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According to Stephen when students violate the code of conduct, they plagiarize. That is any act of stealing the intellectuality and the effort of other people. Students take pleasure in plagiarizing to take credit over other people's work after making it sound like their own (Wilhoit, 2006). This means that any students who downloads or quotes the ideas of another person and makes it sound as though it was his, is guilty of cheating. Plagiarism therefore, occurs when students decides not to use their own integrity. They steal other peoples' ideas and make them theirs. Students once they paraphrase the works of other people, they avoid citing the author and put the ideas as though they were their own. Putting a name of a different person other than the writer of the paper is also plagiarism. On the other hand, plagiarism could be through old material recycling, which may lead to deception (Posner, 2007). Additionally, improper quoting and incorrect source could constitute plagiarism as well as failure to quote and give the sources of information used in writing (Vicinus, & Eisner, 2008).
Most of the students do not cheat out of good will, but do it because they are under pressure. Most times the students may have taken notes without proper concentration thus failed to cite or because they run out of time. These facts make them incompetent in what they do. The students combine authors' ideas with their own ideas and make them look as though it was their own ideas alone. According to Posner in his book, he notes that students have the tendency of buying and copying the works of other students and forwarding it as their own, which is plagiarism (Posner, 2007).
Students in the institute of higher learning plagiarize for different reasons. These include the following:
First, a number of students take pleasure in cheating when they realize they have no time yet they need better grades. Others lack writing skills, which make them steal other students work. Some students pay different people to write essays on their behalf (Wilhoit, 2006). On the other hand, some students copy other students work and make it better that it seems as though it was their own. Students find it difficult to master most of the techniques that the tutors teach and find their way out by cheating.
The minority of students enrolled in the higher learning institution hardly understanding plagiarism. Students are ignorant about the rules of writing after their research work. Few students are aware that once they quote another person's ideas they should attribute them to the original author. They should not copy and paste word for word but they should paraphrase and fail to cite. Students joining higher learning institutions have no idea about plagiarism, in facts some have never heard the word itself. Those students who have heard of plagiarism have no idea about the rules of quotation and paraphrasing someone's ideas or the consequences of not following the said rules.
Other students cheat for lack of clear instruction. Students in high school are taught to do research and then copy word for word in the textbooks and other sources that they use. They carry on with the same methods without knowing that those principles are not the same in the institute of higher learning. There are no instructions on how students should do their research, therefore, they do it their way and write without a slight idea of the expectation. Additionally, some students never understand their tutors' instructions about plagiarism. They write according to their own understanding based on the rules set aside by the teachers.
Students when they fail to take proper note and ignore quotation of other people's work will eventually fall into plagiarism. This is because they may use their notes in writing the essay and will not quote on the words of other people. In the efforts of these students trying to at their best as influenced by their course mate they plagiarize their work. The pressure of doing their best to be at the same level with their core students becomes much for them to bear and at the same time avoid plagiarism (Wilhoit, 2006). The students do not want to perform poorly since they may lose their friends. Therefore, they will do all that it takes to catch up. Some students go to the extent of writing essay for other students because they are faced with social problems. They do this to keep friendship without knowing it constitute to plagiarism.
Students' perceptions of plagiarism as much as they plagiarize differ from one student to another. The perceptions of students vary as most of them perceive plagiarism the same as cheating, but few consider it completely different. Some students point of view plagiarism as different from cheating. They are reluctant to report plagiarism and cheating. In fact, students do not understand what cheating and plagiarism entail. The fact that most of the students do not understand plagiarize properly has led to an increase in the number of cases reported. Students felt that if they source for materials and pass it forward as their own it ceases to be the other person's ideas. They feel that it is out of capability in showing their intellectuality and capability to display this information (Crown & Spiller, 1998). Once they paraphrase the ideas of other people, they have not plagiarized even if they did not do the citation.
In most cases when students are told that they have plagiarized, they feel that it is unjustified. Denial syndrome makes students repeat the same mistakes over again. They perceive plagiarism as something extremely far away, from what they do. Students misunderstand plagiarism. They fell that analyzing another person's ideas does not constitute to plagiarism (Crown & Spiller, 1998). Doing something without the intention according to the students does not constitute to plagiarism. Students want to take the less stressing way forward towards completing their assignments and writing their essays. If plagiarizing is the easiest way to do it they care less since they feel that they will never get caught. Some are lazy and find cheating as the best option of getting what they want. Their perception about the whole idea is that they will not be discovered.
The pressures of units' expectation and the facts that they are not able to understand the expectation, they cheat. The main aim of students at such a point is to get the best grades without being concerned with how they attain them. Time available for them to complete their essay and the penalty of late delivery imparts a lot of pressure on them that they ignore the rules of plagiarism. They comfort themselves that it is acceptable to schools but not in the actual living. The students pay other people with better knowledge of what is expected to do the work for them so that they can catch up with the bright students. Their aim at this point is to get the best in the perception that they will not be caught.
On the other side, most of the students understand plagiarism and the consequences of being caught. Some fear being caught but do it at some point in their study with the hop they will not be caught. Students understand that they can do the assignments themselves and avoid plagiarize. Their fears of penalty after being caught with the case of plagiarism make them follow the requirements to the letter. Their perception is that it is illegal and wrong to plagiarize whether one is caught or not (Crown & Spiller, 1998).
