Jump to content

Argument Task


Recommended Posts

Several years ago, Groveton College adopted 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. 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, a majority of Groveton students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. Such evidence suggests that all colleges and universities should adopt honor codes similar to Groveton's. This change is sure to result in a dramatic decline in cheating among college students.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.



The assertion that an honor code will result in a dramatic decline in cheating is based on very weak assumptions. It is always desirable that students decide against cheating on their own rather than being closely monitored, but handing over the entire initiative of controlling cheating in exams to students is not a very good idea.

The first caveat of the honor system at Groveton College is clear when we see there is an immediate drop in number of cases being reported after the initiative was handed over to the students. Earlier, when teachers monitored the exams, thirty cases were reported, while later, under the student supervision, twenty-one cases were reported. Five years later the number of cases had dropped further to fourteen. The author wants to view this change in a positive manner, attributing the drop in cases of cheating to the effectiveness of the honor code. However, it is very possible and more likely that the students are helping each other to cover up the acts of cheating. They may not be reporting the actual number of cases, which would probably make the college authorities aware of the flaws in the honor code and revert back to the old system.

The author further supports his optimistic views on the honor code by mentioning about a survey conducted among the Groveton students. In the survey, majority of the students are said to have asserted that they would be less likely to cheat with the honor code in effect. Relying on such a survey is entirely baseless. It is very possible that the students are lying about the effectiveness of the honor code. In all probability, they are able to cheat more easily under the new system than the old one. The students themselves stand to gain if the college does not revert back to the old system of monitoring exams.

Hence, any survey targeted at the students regarding the usefulness of the honor code is useless. The evidences backing the honor code being in question, it doesn't make sense for other colleges and universities to adopt similar codes. Concluding that adopting the new system will result in a dramatic decline in cheating among students is rather preposterous. Surveys should be targeted at the teachers who evaluate the answer scripts. This would be a more reliable source of getting an idea about the cases of cheating. A secretive monitoring system by the school authorities and teachers during the exams, despite the honor code, could also give an idea about the real picture. There need to be more foolproof ways of conducting surveys, and there needs to be a proper way to find out the actual number of students still attempting to cheat with the honor code in place. Only then can the author arrive at the mentioned conclusions in the given statement.

Edited by paulpractice
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.