Causes And Effects Of Plagiarism In Universities English Language Essay

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Problem of students plagiarism is one of the biggest hot issue in the field of our education and is becoming extensive for student around the world,especially the university student. Do you really understand the meaning of plagiarism? The word "plagiarism" is derived from the Latin phrase "plagiarius" which means kidnapper, thief, and plunderer. (Anna Michalska) And according to The Oxford advanced learner's dictionary (6th edition) 2000, "To copy another person's words or work and pretend that they are your own." I through the meaning looks like similar. It means to copy others' ideas without any referencing; even a lot of college students use others' ideas with the behaviours of just pasting. Many teacher and exporter hold the different points about academic cheating and debate the reasons for it.

But in my opinion, Plagiarism is a wrong behaviour because it is unfair to the writer of the original passage, who really deserves the credit for the words and ideas; what's more, it is unfair to the students themselves because it is helpless for me to learn in my university.



Plagiarism is a very serious issue which hits the education a lot, especially the university education. As the internet appears, the students have a lot of ways to get in touch with more information than ever before. And with the popularity of the Internet and the network resources is becoming richer, people's work, life, entertainment become great convenience, but it also has caused a series of negative effects, such as the increasingly serious phenomenon of plagiarism. Although it is convenient for the students to copy and paste material into their assignments or reports and submits it for grading as their original work, it is really a big impact on both the education and the students themselves. The academic plagiarism is one of the hottest topics in the current academic circle and public opinion. Academic plagiarism involves a wide range of contents, some of which directly relate to intellectual property infringement, particularly in the area of academic plagiarism. From the perspective of copyright law, academic plagiarism poses the hallmark of non-originality. Identification of academic plagiarism can be mastered from the prerequisite and substantial condition as well. The regulation of academic plagiarism shall be centred on the upgrading of legal system, and make the social atmosphere ashamed for academic plagiarism.

In recent years, the plagiarism of academic paper has been found repeatedly, especially in the universities among the students and the teachers, which brought a serious influence to the society and the individuals. In order to prevent illegal copy of information resources and protect intellectual property, more and more countries has devote to the development of anti-plagiarism technology and have obtained some achievements, great curb plagiarism phenomenon happening. Rimer(2003) pointed out that in his investigation, 38% of participants said they had plagiarized from the Internet. Students who are doing plagiarism will lose enthusiasm of creation. They can hardly find a favourable position in the near future in the more competitive market duet to their lack of originality. What's more, plagiarism will definitely hurt the originality-makers because it directly steals the originality-makers' words and opinions. This kind of activity will lead to the decline of the creativity of this society.

There are some reasons why students plagiarize. First, when the students were at school, cause of laziness or convenience makes them choose to plagiarize. Second, under the examination-oriented education system, the pressure to get a good score causes the students to plagiarize so as to improve their papers.


The test of plagiarism is whether you give a reasonable impression to an ordinary reader that the work is your own. Generally speaking, Turnitin report is the most important way to check and test the plagiarism. Turnitin report is a proper and scientific way to detect plagiarism. As a lot of researches have pointed out, recent years, Turnitin has gained so much attention as more and more institutions use it so as to combat plagiarism. And the Turnitin reports on the findings from a trial of Turnitin plagiarism detection software will show the resources where the students copy and paste. Therefore, to some extent, it is very scientific and proper software to combat the behaviour of copying. And the level of plagiarism highlighted by the Turnitin report can reflect the level of the essays to plagiarize.



A lot of causes suggested as aspects impacting student misconduct activity are student age, gender, academic level and course difficulty, and cultural background (Culwin, 2006). Cole, S. and D. Conklin (1996) and other academics have pointed out the consequences of plagiarism. For the university students, one of the most important skills students should form and develop in the university is the ability to manage their own independent researches. Having accumulated fundamental knowledge, students should develop themselves into thinking and inquiring people having the ability of developing their own judgments and explaining their original thoughts and opinions, both in the daily assignments and graduation dissertations. However, as we can see from the university students, laziness and the indifference of the students often appear in their researching. For the university students, the university life is the most creative time for the student to develop their own knowledge and deception cheating could be a serious stain on one's moral integrity(McCabe, D. 2003).

So the subjective reasons of plagiarism are because of the students who did such kind of behaviours deliberately. After they enter the university, they feel a little lazy and they may not like to write their own assignment. Sometimes the feel the assignments are not important al all, especially the assignments of the optional courses. It may result in the consequences of plagiarism. The results are more serious than those plagiarists could think about. First of all, their personal credibility is completely destroyed. For another thing, without effective research experiences, one is unlikely to acquire depth of analyses or originality of insights, both of which are indispensible to one's career development, whether in corporate, government or academic organizations. Ultimately, the plagiarists themselves are to suffer. Meanwhile, a lot of measures could be made use of. Students need to enhance their moral principles and standards by realizing that plagiarism is not just an academic issue but a critical moral issue. And university authorities need to tighten disciplinary codes to leave no plagiarists unpunished.


So in the former discussion, we can see that plagiarism is the form of misconduct, and it has become a field of increasing worry for all of the academics in high education. Generally speaking, the procedures for the students to write the essays are as follows: (1) Analyze the issues and make sure the terms; (2) Research the topic and set up the points of view; (3) write the plan; (4) Search for the reliable resources and take notes, then organise your ideas; (4) Write the first draft, read it through and make changes; (5) Redraft the essays. But as we can see, we mentioned that a lot of students do not know the process of writing.

It is my belief that first , the topic should be researched with the academic thoughts on the basis of the internet, the academic databases, and the library. From the process of preparing the paper, the students should take notes and immerse myself in the words of great thinkers. As the students have a good knowledge base, the students I start analyzing the arguments of the essays the students have read. Clearly define the claims, write out the reasons, the evidence. Look for weaknesses of logic, and also strengths. Learning how to write an essay begins by learning how to analyze essays written by others.

