Blog #18: Response to two articles- No wonder Benjamin Franklin said honesty is the best policy

December 9, 2008

Response to Article 1(Joongang) 

I think this is an insightful follow-up article (after the article in Korean Herald)about problems among Korean students studying in American colleges. Even for me, essay writing is a serious problem but I think I can handle it if I get some practice. Afterall, several classes I took in previous years such as US Literature and General Literature focused on essay writing. Also, World Literature  gives me some experience with in-class essay writing. I notice that plagiarism is treated really different from Korean schools and SIS. SIS utilizes websites such as turnitin.com to prevent and discourage the use of plagiarism among students. I do not know if other Korean schools use this website but I think use of this site has more impact on my academic experience than I thought. After I read the article, I think I am proud that I have written my essays without use of cut-and-paste technique. However, there are somethings in the article I wish the author would have expanded on. For example, the author asserts that 1.5 and second generation of Korean Americans also have difficult time with college education. This may be due to Confuscian emphasis on education and Korean education style but I thought many students even American students had difficult time adjusting to college level education. American college education is a tough system to go through and it is not easy for everybody. If the author expanded on the paragraph about Korean American students, then he/she would have clarified some problems I saw in the argument.

Response to Article 2(AFP)

It is certainly a bad sign that more people in my generation are cheating, stealing, and lying without a significant  solution to this phenomenon. Despite heavy punishments though, I believe that students will still try to continue what they were doing(whether that’s cheating, stealing, and lying) if they do not feel the seriousness of the problems. They have to feel deep pang of guilt and shame so they could stop. But the real problem is they do not feel their conduct of behavior was not bad as noted from the article(AFP). Comparison will not help because if everybody starts comparing themselves with others, there is no stopping poing for these students to stop comparing and stop cheating, lying, and stealing. Whether somebody conducted a lighter “crime” than others, it is still a “crime” and thus there is no point in comparing themselves to others.

When I read these two articles, I think about Cornel Wests’s Democracy Matters and what he talked about dishonesty among corporate executives and politicians, aka nihilism. By reading two articles, I think West’s argument that this sense of nihilism would spread among West and to the world is correct. Although Korean’s tendency to cheat did not originate from American’s influence, rate of cheating and plagiarism among Koreans would go rampant if American students’ tendency to cheat, lie, and steal spreads throughout the world. Since America is the world superpower, what it does will certainly influence other countries. However, I think individuals should not succomb to peer pressure to cheat, lie, and steal. One should realize the seriousness of this issue and think in long terms, not in short terms.

Cheating, stealing, and lying are bad for you

Cheating, stealing, and lying are bad for you

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