Fake it to make it

It’s the eleven-hour essay that still earns an A. It’s the test that’s crammed for at the last minute but still earns an “acing” grade. It gives students the feeling that we are brilliant because we can get great grades with minimal effort.

By Ayesha Malik

Many students are familiar with the phenomenon referred to as faking (or flubbing), a process of putting as little effort as possible into schoolwork. It’s simple: throw something together, add complicated words to make it sound smart, and submit it. Though teachers discourage it, we students still do it anyway, and it troubles me that the flubbed work often earns grades that are just as high, if not higher, than work done with more effort.  

It’s not academic dishonesty, exactly, because technically students are submitting their own work. But there’s a sort of insincerity, a sort of “I don’t care” that still lingers around work that comes from such a mindset.  

 You see it everywhere: essays that throw together random quotes with little thought; maps that rely on assumption instead of verified facts; Spanish essays that were written in English and then translated on the Internet.    You learn less when you flub assignments, and with time you are forced to depend on the people who actually put effort into their work — and I’m sure everyone knows how aggravating that is.  

 In addition to being insincere, it’s unfair. Teachers claim they know the difference between flubbed work and work with effort, but without records of some kind, it’s very hard to gauge effort. Time and time again, I’ve seen people (all right, myself included) do something at the last minute but still get a stellar grade afterward—sometimes even higher grades than people that I know worked hard. And that’s a reversal of the ways things in the classroom are supposed to be.   

 And worse than being unfair is the fact that flubbing, like anything else, can become a habit. Some people get so used to it that they no longer care about the quality of their work. Their one goal is to get it done, get it over with.   

What will happen when the future is in the hands of people who don’t care about doing the job right? I can’t speak for everyone, but to me, it’s kind of scary.  

Maybe it’s true that we can’t do much about it here at Kerr, where things move so quickly. It’s true that we have things to do and deadlines to meet, and that sometimes we have no choice but to disregard quality. But it’s also true that flubbing is insincere, and unfair, and it can become a habit. So we should do it as little as possible.  

Because in the end, it’s good work, not flubbed work, that gives you that feeling of accomplishment. And I’ll take that any day.