Organizing and gathering the information of a paper is one of the most important parts for the process of writing the essay. Whether it's personal observations or scientific facts, the students take notes to keep the evidence to back up my thesis statement and keep track of which facts come from which sources. As the writers research the topic, sometimes they may be a little careless about facts and claims that seem to disprove my thesis statement. It is a bad habit for the referencing.

To be specific, when the students were doing this assignment, they may find that I have made some mistakes in the referencing and they do not know the basic process of writing, first, when the students were taking notes, sometimes they did not take all of the resources; second, after they completed the essay, they did not check the references and bibliography. They are the mistakes the students have made in referencing.


For the plagiarism problems in the universities, we can see that there are a lot of people who have made such kind of mistakes, both the university students and the university teachers. As the academy has developed, teachers seldom make such kind of mistakes, but for a lot of reasons, university students often plagiarize.

As discussed above, students' plagiarism happen in different forms, including incorrect citation and totally stealing someone else's achievements. Plagiarism also takes place from different sources. These sources consist of journals, books, the Internet, newspapers, and so on. Meanwhile, there are a lot of reasons why it is necessary for the universities to combat plagiarism among students. Plagiarism impacts not only the individual students but also the integrity of the universities and the quality of the creations. Therefore, it is important that each university crack down on this problem for its own sake and for the sake of the students. Also, apart from imparting academic knowledge to students, universities and colleges have a responsibility to impart moral and ethical values to students. Plagiarism is morally wrong; therefore, students should be discouraged from engaging in it. Alschuler and Blimling (1995) say that if plagiarism is not eliminated, then the problem is not with the individual students who commit the offence, but with institutions that support it. McCabe (1999) has ever pointed that the students should have the ideas that plagiarism is wrong and they should avoid it. It is important for all of the universities to pay special attention to the importance of this problem to students and address it (Wilson, 1999). Academic integrity should be a responsibility of all the stakeholders in education (Cole & Conklin, 1996).

First, the effect of plagiarism in universities is serious in the academic field and in their studying period. Plagiarism is a problem which broke the academic morality. Academic morality is to maintain the normal academic activities, and promoting the healthy development of academic career guarantee. The scholars must follow the academic ethics in scientific research activities, this involves academia image and dignity, involves the good development of scientific career'. So if the students and teachers in the universities get in touch with plagiarism. Meanwhile, the aim of University education is to foster the students' originality, the independent thinking and analysis, the power to express and convey your own ideas. So for the university students, if they choose to plagiarize, they choose to break the aim of the university education. Students who are doing plagiarism will lose enthusiasm of creation. They can hardly find a favorable position in the near future in the more competitive market duet to their lack of originality. What's more, Plagiarism will definitely hurt the originality-makers. This kind of activity will lead to the decline of the creativity of this society. Therefore, For one thing, it is essential that corresponding regulations be worked out and enforced to ban this issue. For another, the students should enhance their awareness of the importance of honesty. What's more, the faithful academic attitude should be promoted on campus. With the measures taken, it is reasonable for us to believe that the problem will be solved in the near future.

Second, the effect of plagiarism in universities is serious for the university students, especially for their development in the future. Plagiarism is prevalent today, particularly in the universities, with the development of Internet; it's becoming easier to copy sources of other's. Plagiarism is wrong because it is unfair to the student himself, who is not learning much when he or she just copies another person's writing. But sometimes, the reorganization of "plagiarism" is not so clear.

In the universities, when the students were at school, cause of laziness or convenience, especially the pressure from parents, they must to get a high grade in the exam, so the shortcut was to plagiarize. Meanwhile, plagiarism can lead to a loss of integrity. Beyond that, plagiarism may cause a student to fail an assignment or course---or even suffer expulsion or the revocation of a degree. Students are in the competitive environment with each other for positions at the next level---college, graduate school or career. Plagiarists who are not found have an unfair advantage over their honest students.


As the paper has analyzed, the causes and problem of plagiarism is introduced, and the effects of the plagiarism are very serious. The standards for the plagiarism are very different from each, especially among different universities. For the students and the teachers, they should know the standard of the plagiarism, and take measures in order to avoid this problem, such as mentioning the way for referencing and the note-taking skills. So for the seriousness of the plagiarism, a lot of measures should be taken to avoid this issue. For one thing, it is essential that corresponding regulations be worked out and enforced to ban this issue, now, a lot of universities use the software to check the plagiarism, and if the plagiarism occurs, the students may be punished. For another, the students should enhance their awareness of the importance of honesty. What's more, the faithful academic attitude should be promoted on campus. With these measures taken, it is reasonable for us to believe that the problem will be solved in the near future.

References list:

Alschuler, A. S. & Blimling, G. S. (1995). Curbing epidemic cheating through systemic change. College Teaching, 43 (4), 123-126.

Anna Michalska, (??),Student Plagiarism and National Differences across Europe

Cole, S. and D. Conklin (1996). Academic integrity policies and procedures: Opportunities to teach students about moral leadership and personal ethics. The College Student Affairs Journal, 15 (2), 30-39.

Culwin, F. (2006). An active introduction to academic misconduct and the measured demographics of misconduct. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 31(2), 167-182.

McCabe, D. (2003). Academic dishonesty survey study. Unpublished study, Rutgers University.

Rimer, S. (2003, September 3). A Campus fad that's being copied: Internet plagiarism. The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2007,from

Wilson, R. (1999, October 15). Colleges urged to better define academic integrity and to stress its importance. Chronicle of Higher Education, A 18.