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Cheating in college is pervasive, and lucrative. One way that students avoid detection of their academic dishonesty is by hiring someone to write their assignments, take their tests, and compose their papers for them. Responding to market demands, in the past few years several companies have emerged to provide this service. (Perhaps some of you are using one right now!)
Market competition has even motivated some essay-writing companies (i.e., paper mills) to use the services of plagiarism detection services such as Turnitin in order to guarantee quality assurance to their customers by making sure that their employees themselves are not ‘cheating’ in their work.
Read this short piece from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “The New Cheating EconomyPreview the document.” (Do not read the whole document, just pages 4-11. )
This assignment is based on the article, “The Dishonesty of Honest People.” (You only need to read the main article. You are not required to read the accompanying commentaries and rejoinders unless you are interested.) Begin by explaining the concept of “self-concept maintenance.” Then answer the following questions:
1. How could a student could avail themselves of the cheating industry but maintain that they are a decent, honest, and upright person?
2. Why do you suppose students feel the need to engage in academic dishonesty?
3. Based on some of the experiments described in the article, suggest a way that you think colleges and its faculty could modify the learning environment in order to mitigate academic dishonesty. (If you do not think this is possible, explain why such modifications are likely to fail.)
Suggested Format
These reflection assignments are meant to help you develop ideas, issues and questions to contribute to the class. Unlike formal papers, they do not have to defend a thesis, though they may. They may also have a personal (“I think”) and searching (“maybe”) quality to them. They must, however, demonstrate that you have engaged in a close reading of the assigned material. You must quote and analyze specific passages from the reading and use parenthetical page references.
Here is a suggested format to follow in these reflection papers:
a. in the first paragraph, introduce a specific issue, problem or question that the reading raises for you with respect to the case scenario
b. in two to four paragraphs, use specific evidence from the text, including quoted passages, to develop your thoughts about how the larger reading helps you address this issue, question or problem (use parenthetical page references)
c. in a final paragraph, sum up what you have learned from engaging the text in this way—for example, what you now think in response to your opening question or problem, or what new questions or issues your analysis has raised for you
Formal Requirements
b. Your assignment must be typed, double-spaced, use 12-pt. font, and display 1-inch margins on all sides
c. Spell-check and grammar-check your work. Misspellings, typographical errors and inconsistencies, and referencing problems need to be addressed before you submit your work
d. Direct quotes and paraphrases must be cited appropriately
e. Your assignment should be no less than 500 and no more than 600 words in length
f. Include a word count at the end of your assignment
g. Your assignment must include at least one direct quote from any of the readings mentioned in the prompt

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