Decent students will say cheating is bad and not something you ought to do. Teachers will give you F if there’s evidence that your homework is copied or you cheated at the test. However, sometimes it’s just not possible to do all homework assignments by yourself or you lack time to prepare for test, or whatever, you name it. According to modern surveys, up to 73% of students say they cheated at least once during last 12 month. Of course, no one wants to get caught, but what if it happens? Often students are asking questions like: “Is it against the law to copy homework?”
No matter how surprising it is, cheating is legal. You won’t find yourself at court trial and end up in jail after copying homework answers of your classmate or turning in the essay entirely downloaded from the Internet or whatever. Let’s find out why.
Cheating & plagiarism vs copyright infringement
Depending on where’re you currently situated, you can find appropriate legislative acts of your country. For example, consider UK intellectual property guidance and US copyright law for exact definition. So if you take someone else’s essay and sell it to, say, famous magazine under your name, it’s copyright violation. If you submit this essay as yours at college, it’s cheating and therefore violation of honor code, yet it’s not covered by copyright protection law, so nothing worst than getting expelled can happen to you if you are caught.
Penalty for cheating
Submitting homework assignment which you didn’t do yourself is commonly called cheating. If you have copied it entirely from someone or downloaded elswhere, it’s plagiarism. Moreover, even partly copied work is considered so if adopted sentences are not properly cited. Penalty for cheating is low grade, failed class or course, in the worst case you can even be expelled. It happens because in most educational institutions there’s so called honor code which contains a paragraph devoted to cheating and subsequent punishment. Plagiarized homework is a violation of honor code and thus student caught with such thing is subject to corresponding penalty. Prohibition of cheating and plagiarism is described in honor code of school or college. For example, here’s honor code of Cambridge University. Check the one of your school/college for details.
However, sometimes disturbing things happen concerning copying homework. Recent case in China appears to be one of the most severe: a father has beaten the 11-year old girl to death for copying someone’s homework. If your parents are normal adequate people, you don’t have to worry so much about copying homework once in a while.
It probably can be called non-ethical to copy someone’s homework and is certainly violation of honor code (you can find corresponding paragraph in the honor code of your college or school), yet it’s completely legal according to British and American legislature, as we can see. Check KCKR team’s piece fully devoted to websites doing homework and legacy of such kind of help.
When doing homework with someone’s help is not cheating?
Suppose you’re completely stuck with your homework and the only way out is to ask someone for help. Is that cheating? Certainly, no! If you ask tutor, classmates or parents for advice on how to do the assignment, this is not that someone’s doing instead of you and thus you cheat. The thing is that in such case you obtain an opportunity to learn how to do such kind of work on your own and apply this knowledge further on, say, midterm or finals. Thus, you get skills, mission completed. And with no cheating! Similarly, if you ask us for help and get detailed answers and explanations (which is our hallmark, by the way) there’s no cheating either in it. “Help me with my homework, please. I’m stuck and don’t know where to start” – this is what our visitors often require. And we are always here to help you out.