GRE Essay Topic 914 - The following appeared as an editorial in the student newspaper of Groveton College. "To combat the recently reported dramatic rise in cheating among college and university students, these institutions should adopt honor codes similar to Groveton's, 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 an old-fashioned system in which students were closely monitored by teachers and an average of thirty cases of cheating per year were reported. The honor code has proven far more successful: in the first year it was in place, students reported twenty-one cases of cheating; five years later, this figure had dropped to fourteen. Moreover, in a recent survey conducted by the Groveton honor council, a majority of students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. " Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument.
The argument advices all schools should adopt honor codes because of rising of cheating and success of honor code in reducing cheating. After scrutinizing all the evidences in the arguments like teacher’s report and students’ survey, it is implausible to get the assumption that the code is successful and, thus, should be applied by all schools.
The most questionable stated assumption is honor code is successful in Groveton College. This assumption mainly based on two evidences: the decrease in teachers’ reports of cheating and students’ survey of they does not like to cheat under the regulation of honor code. In fact, both evidences have problems itself.
Firstly, the argument states that teachers reported less cases of cheating in using honor code than old system’s average number and, more importantly, the new number is dropping. But, the arguer only provides three numbers to support this statement-old system has average 30 cases while the first year of honor code is 21 and fifth year is 14. Though apparently that the number has declined, it is possibly because of other reasons. For example, for the reason that the honor code orders students to report others’ cheating, it is possible that many students’ case does not report for avoiding conflicts with other, no time to mention other or accustoming to cheating around them because little use of reporting to teacher. In addition, it is possible that there are several year between first and fifth year that the number of cheating excess 30.
Secondly, the survey of students may not be convincible because students may have not said the truth. Common sense tells us that no one would willing to say anything negative to himself. In this case, students maybe unwilling to say they will cheat under the honor code. Also, the research may have problem for it may have only choose those who will not cheat and have no method to prove whether they said the truth. More importantly, the statement of survey-students less likely to cheat with an honor code than without’-may alternatively means students will more likely to cheat under the honor code than teachers’ supervision. So, in order to defend the view that the students’ cheating case will drop with the placement of honor code, the arguer needs to provide more surveys, statistics and research to support the superiority of code than supervision.
Moreover, the arguer suggests all schools to adopt honor code because it will decrease cheating cases. In truth, the other colleges may not need to use an honor code to avoid cheating because their cheating rates and numbers are much lower than Groveton. Also, other schools may have better choices than honor code in avoiding students’ cheats i.e. strict education and strong punishment.
In conclusion, it is better for arguer to provide more proofs in order to defend his point of view that all schools could adopt honor code for decreasing cheating. Without more evidences, his opinion and recommendation is inconvincible.
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