Over the years, Course Hero and Chegg have established themselves as alternatives for students to get answers to their questions. They even get fully worked essays and papers that they use as model papers. These papers are uploaded by other users, including students.
But can they get in trouble for it? Is it legal in the first place?
From my interactions with students, these questions present an issue of whether those platforms are good or bad. Ideally, the purpose of the Course Hero is not to promote cheating unless the student is using the content to further the dishonesty mission.
Most students get tempted to upload their past papers and essays into Course Hero or Chegg as a way of earning credits in those websites. They then use these credits to check Course Hero answers for free. The question is, can a student be in violation?
You can get in trouble for uploading your papers or essays to Course Hero or Chegg if you get caught by your school. If you upload an ungraded paper that you submitted to class to Course Hero or Chegg, that will be flagged as a breach of academic integrity or the school’s honor code.
If you copy the content of Course Hero and use it entirely as your final work and submit it to your professor, then it is likely to fail to pass the plagiarism test.
As a result, the examiner will mark it as copied. Depending on the rules of your institution, such work is not original and, therefore, lacks integrity.
Taking the content directly from the website without eliminating any traces of similarity is part of academic dishonesty. While using Course Hero is not cheating, copying the answers and submitting them to school will land you in trouble.
The professor will not have any choice but to reject it. If you fail to do proper revision, your work will not undergo grading, hence wasting your efforts.
Is it legal to Upload to Course Hero?
Uploading a file to Course Hero or any other public platform is fine, but it presents an issue of legality. Many students do not think about it, but it can lead to legal cases if there is any violation.
It is not illegal to upload papers or essays to Course Hero if the files belong to you and you own the copyright. As the copyright owner, you do not violate any laws.
However, if you do not have the right to the file, you should seek permission from the owner lest you face legal issues for using the content.
At the same time, you cannot get problems if the content someone uploads on Course Hero is already graded content. Since the professor graded it a long time ago, it is difficult for the user to get victimized by using the same content.
Therefore, you should use it analytically as a basis of the argument to develop your new content.
Again, your professor may likely fail to find out.
By this, we mean that one must paraphrase it wisely to escape any similarity in the content.
Doing so will give your work an edge and allow the college supervisor to evaluate it properly.
Also, Turnitin will fail to get you if you use such content. Turnitin is a platform that usually checks plagiarism and reports any content that seems similar.
You can overcome such a challenge by using the same content in a different version to communicate and pass the plagiarism test. As such, you will escape any chances of cheating.
How to use Course Hero and Chegg effectively
The user should tread carefully while using Course Hero. It should only be a platform to share and exchange ideas instead of using it to steal exams. Also, anonymous people’s available resources may lack integrity since it is difficult to track the one who posted the said resources.
Well, Course Hero is an excellent platform where the user can share educational matters. As a student, you can only use it fruitfully if you want to discover more about your coursework.
You can also use it to know if you are doing the right thing by comparing it with what other students are doing. As such, you will know if you are on the right track.
On the other hand, you should not duplicate anything you find there. You should strive as much as possible to minimize any similarities. Turnitin is a powerful plagiarism checker that will detect any similarity and report back to you.
If the similarity percentage is high, you will get in trouble with your professor. One must ensure to remove any plagiarism before submitting the final paper.
Students mostly upload files so that they earn free unlocks. This is one of the ways to get Course Hero for free and enjoy some of the services. However, I advise you to check the Course Hero guidelines for uploading files to their site and learn more about it.
Again, another risk of using the Course Hero is that the professor is likely to catch you. You will get into trouble with the supervisor by using copyrighted information.
By this, students may quote from a similar source excessively and create an alarm to their professor. While this cannot be serious, schools can request online websites to notify them if they feel there is massive cheating.
Quoting from similar sources is likely to attract the supervising professor’s attention and lead to suspicion of cheating. The danger that comes with cheating work is that one may still have to revise.
Perhaps the rules of a particular institution will play a significant role. Some stringent measures can cause the professor to disqualify your work. Also, check the guides on how to upload Course hero files and understand their best practices.
Can you get Caught using Chegg or Course Hero?
The professor or your university will catch you if you use the content on the Course Hero. Each content that you submit will undergo scanning by Turnitin. This is because Turnitin will detect if the user duplicated the content on the Course Hero and indicate the percentage of similar content.
If similar content proves their source to be from Course Hero, then the professor will tell you that you used the platform to do your exams or assignments.
The student must only use such content as a guide to the right information. This is because plagiarism scanners flag Course Hero and Chegg, among other online sources, if copy-pasted. Therefore, using it entirely will seem like a shortcut to further an evil agenda.
Instances when no one can Catch you using Course Hero
You can escape the trap of being caught by accurately using course hero. Firstly, only study the content to get a hint of what is right before you prepare your original content.
You should avoid taking everything you find there since they must pass the plagiarism test. In our situation, Turnitin is the software to use while checking on duplicate content.
You can overcome such a trap by ensuring that you write the original content that will not be similar to the one on Course Hero. As such, you will use it successfully.
I am an educational writer and blogger focussing on tech, education, and life improvement.