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Reflection On Incident Of Academic Dishonesty In Shattered Glass

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Shattered Glass is a movie that follows the work life of Stephen Glass, a journalist at the New Republic. Stephen is an established and successful writer who has written for multiple papers and magazines. The movie starts off with Stephens first mistake, this was giving false evidence to a story he was writing. The hotel in his story called him out claiming that his story and the policies that the manager follows don’t add up. The manager calls the New Republic claiming that Stephen is lying. After this first encounter the main plot of Shattered Glass begins. Stephens most successful story is a story about how at a computer convention, a computer company was tired of this hacker breaking their products so to make him stop they decided that it would be better to hire him and pay him off. When Stephen told this story to his editors, they were mesmerized by Stephens ability to story tell. They immediately decided to put it in the newspaper. Once out a technology magazine was infuriated that they didn't hear the story first and that none of their journalist were at this convention, therefore they send Adam Penenberg to investigate this story. Once Adam starts investigating, he finds that none of the story's points add up. He calls the New Republic asking where they heard of this story and investigates the story himself. He then continued to call out Stephen saying his entire story is a lie involving in his termination.

When it comes to plagiarism, those involved would say it's not a victimless crime and those who commit plagiarism say it can be nothing more than a harmless lie. In school we hear many stories about people that were victims to plagiarism. It all seems hard to believe when we first hear about the consequences. Most of the time we believe it's a scary story told to scare young students into doing the right thing. I believe this is partly true, but I also believe that there are many victims to plagiarism. Plagiarism does not only fall under copying someone else's work but also taking someone else's idea and using it as you own. There are many real-life events that involve the victims of plagiarism that the world will never know about. A good example is how the creators of the Netflix show Stranger things are being called to court because they are being accused of plagiarizing the entire idea of the show. It is saying the three people came up with the idea: Matt and Ross Duffer along with Charlie Kessler. According to Seth Mcdonald from LRMonline, the Duffer brothers met Kessler at Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 where they chatted, and Kessler told him about his new idea he's been thinking about. The Duffer brothers proceed to make a lot of money from Kessler idea. If what Kessler says is true, then he in fact was a true victim to the Duffer brother’s crime of taking his idea and using it as their own.

The similarities between Shattered Glass and my incident of Academic dishonesty are that we both did the wrong thing when we knew what was right and what was wrong. We both have had prior training and notice of the consequences. I do see many differences in our both cases though. As I said earlier, I know plagiarism is not a victimless crime, but I do believe it to be by situation or case by case. In this case and in the case of Shattered Glass I believe the victims to be those who put their trust in their subordinates. Chuck trusted Stephen and didn't want to believe the accusations that were being told, but it is his job to make sure his newspapers fact and stories are factual. In my case my instructor, professor Kamryn Williams, trusted us as his students to uphold the policies that we all learned since elementary school. I do believe him to be the only victim in this case because not knowing if you can trust those who say you can trust them is something no one wants to deal with. Many instructors feel that their teaching is ridiculed or looked down upon if their students need to resort to cheating. I've had the privilege to have professor Williams as a teacher last semester in MATH 307: Intro to Differential Equations. In this class and all classes before I had no incidents regarding academic dishonesty and I deeply respected professor William and his way and style of teaching. I feel as though he has been let down and heavily disappointed in us as his students.

Another similarity to Shattered Glass is how we both believed we gotten away with something we knew was wrong and came up with contingency plans incase caught. Stephen knew he was wrong but when questioned he dug deeper into his lie and came up with false companies and fake websites. His lying could only go so far because once they started asking the hotel in which the convention was supposedly held everything fell apart. Likewise, I and the other student involved both thought that we got away with it and were already putting it behind us. Like Stephen, when we were caught my first instinct was to lie and deny what was being accused of me, but unlike Stephen I thought about how far can this lie go? How long can I hold it? The more I lie, the deeper I dig the more trouble I could get into. We quickly decided it would be wise to just tell the truth and accept whatever punishment was to be given to us because we knew that we deserved it. The other student did the right thing and scheduled his meeting as soon as he knew what to do. I on the other hand screwed up even more and took a long time to schedule my meeting. This action will look wrong to others in the future just like Stephens mistakes will carry over to him when he goes to study law as a lawyer.

