Unfair Practise Can Take On Many Forms English Language Essay

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An act through which a person may obtain for themselves or for another person, an unpermitted advantage or a higher mark or grade than the abilities of an individual are known as Unfair Practices. Unfair practise can take one or more forms, some of which are listed below:-

Plagiarism - The presentation of work carried out by another person without citations or credits to acknowledge the original source and submitting the same as work done by you is known as Plagiarism. It is the copying of someone else's work or borrowing of someone else's original ideas. Plagiarism is the stealing and passing off ideas developed by someone else without crediting the original source and representing the work as one's own. It is the act of academic fraud and it involves stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterwards (Suarez and Martin, 2001).

Majority of the cases of plagiarism are due to improper citations of the original source and can be avoided by giving proper citations. A simple acknowledgement stating that the material has been borrowed and providing the information necessary to find the original source are usually the best practices to avoid Plagiarism. Some of the common types of plagiarism that are committed by students are:-

' When a student submits paper of another student without any proper knowledge of that student (Hinchliffe, 1998).

' When information is copied from some other source and the original source has not been citied and documented (Hinchliffe, 1998).

' Purchase of a paper from friends, peers or research service (Hinchliffe, 1998).

' When a paper is downloaded from the web and is submitted by the student as a work carried out by them (Hinchliffe, 1998).

Collusion ' Another form of unfair practise in the academic world is Collusion which takes place when work that has been undertaken by a group of people and is submitted and passed off as the work carried out by one person. When collusion is done with the knowledge of all the parties involved, they all can be considered at fault.

Other forms of unfair practices include self-plagiarism which is the reproduction and presentation for assessment of work that has already been submitted before for another assessment. Examination misconduct which involves introduction of any unauthorised source of information into examination, copying or cheating during the examination or using electronic modes of communication with other during the examination is also an unfair practise adopted by students.

The concept of plagiarism is difficult to define as it constitutes a variety of actions ranging from in correction in citation of the original source or to the theft of all of the work carried by someone else. There are several reasons for plagiarism which are complex in nature and impact students. Plagiarism and other unfair practices such as collation, self-plagiarism, etc are a problem for international students due to a number of reasons. Plagiarism is high amongst international students who are non-native speakers and are best in English as their second language (Luzio-Lockett, 1998; Park, 2003). As cited by Park (2003), Western Academic Institutes describe international students as 'persistent plagiarisers' (Park 2003, P480).

There are two different categories of students who do plagiarised work. Students from the first category deliberately copy material and submit plagiarised work whereas there are some students who end up in plagiarism due to lacking of knowledge about plagiarism and due to inadequate referencing skills (Hammond 2002).

Reasons for Plagiarism in International Students

Some common reasons for why international students face the problem of plagiarism are listed below:-

1. New Concept ' Students from many international countries are not aware about the concept of plagiarism since it might have not been followed in the country where they belong to. Students take time to understand this new concept and how to avoid plagiarism.

2. Teaching methods ' Students who come from overseas to study in a different country often are not clear about the study methods that are being followed in that country. Some students take time to develop the skills required to match the study patterns of the country and end up in plagiarised work since they are unclear on the methods they need to follow to avoid plagiarism.

3. Lack of knowledge to interpret their thoughts into words also constitutes as one of the reason for plagiarism among international students. Also, new culture and lack of understanding of the local language of the country also causes student to commit plagiarism.

4. International students come from different backgrounds, culture and values. They might not be aware these new concepts of studying that are being followed in the new country where they came for study, thus these students end up doing plagiarised work without even knowing about the same.

5. Research Skills ' There are many international students who lack research skills and are not sure on how to search the catalogue in library, searching a database for journal articles or the skills to use other sources of reference available (Alberta University 2001).

6. Lack of analysing internet sources ' There are students who are not aware and lack knowledge on how to evaluate internet sources which can impact the research process and the writing done by the student. Due to inadequate knowledge, students end up writing projects without realising that the internet source they are using is valid or not. Some students also copy all material from the internet the way it is shown which leads to plagiarism (Alberta University 2001).

