Ethical Dilema

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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I am about to graduate from college but I must finish this last term for my very last course. My future depends on me finishing this paper, but I feel I can't write and start to get anxious. I go home one weekend and for my mother's birthday and someone proposed that we all go out, but I can't for I have to finish this one paper. I can see the amount of disappointment in my mother's face. My older brother then speaks up saying he has the paper he wrote to get his major in business at a different university and all I would have to do is change a couple of references and I would have a great paper. What do I do? I could easily accept his offer and have the paper ready, making my life a lot easier. However, if I do I will have the fact that I never completely finished the course on my own.

These are the two choices that I am faced with. Accepting by brother's offer would be the easier way out. It would allow me to go out with my mom and make her happy. It would insure me a good grade, for my brother aced the course when he took it. On the other hand I would be lying and deceiving the instructor. It would be cheating and that would always burden my heart. I also know that my mom might have been happy for that moment, but would be even happier that I finished the course on my on and did not take an easy way out. Even if I did hide it from her she would eventually find out and be highly disappointed in me. These are the moral issues I would face.

Obviously the immoral thing to do would be to take my brother's paper and do what I need to make the paper my own. The consequences would be that get a good grade and I graduate with my degree. However, what if the professor suspected me of cheating after noticing that the writing style was not mine. This would lead to my expulsion and having to take the class over in another semester. This is a chance that I would be taking if I proceeded to use his paper. I would be cheating the university and cheating myself. I would feel the grief of knowing that I didn't do the work my own self and lied to another person that does not deserve it.

The consequence of me doing the paper myself would be that I would have to skip out on going with my mother but I would know in my heart I did the right thing. I might not get as high of a grade but I would know that I earned what I received. If my mother found out about the other option I could have taken, I know she would have been very proud of me and she would know that I use the morals that she instilled in me. Also, I would not have to worry about the professor saying that I plagiarized or cheated. Most importantly, I would keep the level of self-respect that I have for myself and I would continue to trust myself in making everyday decisions.

What if everyone took the easy way out? What would the world be like? That is what I would be doing if I choose to use my brother's paper. I would eventually turn into the type of person who always looked for the easy way out, becoming lazy and never doing things for myself. If the world followed in my footsteps, the world would be in a spiraling down fall, causing very little if any progress to make the world better. However, if I decided to refuse my brother's paper and did it myself and the world did the same thing, then the world would be filled with disciplined, honest individuals, therefore developing the world into a far better place.

If I was ever put into this very tempting situation, I trust that I would choose to do the paper on my own. This, after all, was the way I was raised. I strongly believe that there is no replacement for good honest work. I could never have the fact that my final paper due in order to get my degree was something I did not write. To turn in a paper that was not wrote by me is being both dishonest to me and to the professor. To have that on my heart would almost be unbearable. I know that my mother would rather see me earn what I have than take the easy way out. She would be actually more mad than upset. Mad that I waited to the last minute that I decided to do my paper that is this important. I also can't stand those students who copied their papers from the Internet or from another person. To me having a grade that I earned is more important than having a grade that was given to me.