Cheating is not a naturally occurring behavior—it is a symptom of something else going on in our lives. This is according to Brian Harke, Ed.D., Associate Dean at USC in an article he wrote for The Huffington Post.
Harke says that it is, "something you are doing or thinking that causes you to make the choice of cheating. This might include poor time management, lack of interest, or being in over your head."
You're probably not alone in experiencing these issues, and there is plenty that you can do to address them. Try talking to a school counselor/advisor, a parent, a mentor, or a friend. If you're not up for that, just do a search for your issue (unless your issue is procrastination—close the browser and get back to work).
A lot of students cheat because the class they're in is not interesting or relevant. Sometimes you have to take classes that seem irrelevant, but may be part of a broader foundation for future coursework. It can be hard to engage in these classes and as a result, you may find yourself inclined to cheat your way through the class—don't. Harke says, "If a class is boring, speak to the instructor and find out how the class relates to real life and your interests. If you make it interesting to you, you'll want to be more engaged."
For those students that find themselves in over their heads with heavy workload, extracurricular schedules, or simply taking a lot of advanced classes, Harke offers this advice, "Being at the top of your class or getting straight A's isn't worth a dime if you've cheated your way through. You will be found out. Get yourself a tutor and/or talk to your advisor about the difficulty of your schedule. It's OK and even expected at some colleges not to get straight A's. If you are getting pressure from your parents, take them through your schedule and study habits. Walk them through your class syllabus. Help them understand how intense the workload is and how hard you are working."
The point is, "you can control the symptom of cheating if you recognize the source of the issue and do something about it."
Read the full article at The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-harke/are-you-wise-to-cheating_b_805616.html
Harke, Brian. "Are You Wise to Cheating?" The Huffington Post. 8 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 Jan. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-harke/are-you-wise-to-cheating_b_805616.html>.