it's quite a natural thing. But still, you have to study hard yourself. Cheating must just help you, but it shouldn't become your main instrument of study.

Tamara Hamathanova, law faculty, intellectualizes:

Tamara Hamathanova

Cheating is misleading, deceiving, or acting dishonestly on purpose. Many kids think that the only form of cheating is looking into a friend's paper during a quiz, but that's only one sort of cheating. Cheating goes beyond test taking at school. People cheat in their relationships, in their jobs, on their taxes, and in sports and games. Have you ever said something in your group at school and then your classmate got the credit from the teacher by claming that it had been his idea?

The first thing to recognize about cheating is that the vast majority of young people (and, in fact, adults) believe that cheating is wrong. Yet, according to nearly every survey, most young people cheat at least once in their school and university career. So, the most important question is why young people behave in the way that does not agree with the accepted practice? I believe that the answer is a survival instinct. I am not a psychologist, but I think that there is a mechanism which helps us to keep our dignity. This can be a desire to save oneself from the angry assault of a parent or a teacher; it can be aimed at avoiding embarrassment. Nowadays, school or university admission is the major impulse to this survival instinct. Of course, the survival instinct isn't the only reason young people cheat. They might cheat because they find a lesson or a course to be meaningless. They might also cheat because they believe something is unfair, which justifies their cheating. Expediency might be one reason for cheating, but I'm not sure it’s the main reason.

We should understand that cheating has some ethical drawbacks:
─ It will ultimately lower your self-respect, because you can never be proud of anything you got by cheating.
─ Cheating is a lie, because it deceives other people into thinking you know more than you do.
─ Cheating undermines the teacher's trust in you and the whole relationship between the teacher and his or her students.
─ Cheating is unfair with respect to all people who aren't cheating.
─ If you cheat in school or university now, you'll find it easier to cheat later in your professional and private life.

It is very easy to click your way into the site with the relevant information, copy and paste it, format it somehow and…. it's yours. There are even sites aimed at making papers for a fee. Most students think that cheating is not wrong. One of my friends said, "I actually think cheating is good. A person who lives an entirely honest life can't succeed these days." Another one said, “Students know that we are almost all along judged by our grades. They are so important that we will sacrifice our own integrity to make a good impression.” “I believe cheating is not wrong. They expect us to attend seven classes a day, and then get ready for tomorrows classes – all that without going mad! What are we supposed to do?”

So, for some people cheating is really terrible, for others ─ it is a normal thing. There is an opinion that lying is a part of human nature, that every person tells lies in his everyday life. Cheating is one of the forms of lies, isn’t it?

Valery Koliuchaya, law faculty, reasons:
First of all let's define the two concepts - cheating and plagiarism. According to the Longman dictionary of contemporary English, "to cheat" means "to behave in a dishonest way in order to win an advantage, while "to plagiarize" means "to take words, ideas, etc. from someone else's work and use them in one's own work without admitting one has done so. If we combine these two, we will get one very popular social phenomenon: the use of someone else's work in order to get the advantage.

We won't discuss here the global problem of cheating and plagiarism (including the breach of copyright and other offences, resulting in civil liability), we will try to consider school-cheating only. One may say it is the novelty of modern civilization and its invention - the Internet. Of course, it isn't true! But it is difficult to argue, that the scale of cheating grows in proportion to the computarisation and Internet-expansion. Statistics prove that "paper" is among the first five most frequently mentioned words at web-sites search. Who needs cheating? Of course, students: to get good grades and more free time with all the ensuing consequences.

But not only students cheat! An investigation at New York schools has uncovered what is being described as the biggest cheating scandal in the history of the U.S. Staff at 32 schools across the city helped students cheat in public exams, a government investigator has found. Some teachers handed out questions in advance, others gave out correct answers during exams. Staff cheated to improve their school's overall performance, or to give their own careers a boost. In this case the real victims are the students who were given a false impression of their abilities. And you are too naive if you think the teachers of the given 32 schools were the only ones to cheat. […]

Two professors - He Yunfeng from China and David Robb, New Zealand are quoted everywhere in the Internet. They both confess that the problem of plagiarism and cheating exists in their countries and they offer the imposition of "Academic Penalties" on those, who plagiarise: from course failure to dismissal. But they are aware of the fact: plagiarism is difficult to define.

The only country, that seems to have found (or at least invented) the way-out is Great Britain. reports, that a new technology - Plagiarism Advisory Service - will be soon inculcated in all educational institutions to allow professors indicate the real source of student's work. A special technology scans the text of papers and matches it with different colours: red for more than 75% of plagiarism, blue - for less than 10%. Moreover, PAS also gives links to web-sites, from which the work has been taken. This month the project is going to be tested in a number of schools and universities throughout Britain.

As for me, I don't think this plan is too bright: those who really need cheating will find the way out. Moreover, I'm not sure anyone needs this practice: students are taught too many irrelevant subjects and they have to write too many papers. They waste time while they could have studied something really essential. Besides, cheating is sure to be revealed later - during one's work: no one will keep an unprofessional employee even if he has a diploma with distinction and Master of All Sciences-grade. And the last point - to my mind, cheating is rather the problem of inner culture and morality than anything else. In criminal law even capital punishment can't prevent murder. How can we be sure that anything like PAS or whatever will be able to stop cheating?

In creation of this essay additional material, including the Internet, was used, but the author believes that employment of various sources is not plagiarism but research.

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