As a Professor in a World of Cheaters

As a professor, I would be appalled by Dante’s confession. Academic dishonesty extends to those who facilitate cheating students, so the idea that professors are to blame for students using Dante’s services is infuriating. Almost every institution has a clearly outlined Honor Code for which students are uniformly held accountable, so the fact that they can buy papers without getting caught does not make cheating any less immoral. Dante is violating a moral code should confess to his wrongdoings.
However, as a professor, I would have the “well it can’t be my students” attitude. Dante accepts assignments from students that know so little English, that they cannot form sentences clearly enough to ask for his assistance. No one wants to be the professor that has to admit that he/she thought a beginners English student could write a coherent research paper. As we discussed Dante’s confession in class, the idea seemed distant and far-fetched. I couldn’t imagine anyone at Emory every buying a research paper, but who knows! If professors cannot suspect anything, who am I to assume that I haven’t come into contact with one of Dante’s thousands of clients.
With an Honor Code implemented, students know the wrongness of cheating, so I would feel no need to change my class structure. If students are willing to purchase their way through school, they will find a way to cheat no matter what I do. Unless of course I took Goldsmith’s approach. I cannot say that I would like to take his class. With the assignment of buying your final research paper, the pressure of finding the perfect paper merely replaces the pressure of writing one. It would take hours to sift through papers written and unedited by the Dante’s of the world, so it doesn’t seem worth it. With that being said, I love the idea of taking the works of others and editing them. Oftentimes in writing, the editing process consumes more time than writing, and it has the ability to take a paper from “good” to beautiful, moving, or even life changing. Editing published works of others would give students the opportunity to personalize stories or papers to possibly improve them or shape them how they please. This exercise would positively influence their future papers, giving them confidence in the editing process to turn a mediocre work into something “A” worthy. More time needs to be spent teaching efficient research techniques so that writers possess the drive and confidence to complete their assignments on their own.


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