The Act Of Plagiarism At The University Education Essay

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The report was commissioned to examine the strategy for plagiarism prevention at the university. It also investigates different kinds of plagiarism and possible penalties for committing this literary theft. Methods of analysis include personal observations and data from various competent sources. The research draws attention to many facts regarding the act of plagiarism. Firstly, nearly 40 percent of students have admitted to plagiarize while working on their assignments at the university. Secondly, 50 percent of the student do not know how to use citation correctly. Thirdly, News and World Reports found that 90% of students claim that students who commit the act of plagiarism are never caught. Generally, reports find that the act of plagiarism is very common among students at the university.

Further investigations reveal that there various types of behaviors that constitute the plagiarism such as:

Complete plagiarism

Near-complete plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism



The plagiarism may occur in a situation when work is not citied and when it is citied wrongly. Therefore, research shows that there are two kinds of plagiarism such as intentional and unintentional plagiarizing.

In the event of plagiarizing, students are liable for academic penalties. Consequences of the literacy theft is usually stated by the university officials. It is dependent on the level of plagiarism. In the first place plagiarised work is referred to course leader & internal examiner. Secondly, it is referred to Secretary of the department

In most cases students may be penalized that means getting the lower or failing mark for their assignment. Apart from this, they may be asked for re-submitting another piece of working. When it comes to more serious situations, student may be either fail the course or expelled from school. Note on the student's file is always done.

It is recommended:

That students use of programs such as Turnitin and Ithenticate in order to detect plagiarism. The second program is also used for IP Detection and document-to-document comparison.

That university should organize regular workshops on study-skills.

That the faculty books concerning plagiarism should be provided.

That work is always appropriately citied and acknowledged, regarding in-text citation and bibliography.

That students should be aware of two referencing styles while writing their academic assignments such as Harvard and Vancouver.

These suggestions should be taken into consideration by the members of the university and all of the rules and regulations should not be ignored by the students.


As requested I am submitting the report concerning the prevention of plagiarism among students at an university. The purpose of this report is to identify the variety of behaviors that constitute plagiarism. This report also outlines the relevant details concerning the possible penalties in the event of plagiarism. Finally, possible recommendations in order to avoid plagiary among students at an institution of higher education are presented.

This report is based on my observations and the feedback from other students studying at the university. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students were asked. Apart from this, the evidence has been taken from recently updated sources concerning latest trends in plagiarism. The problems with citation and proper acknowledging sources among students have also been taken into consideration.

Findings regarding plagiarism

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "plagiarism is the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as one's own. The fraudulence is closely related to forgery and piracy-practices generally in violation of copyright laws."

Another source defines plagiarism "as the presentation of another person's thoughts or words or artifacts or software as though they were a student's own."

Source: Policy on Plagiarism at: [Accessed 23 August 2007]

The phenomenon of committing literary theft popularly known as plagiarizing is very commonplace among undergraduates and postgraduates. This is probably due to the fact that students have an easy access to the wide variety of sources and they are not taught too properly cite their sources at school.

Reports in the media indicated the increase of plagiarism cases in higher education. According to a study by the Center for Academic Integrity it was found that almost 80 % of university students admit to cheating at least once.

The New York Times(Rimer, 2003, September 3) reported on a study by Donald McCabe, the professors at Rutgers University, that 38 % of undergraduate students have admitted to plagiarizing written material. Therefore, half of them are not aware of the fact that they had committed a crime of plagiarizing. Lenore T. Szuchman

A poll conducted by US News and World Reports found that 90% of students believe that cheaters are either never caught or have never been appropriately disciplined. Besides that, tutors are usually aware of the problem but they are incapable to cease it.

It is illustrated by the fact that nearly 50 % do not know how to cite the sources correctly. There were also complaints that they are not informed properly about the two main standards system for citing sources.

Types of plagiarism

The research indicated that there is a huge variety of behaviors that constitute plagiarism. Plagiarism can be intentional or intentional. Intentional plagiarism occurs when the student finds it hard to plan their work and….

Consideration should be also given to such issues as the sources that are not cited and to the ones that are cited but it was done incorrectly.

The most basic form of plagiarism is copying another student's work word for word, and representing it as one's own original work. This is known as a complete plagiarism. Furthermore, copying major sections of text straight from a single source, without alterations is also perceived as a literary theft and it is called a near-complete plagiary. Having said that, both these types of plagiarism are equally illegal and immoral.

Patchwork plagiarism is the third form of plagiary. Students steal ideas, phrases, sentences and paragraphs from a variety of sources in attempt to create their own piece of writing. It was found that students find it hard to express their own ideas in their own words and in result they submit their assignment that is based on other people's ideas.

