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Study Helps

What Are Study-Help Websites and Why Should I be Concerned?

1 minute

Summary

The internet can be a stumbling block for learning if used for plagiarism and cheating facilitated at study-help websites. Here is what you should know.

Sean O’Connor
High School English Counselor

The internet continues to be a great tool and resource for your students. It is especially useful in that the internet allows Seton students to access MySeton and SetonOnline.

Seton Online is a robust online resource that contains all the information of a physical course manual plus additional resources like lecture videos, study guides, interactive quizzes, etc. Students who are enrolled in our courses that have a SetonOnline component have access to the resource.

Additionally, the internet can be useful for students when researching various topics, finding informative videos, communicating with counselors, and interacting with other students via Catholic Harbor.

Every Parent Should Know

However, the internet also can be a stumbling block for learning as it can be a vehicle of plagiarism and cheating. Study-help websites are one example as they provide a tempting opportunity to plagiarize or cheat. These websites offer the means for anonymous users to post-test answers and essays from graded coursework.

These websites appear to be legitimate and helpful resources, claiming they are an “online learning platform” with practice problems, study guides, etc, students however frequent these websites to cheat and plagiarize.

Alarmingly, study-help websites consistently provide a platform for students or others to post essays or test answers for Seton’s graded work. Among the many essays and tests I have requested these websites to remove, some even include our Seton graders’ comments. For students who either are not willing to put in the work or are behind on their assignments, these posted essays can be seen as an alluring way to get a quick and easy grade.

Not only do these posted tests and essays violate Seton’s copyright, but they also erode the integrity of our assessments.

Here is what you can do…

  1. If you have an internet filtering service on the devices your child uses for the internet, be wary of the study-help websites they visit. If you find those websites provide answers or essays from graded work, you can use the filtering software to block your child’s access to them.
  2. Do not use Online PDF converters. Third-party individuals could potentially acquire the uploaded document and post it on a study-help website without the student knowing. A safer option is to use either our Seton PDF converter or your word processor; most word processors can save files as PDF’s.
  3. Emphasize to your children the seriousness of plagiarism and cheating. A Seton assignment that contains plagiarized material is subject to a grade of zero which could lead to the failure of a course. Explain to your high school children that when or if they attend a college or university, plagiarism or cheating can lead to expulsion or permanently mar their academic record.
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