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What are your experiences with cheating? Do you think it causes more problems than it solves?

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As you probably know, students can get pretty creative about how they cheat. See how many of these have taken place in your school:

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The Cheat Sheets:
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The Easy Way Out
Test copying
"There's this girl who sits next to me in Social Studies. She never covers her paper during a test. I can totally see what she writes, and I just write the same thing."

Copying off a classmate's test is probably the most basic way of cheating. Everybody gets frustrated when the answer to a test question just won't come, and it can be tempting to take a peek and see what someone else has put down. Other kids try to swap answers by whispering, passing notes, or even using hand signals. It's almost impossible to cheat this way without cooperation. If you let someone cheat off you or let another kid know your answers, you're just as guilty as he is, and you can get into just as much trouble.

Cheat sheets
"I had an important test that I was really worried about, so at lunch period I wrote a bunch of stuff on my ankle, and looked at it during the test."

Cheaters figure out some pretty clever ways to sneak notes or answers into a test. They write facts on little pieces of paper, on the sleeves of a shirt, and even on their skin. Some hide open books under their desks or in their laps. Students have even found ways to use cell phones and pagers as cheat sheets, by sending themselves text messages! Imagine if they spent that creative effort actually learning the material before the test!

Homework copying
"My friend Melanie and me are in the same math class, and we have a homework deal. She does the odd numbered problems, I do the evens, and we trade answers on the bus the next day."

Copying all or part of a homework assignment or project from another student is the same as copying off another kid's test paper. It's a form of cheating.

"I had to do a book report and I didn't have time to read the book, so I went to this online site that had hundreds of reports already written. I grabbed one and changed it a little bit and handed it in."

Plagiarism (pronounced "play-juh-rizum") means taking credit for someone else's work or writing. If a teacher assigns you a research paper and you just copy the whole thing out of the encyclopedia, or off of a Web site, this is plagiarism. Another kind of plagiarism is taking a paper or assignment written by a friend or sibling and putting your name on it. Anytime you pretend that you did the work or wrote the words when someone else really did it, it's plagiarism. Many people don't consider this cheating but it is...a very serious kind, too!

Buying homework
"One kid I know pays his sister's best friend to do his homework for him."

Some kids offer money or trades so that others will complete their school assignments for them. Other times, kids swap subjects, so that a kid good in math will do his friend's math homework, while the other kid handles the science or social studies. In case it's not obvious, yes, this is big-time, big-trouble cheating!

Stealing answers
"My sister knew somebody who went through a teacher's desk and copied the answer sheet to a quiz. He told all his friends every answer."

Knowing every question or answer before you take the test is a sure way to get a great grade. But stealing a test paper or taking something from a teacher is not only a serious school offense, but also a crime.

Next up: Excuses, Excuses!


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