Essay topics: According to a recent report, cheating among college and university students is on the rise.
However, Groveton College has successfully reduced student cheating by adopting an honor
code, which calls for students to agree not to cheat in their academic endeavors and to notify a
faculty member if they suspect that others have cheated. Groveton's honor code replaced a
system in which teachers closely monitored students; under that system, teachers reported an
average of thirty cases of cheating per year. In the first year the honor code was in place,
students reported twenty-one cases of cheating; five years later, this figure had dropped to
fourteen. Moreover, in a recent survey, a majority of Groveton students said that they would
be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. Thus, all colleges and
universities should adopt honor codes similar to Groveton's in order to decrease cheating
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to
decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be
sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the
The author recommends that all colleges and universities should apply honor codes similar to Groveton’s in order to decrease cheating among students. The suggestion is mainly based on that the cheating cases reported by students had dropped from twenty- one to fourteen after the honor code was adopted for five years. To strengthen his argument, the author also points tout that a majority of Groveton students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without in a recent survey. However, some questions should be addressed before the author proves the validity of this argument.
The author mentions that the cheating cases reported by students had dropped from twenty- one to fourteen after the honor code was adopted for five years, and infers that it is the honor code that resulted in the decrease of cheating. However, the sequence of the two events, in itself, cannot sufficiently prove the causal relationship between the two events without some questions being addressed. In all likelihood, the examinations have been easier that five years ago, thus the students do not needs to cheat in the exams. In addition, it is totally possible that the students just conceal their classmates’ misbehavior, so the cheating cased have not declined at all. Also, it is likely that they are focused on answering the questions in the exams, so they have no time to care about whether others were cheating. Hence, the inference that the honor code is efficient to decrease the cheating cannot hold water without the questions being answered.
The author also demonstrates that in a recent survey, a majority of Groveton students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. Based on this credence, the author hastily deduces that the honor code is effective. Nevertheless, the reliability and representativeness of the respondents are dubious. There is possibility that the students may not tell the truth about whether they had cheated because answering the questions honestly may lead to some undesirable consequences for them, such as being punished by the school, thus they may evade the crucial point, or even lie in their answers. And these respondents studied in the survey may not represent the general group of the whole students. Maybe the survey was conducted in the library, where most of the students are excellent students who are almost unlikely to cheat in the exams. Without considering the accuracy of the respondents’ answer and the actual number involved, the result of the survey, in itself, could not justifiably support the inference without some questions being addressed.
On the basis that the honor code can effectively decrease cheating among the students in Groveton, it is still hasty to implement the author’s suggestion to all colleges without caring about the actual condition in other universities. The threshold problem in the suggestion is that it is merely based on the poor assumption that Groveton and other colleges are similar enough at every aspect and are indeed comparable. However, many differences may exist in them, which may render the honor code proved to be effective in the former one might not have the same effectiveness in all colleges. It is possible that the students in other schools do not have good qualities and are inured to cheating, while the Groveton is a top university with many excellent students. Also, it is possible that students in other schools are more likely to conceal the cheating behavior for each other, so the honor code is useless in such colleges. Hence, answering the aforementioned questions may more defensibly reinforce the argument.
Overall, although the argument might be plausible, some questions should be addressed before the author validates the assumption. Had the author delivered more answers to the questions, the conclusion and the whole argument might be more defensible.
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