Plagiarism and Academic Life - Plagiarism Essay Example
In today’s fast paced world, patience is a virtue which is gradually becoming extinct in humans - Plagiarism and Academic Life introduction. Everyone wants their work done with a snap of their fingers, and this has been made possible with the advent of various smart technologies may it be phones, tablet computers or laptops. Cybernation of academic life is every students dream come true. What would be better than to have access to a seemingly unlimited reservoir of resources within a few clicks? It works like magic, where the keyboard or mouse serve as the wand and provide one with the desired results. On the contrary, cybernation of academic resources has given too much control to computers in determining academic success of students of any particular educational institute. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in plagiarism and copyright violations. Plagiarism is using someone’s work and referring it as one’s own by not providing any reference to the author. Copyright is a legal term that is used to safeguard the creator’s work or product from being used by another person without permission by the creator. Non compliance or use without proper referencing can result in legal action against the user. This essay analyses plagiarism (copyright) issues that have been brought along by the cybernation of the academic life. In universities students have to conduct different research projects, complete assignments and coursework. For all this the search engines on the internet such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc provide a plethora of links to information on any topic.
No student wants to go through the hassle of finding information by going to a library, search for the right book, read through it and then use the required data. The ease of finding all the information at one place, sitting in the comfort of one’s home is what has led to the cybernation of academic life. However, with its advantages, one of the greatest drawback of the excess use of the information available online has been plagiarism. Students exploit the liberty to just copy paste information without referencing it and posing it as their own. This is not only morally incorrect but is very unfair because it tampers with the concept of fostering originality and creativity in students and making them scholars. The increasing practice of plagiarism using online resources has made it difficult for teachers to distinguish between an average and a high achiever or for that matter believing that the work written is actually their own work and crediting them on it or awarding academic positions based on it.
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Hexham (2005) in his article on The Plague of Plagiarism: Academic Plagiarism Defined quotes professor Hoke Robinson argument on The Humanist Forum: “A single fraudulent grade could in practice make the difference; a series of them certainly could. In this case some other, presumably honest student who would otherwise have gotten the scholarship, admission or job has been wronged. And the higher the level, the greater the wrong, from the plagiarized intro-course essay to the term paper to a masters and doctoral dissertation. The misrepresentation gets you on the bench, and somewhere in the end, in the dark, somebody falls off. Another wrong that’s seldom noted in cases like this is the wrong to those served by the people who obtained their position through fraud. The professor…who faked his way through school presumably serves his students…less well than the one whose credentials were gained honestly … there is a collateral effect …”1 (The Humanist Forum, message 8/8, 2 April, 1992).
Plagiarism has become rampant in educational institutes and needs to be taken very seriously. A lot of computer softwares have been designed to help teachers and educators detect plagiarized work. However, even by using these softwares, plagiarism cannot be eliminated. Another angle to the situation of the rise of plagiarism issues is of misconception and ignorance. While some students may be plagiarizing intentionally for ease and convenience, others may not have the intent to do so but end up doing it because either they do not have a clear understanding of what plagiarism is or they are unaware of how to correctly reference work. Renard(1999/2000), refers to these people as the ‘unintentional cheater.’2These type of users need to understand that having access to everything on the Internet for free, does not account for providing them with ownership of all the information available. Furthermore all educators need to make their students familiar with the different universally accepted referencing styles such as APA, MLA and Chicago.
The referencing manuals should be made more accessible to all users and compiled in an easy and user-friendly manner. Concluding my essay, I would like to say to tackle this problem educators need to be proactive, they can’t keep on giving the same assignment every year. They need to be more creative in the assignment topics, adding a new element to it every year so that the student cannot plagiarize a senior’s work and has to do some research. Also educators need to encourage students to hand in original work and appreciate them for originality even if it does not meet expectations otherwise. Lastly, all assignments, researches, thesis should be put through plagiarism detecting softwares and dire consequences should be set for any student found guilty.
Hexham, Irving. University of Calgary, “The Plague of Plagiarism: Academic Plagiarism Defined.” Last modified 2005. Accessed September 13, 2013. http://people.ucalgary.ca/~hexham/content/articles/plague-of-plagiarism.html. Renard, Lisa. “Cut and Paste 101: Plagiarism and the Net..”Educational Leadership. no. 4 (1999/2000): 38-42. http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/athena/course/21/21w.784/www/BD Supplementals/Materials/Unit Two/Plagiarism/cut-n-paste ethics.pdf (accessed September 13, 2013).