Editorial: Don’t be attracted by easy ‘study’ websites

Editorial Board

Increasing technology has opened a new set of doors when it comes to how students study, finish projects and interact with their classmates. Yes, with online capabilities, more and more professors upload their presentations online for students to view later, allowing students the flexibility to submit assignments online and even take a test from their computers.

However, the ever increasing websites dedicated to “helping” students with their projects, studying for tests and even writing essays makes one wonder how much online learning students are actually doing on their own.

There are some websites that make it possible for a student to pay to have an essay written, while others allow students within the same class to share completed study guides and homework assignments. While collaborative studying is not new to the digital age, make no mistake: If a student passes off the work of others as their own, it is cheating.

Students who are using these types of websites are not only cheating themselves and their professors, they are also cheating their future employers. When you walk across the stage at the end of your college career, it comes with the idea that you have made it that far through hard work in furthering your education. Homework, projects and tests are not created because professors love grading, it is to challenge students to think through concepts on their own and prove that they understand the material.

Having someone write an essay for you — whether you ascertain it face to face on campus or purchase it online from someone you will never meet — is cheating and falls well into the range of what Iowa State defines as academic dishonesty. The fact is, most students that choose to use websites providing these services are probably more than capable of doing the work themselves, they are just lazy.

Learning good study habits can be challenging and a quick online purchase of an essay or notes may seem easy, but it will only hinder you in the long run. In the end, you will enter the professional work place where you will be asked to complete tasks each day and prove that you understand what you are doing. You cannot cheat forever, so learning good study and organizational habits should happen sooner rather than later.

Don’t get us wrong, there are some websites, such as StudyBlue, that are great resources for students to use to enhance their studying practices. StudyBlue allows users to make flashcards quickly and even take review quizzes to increase a person’s opportunity to go over information before a test. 

If you are struggling with an assignment or test, meet with the professor during their office hours or join a study group in your class. If procrastination is the reason you are not completing school work on your own, then you simply need to reevaluate how you are spending your time and your study skills.

Being responsible and completing your own assignments is part of becoming an adult. Not only that, but paying to be in college and then paying even more money on top of that to have someone else finish all of your work is simply ludicrous.