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RafayeSheikh's avatar

How am I supposed to defend cheating in school?

Asked by RafayeSheikh (15 points ) November 7th, 2011

For my AP Lang and Comp class, we’re doing debate. My debate topic is “Is cheating in school out of control”. Unfortunately, I am on the side that is supposed to DEFEND cheating. I am finding this extremely tedious and am officially requesting the help of the online community with this task.

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25 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yikes, that is a tough one. Can you suggest that students are overwhelmed with responsibility and can feel cornered or trapped into feeling like they have no other choice?

HungryGuy's avatar

While you may find it repugnant to do so, it is an excellent exercise in critical thinking to debate on the side of an issue opposite your personal standing, especially in defending an “indefensible” position. So to answer your question, develop your arguments with that in mind.

Seaofclouds's avatar

One could argue that the knowledge and ability to locate a proper answer when you don’t know it off the top of your head is a valuable skill in the real world. For example, a nurse about to administer a medication they are unfamiliar with would be able to look it up in a drug guide or ask the pharmacist about it. However, if they don’t know about these resources or how to use them, they would be useless. Therefore, allowing students to use reference guides would help them do better and teach them how to properly look up information in a timely manner.

snowberry's avatar

There are some people who actually believe it’s not wrong. It’s just a matter of doing whatever it takes to get what you want. Nevermind that it’s against the law.

Judi's avatar

It doesn’t sound like you have to “defend” it, it sounds like you need to minimize it. You need to come up with evidence to suggest that it is no worse than it was in years past. That it is isolated, and maybe even the types of environments that it is flourishes in, and point out that those environments are the exception, not the rule.

XD's avatar

You’re not defending cheating per se. You are defending that it is under control.

flutherother's avatar

You could say it shows initiative and ‘out of the box’ thinking that is so admired nowadays. There are very rigorous systems in place to prevent cheating so it is a real challenge to make a success of it. Doing well in exams is merely a test of memory; it requires more inventive skills to cheat, skills that are in demand in the real world.

For every 999 drudges who learn the answers to exam questions so the answer paper can be filled in correctly there is one cheat, who knows nothing but how to use the knowledge of others to his advantage. That is the one who will succeed and you will find that the drudges will soon be working for him.

rebbel's avatar

If I understand it correctly, this is a debate competition?
If so, you are not giving your personal opinion on cheating, but you will use arguments (be they pro or anti, in this case you need to be pro) to win the battle.
Everybody understands the rules, so people will not think less of you if you take a controversial stand.
Try to ‘get into the mind of a person that cheats’ and analyze what that kind of person would say to justify cheating.
I think cheating is okay, because in this day and age, with full agendas full of activities for kids/students, I simply have no time to study and still I want to get a diploma and find myself a job to be able to support my future family, bladibladibla….”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Sweet holy moly. If you have to take the stance that there is no more cheating than there use to be, you could point out that there is just more of a spotlight on cheating than there use to be. Short of any actual facts to just how much cheating occurs, it is speculation as to the rise or fall of the amount of it that is being done.

Defending cheating in itself, might be more tenable. Some of the points could be:
• Those who are of means have more access to better methods of education, be it the Internet, tutors, AP classes, etc.
• Those less in means have to compete in the same college arena as those of means who had more resources to prep for it.
• Most test are about the test, or funding levels and not real learning, so cheating the test is really no actual deal.
• If the student gets in to Harvard and becomes a great engineer, the end justified the means. It would have been stupid to exclude them because they missed a few extra questions on a test that mean little to the over all big picture.
• Every facet in live, some fudging of the numbers or manipulation of the information occurs.

That could be a start.

Response moderated
Kardamom's avatar

Yikes! This is a horrible topic.

Show how huge corporations regularly get away with cheating and increase their own profits and become more powerful.

Show how “corporate cheating” is all around us every single day, to the point that it doesn’t seem extreme or shocking or wrong to some people.

Explain that many or most (however you think it really is) people that cheat in school never get caught. Show some examples of how cheating is really easy, especially with the advent of smart phones.

Point out that some people are simply lazy, but not necessarily stupid, so for them, cheating seems to make sense. They might say, “Why waste your time preparing for a stupid test, when I’m already smart enough to get a job, get ahead, make a difference etc.”

Some people might say that they have better things to do with their time than studying for a test that might have little bearing on what they will end up doing for a living.

Point out how seemingly regular nice folks cheat in small ways quite frequently. Like eating grapes at the supermarket, or fudging on their income taxes, or not pointing out to a store clerk that they received too much change, or finding a wallet on the street and keeping the money rather than searching for the owner, or tapping into the neighbor’s cable, or putting cookies or muffins into their pockets at a buffet, to eat later, even though all food is supposed to be consumed on the premises, people sticking around for another movie at the theater, but paying for only one, or people flirt/cheating or text/cheating or internet chat/cheating with people outside of their marriages or take office supplies home with them.

Or some people say, “You’d be stupid not to cheat under certain circumstances.”

