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Plagiarism is a very important issue nowadays. More and more students are becoming lazy in their work and find plagiarism which is basically ‘copy and pasting’ paragraphs or sentences from internet sites or books the easiest way of doing work. The usual way of plagiarism is going on a website; inserting key facts and words that will make it easier to find, then find a source which explains exactly what you are looking for and from there copy a sentence or paragraph and paste it into your ‘essay’ or ‘work’ document. This issue has been said that has been going on for a few years but only now it has been recently acknowledged and seen as a problem for society.
As students go on their lives copying work from others their mental processes are undeveloping because they aren’t using their creativity and imagination for such work as they are meant to, by using your own words and knowledge it shows a clear understanding of the research provided. Plagiarism which is basically the use of other people’s words or ideas without giving them credit is only part of the general problem of cheating and cheaters. It is hard to detect cheating as it mostly passes undetected by professors and teachers. In many subjects, plagiarism can be minimized almost completely by appropriate design of the questions asked by the professor or lecturer. By doing this it will make it more difficult for the students to look for the complete answer on the internet therefore could not be plagiaries.
Another issue of plagiarism is the honor code the school or college has which most of all of them do and they are given out and read out to the students in the beginning of the year which states in a complete clear manner that plagiarism is wrong and will be penalized. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to penalize and know who and which student is indeed plagiarism which makes it a universal goal for all faculties and departments to ensure this ethical issue and make us, students realize how wrong this is before we get into a lot of trouble.
The policy states that ‘Universities, faculties and perhaps departments need to have clear, well-publicized policies on plagiarism. These policies need to do more than say “do not plagiaries.” They need to explain what plagiarism means in practice with examples of correct and incorrect citations.’ By doing so, students will be completely aware of the incorrect manners of plagiarism. Although there is different cases all around, some might say that the only way a student can survive highschool and university is if he plagiarises or even copies most of the work given to him, what the main issue is that these students whom think this way don’t even paraphrase paragraphs researched, they just do it and hope for the best. This makes work a lot easier for them but of course not at all appreciated as it is not there own work but someone elses.
A research shows that ‘cheating is starting younger—in elementary school. And by the time they get to middle school or high school they see cheating as perfectly ok’, this fact is concerning. How can kids that age even know what cheating is? Who shows them? These questions are ones not to be ignored, it is a very thought through issue and it needs to be defeated because if not… cheating will be no longer invalid but valid because of the substantial manners it is coming across making it almost impossible to make it stop. Students who get caught are penalized.
Or at least that is what I thought, I did High school at an international school doing the International Baccalaureate, which I know for a fact that if I would have gotten caught plagiarism I would have been expelled from the diploma and not given another chance. We had an internet site where we had to hand in all our work –via online- called turnitin, this method was a great one for students and teachers; it was easy, efficient and most of all comfortable. Also, this way, teachers could know exactly what sentences or paragraphs were plagiarized in our work if it wasn’t cited, but as the research paper states ‘ What it wont catch is students who crib the ideas, not the words’, this being very true is still a manner of making our minds react to explanations and re-writing them in the manner we feel is correct, which I think is correct.
Plagiarism is a very harsh factor nowadays because students are doing it more and more and professors and teachers don’t have the ways to stop such
acts. It is a debacle that one day could be fixed with more website protections or more ‘turnitin’ sites used my universities and schools but for now the ethical issues and the trust issues lie in the hands of the teacher and the student.
Published in Tertangala (University of Wollongong Students’ Representative Council), 20 July – 3 August 1992, p. 20. The case of the purloined paper by Brigid Schulte (Washington Post) September 23, 2002