The following is a criminological theory I developed as part of a graduate research project. The theory (Convenience Theory) combines most previous criminological theories into a single theory to explain why students cheat. References, cites, footnotes, and figures have been left out to preclude anyone from submitting the paper in a college class, they have been replaced by (Cite).
Dealing with student cheating is a problem faced by all colleges and universities. Student cheating is not a new problem for institutions of higher learning; it has existed for as long as the institutions have existed. Many of the older techniques that students have used to cheat in the past are still effective today, but with the constant influx of new technological advances into all aspects of society, students are finding new methods of cheating. Instead of colleges spending so much time and resources trying to find new ways to prevent student cheating, a better approach would to try to understand why the students cheat. Once there is an understanding what motivates college students to cheat, then resources can be redirected toward attempting to change the motivations so that the students will better be able to resist the urge to cheat when opportunity to cheat arises.
This paper analyzes college student cheating and the criminological theories that have been used to explain why the students cheat. It also proposes a new criminological theory to explain why college students cheat. The paper is divided into three major sections.
Section 1 is a literature review. It explains what cheating is, the extent of college student cheating, and why college student cheating is a major problem. The section then explains how researchers have attempted to apply existing criminological theories to college student cheating in efforts to explain why the students cheat.
Section 2 is the author's personal integrated theory (convenience theory) to explain why college students cheat. The section provides a systematic explanation of convenience theory's development process and explains how convenience theory integrates previously developed theories into a single unified theory.
Section 3 is the conclusions section. It describes the author's conclusions about how well previously developed criminological theories and the new convenience theory explain college student cheating.
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