On the other hand, the work still can be plagiarized despite citing sources. Bad planning, wrong notes-taking and carelessness in citing sources usually result in failing to distinguish satisfactorily between student's own work and that of others. This kind of plagiarism is called lazy-plagiarism and in most cases it is an unintentional plagiary. A large number of students stated that they fail to place quotation marks around direct quotations or they use footnoting inadequately. Despite mentioning an author's name for a source, specific information on the location of the material referenced is missing. Therefore, the sources are unattainable for the instructor teaching to find them.

As a general rule, unintentional plagiarism may also happen when there is over-reliance on the original source material and lack of understanding when because of misunderstanding about citation and . A lot of students also follow practices accepted in previous educational experiences making the same mistakes and failing to cite the sources rightly.

The majority of university officials pointed out that self-plagiarism is another matter violating academic and plagiarism policies at the university. In the event that student reuses previously written text or data, the ethical of scholarly research is violated because of the tutor assumes that the work was written by the author in an original way, basing on their thoughts. Many students claim that they have not been aware of the problem of self-plagiarism before.

Regardless of the fact that it is strictly forbidden, many students take advantage of agencies offering correction or improvement of English. Furthermore, making use of services that provide help for students, such as 'ghost-writing' agencies, is not allowed as well.

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The consequences

Students that plagiarize are always liable for academic penalties that are usually stated by the faculty member teaching the course. Instructor decide at their own discretion depending upon the circumstances of each case. Generally, it is dependent on the severity of the plagiary. It is worth mentioning that any form of plagiarism, intentional and unintentional, is an offence that demands punitive action.

The university always takes serious action against the act of plagiarism. In the event of minor plagiarizing, the work is referred to Course Leader and the internal examiner. Penalty is usually applied by them. Otherwise, it is taken into investigation by Irregulaties Panells and College Irregulaties Panel. Moreover, the student or his parent or his guardian shall be given a conference with the principal of the university. ( prezentacja)

In accordance with the rules and regulations of the county board, submitting work that is plagiarized will result in lowering a student's grade on an assignment or in a failing grade for the work In spite of getting zero mark for the plagiarized coursework, undergraduate may be asked for re-submitting another piece of work. In case of major plagiarizing, student may fail the entire course or be expelled from the university. Moreover, it is always marked on student file that this particular person committed a literacy theft.

Recommendations and conclusions

Students should be aware of institutional policies regarding plagiarism. In addition to this, all members of the academic community should be responsible for their actions and they should be alert to possible consequences of plagiarizing. Not only should students know how to avoid conventional plagiarism but also they should develop their writing and researching skills. Under no circumstances should they ignore these rules.

University should take immediate actions in order to decrease intentional and unintentional plagiarism. One measure which may improve the situation would be to introduce plagiarism prevention techniques into the courses. Process of locating instances of plagiarism with a document should be implemented. Firstly, it would be mutually advantageous to use professional programs to detect plagiarism. One of such programs called Turnitin aims at helping students and educators to decrease the act of plagiarism. It serves as effective tool in detecting whether the literary theft is committed, sending feedback to the user. (link) Another program called iThenticate works in a similar way as TurnitIn, however it also provides users with

Secondly, the vast majority of students should be encouraged to attend the regular workshops on study-skills organized by the university. The information about the consequences regarding plagiarism should be provided in the faculty handbooks and should be issued to all students.

It is advisable to always acknowledge other's work. It includes giving credit to data, using quotation marks and adequate citation. Even though students cite the sources to make a minor points, they have to consider using parenthetical references, footnotes, or endnotes.

When paraphrasing, there are some issues that must be addressed. Students should always remember about using their own words. It is also possible to quote from the sources providing quotation marks and citations are always used. I am of the opinion that both undergraduate and postgraduates students should read through the whole paragraph first and then writing paraphrase, without crediting the ideas conveyed in the paraphrased sections. It is advisable to correctly cite your sources. Correct citation allows reader to trace the sources and it shows the breadth of research.

What is more, students are allowed to use Internet sources on the condition that they are able to transform the material into something on their own, without 'cutting and pasting' activity. However, online material is a particular hazard and can cause a particular hazard. "Online articles are the property of the individual or organization that publishes it and is protected by copyright in the same way that printed material is."

"Serious academic treaties are almost always built on the work of preceding scholars, with credit duly given to the earlier work." ( making sense)

I suggest that the problem of the plagiarism among students can be addressed through coaching students about references and citations There are two main standard system for citing sources correctly such as Harvard and Vancouver . Harvard System is known as the 'author and date' system . Vancouver System is known as the numeric or the 'footnote/endnote' system; "references are numbered consecutively in the order in they are first cited in the text."

It is also recommendable that students paraphrase their work on the condition that they mention the source. In the event of group project, individuals are allowed to use the same data but they have to provide tutor with their own conclusions derived from them in order to show their breadth of research and

If these steps were taken into consideration, it would undoubtedly result in prevention of unintentional and intentional plagiarism.