7. Misunderstanding between plagiarism and paraphrasing ' Studies have proven that there are a large number of students who are confused between plagiarism and paraphrasing text. The main problem arises when these students need to paraphrase the words out of their vocabulary or when they need to paraphrase technical terms. Due to this inability to paraphrase text, students often adopt writing skills that end up in plagiarism and is the root cause of unintentional plagiarism among students (Alberta University 2001).

8. Uncertainty about terminology ' When theses students are confused or uncertain about a particular terminology, they are unable to distinguish between whats wrong or right. This leads to copying the material from someone else, thereby causing plagiarism (Alberta University 2001).

9. Confusion about Citation ' International students lack consistency among the various styles which adds up to the problem students face while citing different sources. This confusion also forms a major reason for plagiarism among international students (Alberta University 2001).

10. Poor language skills and the need to produce high levels of academic work also lead to plagiarism among these students.

International students find it difficult to understand or comprehend the contents of lectures being taught in colleges and universities. The difficulties they face in understanding terminologies specific to a subject, the speed of delivery of lectures and the difficulty to interpret and understand the English language are all different reasons that lead to high levels of plagiarism among the international student population (Roberston et al 2000).

All of the above mentioned reasons are common amongst international students which lead to high level of plagiarism amongst them.

Following are the examples of plagiarised work and the reasons for plagiarism.

1) Since 1945 there has been an underlying assumption that the world's poorer countries are gradually 'developing' towards the western model and that international aid policy should be geared to this end. The success of some Asian countries, notably Japan (which was restructured under US guidance after 1945), lent weight to this thesis. Though the World Bank now divides countries into high, middle ad low income countries, rather than developed and developing countries, the basic premise has remained ' countries afflicted with high levels of poverty, disease and deprivation can improve their standards by adopting western-style institutions and economic management.

This is considered as plagiarised work since the author or the original source has not been cited in the context. Below is the paraphrasing of the above example with proper referencing citing the original source.

As of 1945, it is believed that some of the inferior countries with low income are slowly adopting the culture followed in the developed nations of the world

Source: Buckley, R. (ed.) 'The Global Village: Challenges for a Shrinking Planet' (Understanding Global Issues 98/7) in Slaght, J. & Pallant, A. 2004, English for Academic Study: Writing- Source Book, Garnet Publishing, Reading.


2) You can be a good conversationalist b being a good listener. When you are conversing with someone, pay close attention to the speaker's words while looking at his or her face. Show your interest by smiling and/or nodding. Furthermore, don't interrupt while someone is speaking: it is impolite to do so. If you have a good story, wait until the speaker is finished. Also, watch your body language; it can affect your communication whether you are the speaker or the listener. For instance, don't sit slumped in a chair or make nervous hand and foot movements. Be relaxed and bend your body slightly forward to show interest in the person and the conversation.

Source: University of Portsmouth, 2008, Academic Writing, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth.


Methods to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and this concept often becomes a problem for many of the students. Some of the ways to avoid plagiarism are listed below:-

1. Cite and reference all sources used to study for your assignment (Harris 2004).

2. Mention the source of everything used for writing your assignment (Harris 2004).

3. Mention the quotes in quotation marks as this marks them as not your own words and explains that the material has been copied from someone else (Harris 2004).

4. Paraphrasing helps to avoid plagiarism (Harris 2004).

5. Ask your instructors or lecturers when in doubt (Harris 2004).

6. Complete your assignments on time to avoid last minute plagiarism (Harris 2004).

The problem of plagiarism is considered as a crime in the academic world and students should take extra precautions while writing their assignments and follow the guidelines provided. Plagiarism has been a major problem for majority of the International Students and the main reason is the lack of knowledge on the concept of plagiarism and the ways to avoid the same. Students should understand the concept and adopt simple methods like proper citation, referencing, etc. while writing their assignments which can help them to avoid the problem of plagiarism.