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Is Using A Thesaurus Cheating?

Is Using A Thesaurus Cheating?

The answer to the question "Is Using a Thesaurus Cheating?" is dependent on the cheating policy of each college. Some colleges allow the use of a thesaurus or dictionary during a test and some colleges do not allow. Your handbook will let you know if using a thesaurus in a test is cheating or not

While the colleges have the prerogative to define what is cheating and what is not, the general opinions differ on the morality of allowing the use of a thesaurus by students and writers. While some support it others think it should not be allowed.

Reasons for not supporting the use of a thesaurus

Many expert writers are of the opinion that the flow of words should be a natural flow from the depths of our subconscious. This means that the words we use in our writing should be so deeply ingrained in us that it should flow through without a second thought. If we have to reach out to a thesaurus for help, then it means that we do not know the meaning of the word and our writing will appear artificial and disjointed.

Reasons for supporting the use of a thesaurus

Our memory is more often than not slippery, especially when you need a perfect word at the correct moment. Other synonyms come to mind, but the particular word you are looking for is being extremely elusive. At such times, it is quite natural and, I think, perfectly alright to reach out for a thesaurus.

Only when a student or writer uses a thesaurus, will he or she will grow his or her vocabulary. If during the course of going through the thesaurus the perfect word is found, then it does not matter whether you knew the word already and learned about it while writing that particular piece. It goes without saying that if there is a doubt in the meaning of the word, then we must avoid using it.

One of the most beautiful and the most challenging aspects of the English language is the various nuances the meaning of the synonyms of one word can take. And each of these synonyms is unique and can rarely be used in place of another. The particular synonym will fit in only if it meets the exact meaning that the situation calls for.

For example, a man can strut, swagger, stroll, amble, march, stride, stalk, or merely walk depending on what the situation is. Hence, the use of a thesaurus can add a lot of writing power. However, it is important not to go overboard and use it at every opportunity which could make your writing appear gaudy instead of perfectly colored like how a good painting should be.

With the help of a thesaurus, you can find different synonyms for words and hence your writing will not sound repetitiously monotonous. A thesaurus helps you find the perfect word in context to the writing, in context to the target audience, and in context to the genre.

The advanced technology available at the tip of our hands makes it very convenient to find that elusive perfect word without having to irreversibly break our flow of thoughts. The power of a thesaurus is irrefutable.

Ways of cheating using a thesaurus

If you are allowed to bring in a thesaurus to a test for finding alternative words or to understand the meaning of the words in a question, then using it for the stated purpose will not be considered cheating. However, if you use the thesaurus in any of the following ways, then you could be guilty of cheating:

Using the thesaurus to make cheat sheets – There are students who write notes, formulae and answers to complex questions in random pages of the thesaurus that they plan to use during the test. Students use a pencil to make these notes so that they can erase the evidence later on.

They either remember the page number and the details of the content that it contains or flip through the thesaurus when the teacher is not looking to peek at the prepared notes. This method has been used successfully by many students.

The risk is that if you cannot remember the page numbers then flipping through the pages could raise suspicions and if you do get caught, then you will be in plenty of trouble.

Hiding "cheat sheets" in between the pages of the thesaurus – Some students hide small little sheets with notes and formulae in between the pages of the thesaurus. This method may not need as much flipping as making the notes on the pages of the thesaurus.

Another reason why it is better than the one mentioned above is that it is easy to discard the evidence. When the test is over, all you need to do is pull out the sheets, crumple them and throw them in a waste paper basket. Students normally avoid the waste paper basket kept in their class for this purpose

Making notes in the memory space of an electronic thesaurus – You can find an electronic thesaurus in the market and buy yourself one. Please find out if you are allowed to take this inside the exam hall. Else this method is useless and you will be wasting your money unnecessarily.

Most of these electronic devices have some amount of memory space to make notes or something. You can key in answers, formulae, and notes into this available space and store it in the device. Whenever you need it, then you can discreetly recall the data. Many tech-savvy teachers are quite aware of this method and do check for such things hidden in your electronic devices. So, please be careful and know and realize the consequences of getting caught while cheating.

Final Notes

Whether you can use a thesaurus in your college exams and tests is up to the management policy of your college. However, even if a thesaurus is allowed then it is to be used only the purpose of finding words and synonyms.

Misusing it to cheat in a test will not be condoned and if you are caught then you will be facing the consequences of cheating in a test.

At Prescott Papers, we sincerely believe in your ability to use your intelligence and time well to study hard instead of resorting to cheating mechanisms. It is more productive and less stressful to do this rather than cheat.

If you are bogged down by the pressures of too many assignments, papers, custom essays, and projects, please do contact our experts who will happily guide you and help you. You can save time as well as reduce stress.

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