Editorials and Opinions

Opposing Viewpoint: Cheaters never win

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
By Nathan Yeo
South is stressful. It sometimes seems like it will take superhuman effort to study for those two tests tomorrow, finish that project, and do all your homework after returning home late from practice or a club.
With all the pressure to get good grades but not enough time to do the work, there is a mounting temptation to cheat.
Why study for the math quiz if you can just put the formulas on your graphing calculator? Don’t have a clue what to write an essay about? These nice people on the internet sure do. Why do practice problems when you can get the real problems ahead of time from your friend who already took the test?
The allure of taking the easy way out is sometimes overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the possible harm of cheating outweighs any short-term benefit. You could very likely get caught, resulting in zero credit for the assignment.
And even if you don’t get caught, after you leave South and head off to college, you will probably bring your cheating habits with you. But when they catch you in college, you won’t get a zero, a phone call home, or a stern talking to. You will be expelled, ruining your plans for the future.
While some people may get away with cheating once or twice, getting caught is inevitable if it becomes a habit. The teachers at South aren’t stupid; they are pretty good at detecting and preventing cheating.
English teachers in particular can tell when something is taken from an online site. Math, science, and history teachers often design tests specifically to prevent cheating.
Last year, a teacher gave a quiz that had several different versions. Some students copied off of one another, and they walked out of the classroom thinking they had just cheated their way to an easy A.
Unfortunately for them, they hadn’t noticed that the teacher had circulated several different versions of the test. People who cheated ended up answering their questions incorrectly.
But aside from the immediate dangers of getting caught, there are plenty of other reasons not to cheat. It undermines your academic experience (and state law). If you are cheating, chances are it’s because you don’t know the material well enough to be tested on it.
Despite some of the useless things we learn at South, a lot of what we do is needed down the road for finals, standardized tests, college, and sometimes even for our careers.
Most importantly, cheating is morally wrong. Acting righteously may not be top priority for many people, but we should at least take it into consideration.
Just imagine a role reversal. How would you feel if you were the student who studies hard, only to find cheaters in your classes acing every test? What if you were a teacher who worked hard to teach your students the information, only to find they all get the same answer wrong on the test?
What if you were the boss who finds out that their workers aren’t putting in the hours they say they are? You wouldn’t like being put in any of these situations, so don’t put others in them by cheating.
Ultimately, while the pressure to cheat may be strong, you are only hurting yourself.

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