Professors in most of the institute of higher learning ignore plagiarism for many reasons. First, most of the theses written are displayed in the library and the authors are not available to re-defend them. Lack of complains to the professors make them ignore plagiarism that they note. According to Paula, any form of cheating is detectable. It is so surprising that most of the professors ignore this fact (Wasley, 2006). Some professors are busy that they have no time to do plagiarism checkup because they run out of time for making and may be under the pressure of giving the results. They fail to plan their time well that they rush of give other people the students' assignment and exams to mark for them.
At some point, the professors may decide to ignore the students literally. They keep a record of the list of students who plagiarize so that they can act on them if they repeat the tread. This is not an effective method of eradicating the vice since some may not be aware of it. Other students may think that the teacher never discovered them and may repeat the process over again. The professors may think that they will manage on their own not knowing the magnitude that the problem imposes. At times, the professors may ignore just because the student plagiarized a small part or even a phrase.
Most of the professors may be after higher grades in their units and departments. They choose to ignore plagiarism because they know that they were never clear on the instruction to students. They feel that they failed in explaining the expectation of the students as they source for materials and go forth to write their assignments. Some students acknowledge their ignorance over what was expected, which make the professors ignore it. Students may claim that they fell into the problem unknowingly and under clear investigation the professors finds them to be sincere without any knowledge about plagiarism. To some extents, the professors themselves may lack the knowhow. They may fail to understand there was plagiarism or lack the knowledge on how to check for it. They therefore, ignore the whole issue and mark the assignments and exams in their own capability and understanding (Mallon, 2001).
Some professors collaborate with students to ignore any form of cheating and plagiarism. They weigh the evidences presented and if they feel that, there are insufficient evidences they ignore. They take any violation without satisfying proves as mare gossip. The professors may also side with the student party. They acknowledge either sanction on academic policy or any honesty (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevi Ëœ no, 2003). This only happens to few dishonest professors who on the other side have no morals. The professors who do these have no good discipline on their side and are not after nurturing their students.
The processes of handling plagiarism from detection, reporting, and dealing with the students is so tiring and cumbersome. The professors may decide to ignore to avoid the process. On the other side, the professor may have realized that the student did not do it knowingly and decide to ignore the whole issue bearing in mind the consequences that may befall the students. Sometimes the sanction that a student is given may affect the career option of the student. This may be harsh on the student. Therefore, the professor may choose to ignore it since the student may have done a minor mistake.
How to help students for them to avoid plagiarism
Students need a lot of help for them to avoid plagiarism and cheating. The first step in helping students is in recognizing that plagiarism is there and it is a problem. Plagiarism is broad and needs a lot of concentration to help students avoid it. Teachers should be patient with the students, understand that with time they will be competent, and learn all that is needed to avoid plagiarism (DeSena, 2007). Teachers should define plagiarism clearly and discuss what constitute to plagiarism in their departments. On the other side, instructions about plagiarism should be provided any time the students are assigned essay. The rules should be provided continuously as this will help the students in mastering what is expected of them and avoid the problem of plagiarism at the end of it all (Vicinus, & Eisner, 2008).
Students should be taught various forms that constitute to plagiarism. Knowing what makes an essay plagiarized and how to avoid it will help them greatly. Tutors can revise plagiarized essays with the students and highlight those areas. This though kind of cumbersome to most of the tutors may be of great imparts and helps. They can also teach the students on proper skills in taking their notes and doing revisions. Let the students understand how they should paraphrase and quote them when taking note as a way of avoiding plagiarism (Vicinus, & Eisner, 2008).
Students should be encouraged to draft their essay and do revision before writing their final work. Skills in proof reading should be taught in prior to assigning the essay work. This measure will help them avoid plagiarism. Students should start working their essay the moment they are assigned to avoid running out of time. This is because once they realize they have a short time to work on them they tend to cheat. Students should be taught proper time management as a virtue and be encouraged to have it (Vicinus, & Eisner, 2008)). They should know how to balance their studies and their social life even when they are overcome by challenges. This help in ensuring that no social challenge affect their concentration and performance in their studies.
In conclusion, ethics and morality play a major role. Students feel that at no point will the original author come forward to claim over of his research. Copying the ideas of another person to them does not matter since the owner will never know. They feel that the issues of plagiarism only apply to real life, for example, copying someone music and duplicating it or rewriting another person's book. Those who understand it have no clear understanding of its rules and regulation on the application. Additionally, instructors need to understand what gives their students a problem in writing. Those students who admit to having plagiarized should be helped to avoid it rather than face harsh punishments and penalties. Understanding students and working hand in hand with them would greatly help in reducing cases of plagiarism.
It is very important for students to be discouraged to do plagiarism. This is because the integrity of a student who plagiarizes is affected and the quality of the institution production is affected on the other side. All the stakeholders in the institute of higher learning should join hands in eradicating the problem. Students should give their teachers a chance that they may be corrected and teachers should be willing to help the students solve their problems. There should be a clear understanding between teachers and students.