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If I were to be put in the same situation again, I would not do the same thing again. In this case I decided to let my other classes take priority because I felt that cheating was manageable and if we did it once it wouldn't be too bad. We had all our exams prior to the MATH 244: Calculus 4 exam which we cheated on. As I stated before I got sloppy with my studying and did not focus very hard on my Calculus 4 exam leading me to making the wrong decision of allowing someone else to look at my paper. I know now that academic dishonesty not only affects those involved but those around as well. My actions, my cheating affects those around me by changing the grades of my test and the test of the other student resulting in higher scores than we deserve. These higher scores will affect the overall class curve. When the class curve is skewed higher than it is supposed to be those students who were hoping for a better curve will not get it because too many scores were high. Same for the students who worked hard to study for this exam. For those students who took their limited time to study for all their exams, who managed their time wisely, who sacrificed social interactions and online fun for this exam. They all are deserving of the curve that would have been assigned but wasn't because our grades skewed it too high.

I know I would not do it again because a couple days ago I had my second exam in MATH 244: calculus 4 and the other student and I didn’t cheat or copy off each other on this exam. When we did this our instructor, professor Williams, decided that the class average was too low and allowed us to do a makeup exam as corrections and get up to seventy percent of our lost points back. This will allow those who are borderline passing to push themselves to that passing grade. It will also allow those who made stupid mistakes that they didn't notice before get the points that they deserve. Maybe if the other student and I didn't cheat on the last exam professor William might have let us do the same thing for the last exam. Our cheating might have let all the other students miss out on an opportunity to get lost points back. These are the ways my actions affect those around me and why I would not partake in academic dishonesty in another MATH 244 exam or any other academic work throughout my academic career. I hope others will learn from this and not make the same mistakes the other student and I made.

Regarding academic dishonesty I would tell other students to try their absolute best to stay as far away from it as possible. It can only cause you problems in the future and the payoff is not as good as many make you believe. Many students think that cheating is the easy way through school and that if you can do it right, you won't have to study ever again. I would tell the students who think that, that they're wrong. Cheating makes your life and those around you much more difficult. After you cheated it will be on your mind for a long time, gnawing at your brain stressing you out, always thinking that the instructor is on to you. It makes your life harder than it would be if you took the time out of your day and studied for your exam. Also, to cheat correctly you would still need to study to make sure your work looks authentic and your own, to know what it is your copying so that you won't copy down something that doesn't make any sense and give away that you are cheating. In the end it would require more work, more stress, and more risk to cheat. It’s easier to hunker down and study, know what's on your exam, test yourself constantly so your brain is used to searching for answers within its memory.

Some other advice I would give to students regarding academic dishonesty is really weigh out the pros and the cons of his or her actions. Consider the worse possible possibility, expect the worse. If he or she commits academic dishonesty expecting to be caught they would receive a consequence they were prepared for. A student that thinks that his or her actions will get by unnoticed and unscathed will be more inclined to lie and deny their actions resulting in a punishment worse than intended. These are just my thoughts and I have no evidence to back it up but that’s why it’s just considered my advice. Continuing off expecting the worse from your actions, once this student weighs out the pros and cons of academic dishonesty, they will find that there are more pros than cons, but those small cons have big repercussion and consequences that need to be dealt with.

In conclusion, like Stephen Glass in Shattered Glass, I committed an unethical course of actions that ended up with consequences that may cause me more problems down the line when looking for career jobs. Many say that plagiarism is a victimless crime but just like in Shattered Glass every crime has its victims. In Stephens case it was his coworkers and company that suffered through his actions. In this case it was my instructor and fellow students. I learned many things through this experience like the potential consequences and extra stress that cheating, copying or any other form of academic dishonesty brings with it. I would advise all students who think about doing this, not to. Only problems will arise from this course of actions. To those who already commit academic dishonesty and think they are getting away with it. Your luck will dry out, Study hard. Earn your grades, makes the grade and celebration much better.

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Reflection On Incident Of Academic Dishonesty In Shattered Glass. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Reflection On Incident Of Academic Dishonesty In Shattered Glass.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
Reflection On Incident Of Academic Dishonesty In Shattered Glass. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
Reflection On Incident Of Academic Dishonesty In Shattered Glass [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 18 [cited 2023 Dec 10]. Available from:
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