As a student, you might be faced with a situation where you’ll have to stand your ground, like when someone asks to copy your homework. Having worked hard to balance a busy schedule and get it done, it’s normal to feel annoyed when deciding what to say when someone asks to copy your homework.
Obviously, it’s your work, and you have every right to say no when someone asks to copy your homework, but you must be mindful when deciding what to say. You don’t want to make enemies of your classmates, especially when you may have to spend years at the same school together.
But what will happen if you get caught? Technically, this is cheating, and you’ll both be in trouble.
So what can you do? Well, take it by the situation, or, in other words, why the person is asking to copy your homework.
If the person is simply lazy and isn’t dedicated to their studies, handing over your work will only spoil them. And, you’re more likely to get caught cheating this way.
But what if the person forgot, ran out of time or genuinely struggled with the assignment? You may not want to be that harsh because it can happen to anyone.
These are some examples of what to say when someone asks to copy your homework:
What to say when someone asks to copy your homework: 5 responses when they may simply not want to take the time and effort to do their assignments
Imagine working hard to get your assignments done, and someone comes in and skates by off your hard work. You don’t have to wonder for very long because this is common everywhere.
Some people just don’t understand the value of hard work and will forever seek the easy way out. Your job as a classmate isn’t to spoon-feed; your job is to offer help where possible and encourage your classmates to do better.
Handing your homework over whenever these people ask only serves to spoil them. This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework after not trying or putting in any effort themselves:
01“This wasn’t even a difficult assignment and wouldn’t even take you [15 minutes] to complete. Why don’t you put effort into your assignments?”
It is good to use this when a classmate is trying to copy an easy assignment. It says he/she is lazy and should do better.
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02“If you won’t take the time to do your own assignment, why would I trust you to copy without making it obvious? You’d probably copy my name too and hand it in!”
It is good to use this with a lazy classmate who you know will copy your assignment word-for-word and get you in trouble. It says you will not risk getting punished for their lazy and idle behavior.
03“I’m not going to risk getting into trouble over someone who doesn’t even try. You should be disappointed in yourself.”
Use this when you have no problem helping a classmate who doesn’t understand, but you’re not willing to help someone who does not make an effort. It says the person is a bad student.
04“I spent hours working on this. You can’t expect to just stroll in and have everything handed to you.”
This is good to use when you put a lot of effort into it, and will not hand it over to someone who wants to be a leech. It says that person should not feel entitled to it.
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05“Well isn’t that unfortunate? Hopefully, the sting of this zero will teach you to focus on your assignments like the rest of us.”
This is a very snappy comment you can use to refuse to hand over your assignment. It says you won’t help, so he/she should prepare for a zero, and learn from it.
5 responses when they have forgotten to do their homework
It’s not unheard of for a student to forget he/she has homework because of the enormous workload, especially in higher education. Unfortunately, this isn’t a very good excuse in the eyes of most teachers, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to hand over your assignment.
A classmate who takes his/her work seriously can end up in a tough spot. Sharing your answers this one time isn’t the worst thing you can do, just don’t make it a habit.
Working together is an integral part of being classmates, but this rule doesn’t apply to lazy classmates who always have excuses. This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework because they forgot:
06“I’ll share it with you, but only this time.”
Use this when the classmate is a good student or friend. It also says he/she shouldn’t expect it again in the future because you don’t like the idea of cheating.
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07“I hate when that happens. You can use my assignment, but only as a reference, understood?”
Use this when you have forgotten to do your homework in the past. It says the person will not be copying, but only using it to get the assignment done faster.
08“You have enough time between now and class time to get it done. If you paid attention in class and know what you’re doing, you’ll be alright.”
This says you’re not willing to share and if he/she gets started now, there’s still enough time to complete it.
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09“I don’t believe you. We had weeks to get this assignment done. That’s a poor excuse.”
It is good to use this when the students were given more than enough time to get it done, and he/she probably waited until the last minute. It says he/she deserves the situation he/she has found himself/herself in.
10“I’d probably believe you if you said your dog/cat ate your homework. This is the third time this week.”
It is good to use this with a classmate who always has an excuse. It says you’re not falling for it, so he/she can forget about copying your homework.
Photo by Ermolaeva Olga 84 on shutterstock
4 responses when they say they are struggling to keep up with their work
Students often have a lot on their plates, whether with schoolwork or extracurricular activities. They may also have a lot going on in their everyday lives, whether it’s personal drama, an ill relative, toxic home life, etc.
No matter what age the student is, these factors have a huge impact on their academic studies. It can mean that the student’s grades will start to slip, assignments will be missed, and can even result in misbehavior during class.
Sadly, this will persist until the student finds a way to get to the root of the issue. Your classmate may look to you for help during this time by asking to copy your assignment.
Here’s what to say when someone asks to copy your homework for this reason:
11“I know you have a lot going on, but I think you’re better off asking for an extension. We have an understanding teacher so you’ll be fine.”
Use this when you’re not willing to cheat, but you have compassion for the student’s situation. It says you understand that this is a major issue, and so will the teacher. More than likely, the teacher will give the student different options like extensions, make-up projects and take-home assignments.
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12“I’m sure if you explain your situation to Mr/Mrs [insert teacher’s name], he/she will understand. I can’t risk getting into trouble over this.”
It says you get that he/she is going through a tough time, but it’s not worth the consequences you will face for cheating.
13“I’m sorry to hear that, but you have to work on having better time management. The world isn’t going to wait for you to get yourself together.”
Many students are unable to manage their time wisely and end up in these situations as a result. This says the student needs to buckle down and learn to balance things because life will only get more difficult.
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14“Maybe if you spent more time focusing on your studies instead of [insert activity], you’d be able to do your homework yourself.”
It is good to use this when the student is prioritizing other things that clearly have a negative impact over their academic studies. Use this when the fault is their own.
What to say when someone asks to copy your homework: 4 responses when they say they have not understood the material covered in class
A common reason students fail to complete assignments is because they just don’t get it. However, the student is responsible for making that known by reaching out to their teacher for clarification.
The student can also do independent research like watching YouTube videos and finding tutorials online. Cheating won’t solve anything.
This is what to say when someone asks to copy your homework because they don’t understand it:
15“I’m not going to just hand over the answers to you. I can help with tutoring and we can go through the assignment together.”
It says you will not cheat, but you are willing to help the right way. The right way is by helping to tutor the person so they understand.
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16“Copying my assignment won’t do you any good if you don’t understand the material. Let’s review it together so you have a better chance at passing this exam.”
This is good to use when the person is just trying to get by and isn’t seeing the bigger picture. Assignments are a way to prepare students for exams, so if he/she doesn’t get them now, he/she won’t pass the course.
17“If you don’t understand it, copying my assignment won’t help you either. Try talking to the teacher/professor to see if you can get some extra help.”
This says there’s no point in copying and he/she should consult with the teacher instead of trying to mooch off you.
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18“I’m sorry to hear that. There are tons of resources available to students who struggle to understand the material. I can direct you to them if you’d like.”
This shows compassion for the student’s plight and your willingness to help. It says you will show the student how to do it instead of feeding him/her the answers.
We can’t stress the importance of using the right example of what to say when someone asks to copy your homework enough. You can lose a friend, gain enemies or get in trouble in the process.
You decide what’s important: popularity or academic integrity.