Plus, there is always a lot of pressure to be perfect in our society, and if you can’t be perfect the stress might do you in, where if you just cheat a little bit, you still get ahead, or get what you want, without all of the stress or potential disappointment.

Response moderated
Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Is it in high school or in univerisities? If it’s in universities, you can defend cheating by stating that if one must pay such high tuitions and if one is on a scholarship, there are circumstances that trump integrity because getting the grade is fiscally important and this affects poorer and more busier (they work) students.

rebbel's avatar

Wow, that actually makes sense (to me), @Simone_De_Beauvoir.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@rebbel Of course it makes sense, it’s an actual reason. A good reason.

bob_'s avatar

I agree with @XD, you’re defending that it is under control.

There are reasons to cheat, but no justifications.

perspicacious's avatar

You are not assigned to defend cheating. You are to convince that cheating is not out of control. Those are very different things. Good luck (now that you know the nature of your assignment). You aren’t planning to go to law school I hope.

dannyc's avatar

Easy. People who cheat are victims of an oppressed system that causes them to lose their sensibilities about what is right and wrong. Thus they merely are a mirror to our weakness. Strengthen the system to show people how this propagates their downfall and they will naturally coalesce to no cheating over time…...(B.S.)

JLeslie's avatar

I guess maybe get statistics on how much cheating is going on, and hope the numbers are actually rather low. If not, then that won’t help you. Maybe point out how teachers are savvy to the cheating, and so students cannot get away with it. I’m not really sure what other supportive info you can get to argue the cheating is under control, but if you google about cheating maybe you will get some info that helps the stand you have to take for the debate.

I guess you could also argue justifications for cheating also? Like since many people do cheat in high school other students feel compelled to do it, because getting into universities is so competitive and the playing field is not level if some are cheating. So, cheating, especially in subjects a student is not naturally inclined to do well in might make sense, because the subject is not something they will need to build on for future classes. But, it could backfire since that is sort of arguing the cheating is out of control.

Blackberry's avatar

Look at a question, not expecting a real viable answer, yet find a viable answer. Thanks, @Simone_De_Beauvoir lol.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Start by requesting a definition of “cheating”... and then provide one that you base the syllogism upon. Chances are, your opponent will not actually define the term, and thus, you can spin the argument in a direction which falls back on the fact that you’re not even talking about the same thing.

I would take the stance that “cheating” is defined as “breaking established rules to seek beneficial results”. That’s a safe position. Then draw analogies to all the instances where cheating was beneficial to the greater good. Like when Hitler’s own men attempted to assassinate him. Had they succeeded, that would have benefited the greater good.

Likewise, if you cheat on a medical exam, and because of that become a doctor… think of all the good you can provide society.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t see that you have to “defend cheating”; you only have to make the case that it’s not “out of control”.

I see that @perspicacious already stated this. Well, I should have expected that, with that name and all…

Sunny2's avatar

You can blame it on the parents who do their kid’s homework for him. They take over the kid’s life so he’ll never learn to take responsibility for himself. They want a kid that stays close to his family forever.

whitetigress's avatar

AP student eh? Well you have to read the question for what it actually is next time around.

Here is some advice from my journalism experience. Make some surveys asking whether a student cheats or not. Say each class has 24–30 students, hand out surveys to every class during any given period. The more discipline you exercise in gathering your data, the more accurate and scientific your defense will be. Gather your statistics.

1. Count how many cheaters there are per class, take that average. 2. Divide that by the amount of classes you’ve surveyed. 3. Take that statistic in correlation to maybe some historical reference that gives statistics revealing cheating patterns in the educational system.

Say only 4 people cheat in a class of 28. You can take that percentage and argue that a majority of the class will most likely retain the material and the lower percentage of cheaters might not but it still doesn’t endanger the majority, therefore cheating in correlation to the majority is not out of control by any means.

Just a simple example. In your survey you could also ask things like, “How likely are you to cheat if you don’t understand the material, forgot to study, didn’t realize there was a test and etc.” But you might not have this much time to gather. If you do go for a survey which I highly recommend, because its factual evidence, write your questions, be bold, hand them out, don’t be ashamed to go to each teacher during your free time and tell them you’d like to conduct a survey. Remember education is what you make out of it, use the public system to your advantage. This is good practice for networking, building people skills and learning to how to be courteous/professional. Good luck :D

Bagardbilla's avatar

Be very clear as to what is the real position you are supposed to defend! I hear two separate issues here, are you defending “Is cheating in school out control”, or are you to simply “DEFEND cheating”, as stated?
If it’s the first, you simply need to collect some data (see @whitetigress’ answer above) and possibly present some reasoning for it… If it’s defend cheating… well, that reminds me of a quote I heard about how the vices of yesterday have become the necessities of today. Perhaps your argument can be look around and say hey look at the leaders and pillars of our society, they all lie and cheat to get ahead, it is about the only way one can ahead these days! It has become practically required in a true capitalist system. Look at the bankers, politicians, captain’s of industry… All have shown the next generation how to really succeed in life, and sure as Hell isn’t by playing by the rules!

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