Plagiarism and Cheating

Of all forms of cheating and academic dishonesty committed by students,
plagiarism is the most prevalent form in educational institutions.
Plagiarism is a serious problem for higher education institutions to
solve in the current digital age. It is an academic deceit committed by
several students either aware or unaware of the guiding academic
ethics. The act of plagiarism is a type of academic treason since it
undermines the integrity of the whole academic community. This is
because plagiarism presents several unanswerable questions to professors
who are responsible for maintaining academic standards. In addition to
the problem of plagiarism, professors have to tackle other challenging
forms of cheating by students.
There is an increase in cheating among students by using variety of
methods as advanced by developments in technology. The situation of
cheating, non-originality and plagiarism is further aggravated by the
developments in the internet with hundreds of direct academic assistance
providers. The current situation of is not only affecting the academic
standards but also the quality of educational grades that the cheating
students attain. They qualify with educational levels that they are not
exactly worth to attain as since their educational presentations were
achieved through the vice. The authors at the chapter under review have
analyzed the situation and have illustrated a range of tactics to tackle
the problem particularly plagiarism in the wake of the advancements
cheating methods.
Discouraging Plagiarism and Cheating
The use of some of the tactics presented by some authors would be
successful in discouraging plagiarism among students at all levels. The
use Turnitin.com as a tool for detecting plagiarism as suggested by
Julie Rawe is a tactic that can bear fruits over the cheats (Rawe 624).
It is a globally recognizable online tool that not only detects
plagiarism but also directs the detection process to the source of the
plagiarized content (Lathrop and Foss 49). Through the use of
Turnitin.com, several colleges and universities have been able to get
papers that are originally written. Moreover, Turnitin.com provides
tools for detecting plagiarism and guarantees educational institutions
of reliable detection.
However, some students get their papers done by online academic experts
and then present the papers to the professors through any method such as
Turnitin.com. Therefore, the adoption of Turnitin.com becomes a tool too
blunt to curb the problem of cheating by students at all levels of
study. It is one challenge to curb plagiarism in the content of the
papers being presented by students but it is even a tougher challenge to
ensure that the papers are done by the students. It is possible to
ensure that the papers presented to professors and lectures all over the
world are original by evaluating the paper that is presented. However,
it is almost an elusive fight to ensure that the original paper that was
presented was done by the student turning it to the professor.
The success of avoiding plagiarism is just a small tip of the big
iceberg of curbing the cheating by students. Rawe (623) indicates that
there are hundreds of websites offering paper writing service to
thousands of students through online ordering platforms. It is further
aggravated that these sites present unavoidable pay packages that even
includes full money back guarantee (Rawe 623). In case the recipients
have problems with the papers sold to them at very affordable rates,
they are offered re-writing services until the professor’s demands are
addressed. The use of these sites to seek assistance by lazy and cunning
students is what makes the challenge of curbing cheating by students a
big mountain for educational institutions to climb.
These service providers offer professionally written papers that cannot
be detected by the professors or even turning tools such as the one
provided by Turnitin.com. This doe not only make it challenge for
lectures to curb plagiarism, but also an equally bigger challenge for
the educational institutions to evaluate the quality of students and
academic delivery being experienced at the class level. This is because
the quality of academic levels in an educational institution is
evaluated by the examination of grades and quality of academic content
provided by its students. With the current trend of cheating and the
advancement in the methods used by students to achieve their grades in
synthetic methods, the future of academia is under threat of domination
by the multi-dollar academic help industry.
McCabe Donald presents a true picture of the problem of cheating in the
relation to the happenings of the larger community. It is highly
probable that the culture of cheating way out in high school and in
higher educational institution is linked to the practice of cheating way
out by dishonest members of the community (Lathrop and Foss 49). It is
possible that lazy students have learnt how to find the shortest and
easy way out of academic situations from the older lazy members of the
community sometimes even their parents. Therefore, lazy students do not
feel guilty when using all the available dishonest methods of cheating
to get higher grades.
In addition, the culture of cheating in the academics world may be
motivated by the encouragement that students find from dishonest
community members. They do not get the forces to deter them from the
cheating and plagiarism practice. It is worth noting that many of the
parents of these students have the knowledge of the practice but do not
take the right action of deterrence. Moreover, many tutors, lectures and
professors have knowledge of the practice but end up giving the
suspected students the benefits of the doubt (McCabe 628).
The practice of plagiarism and cheating in schools is rampant because
the perpetrators are well supported by the community to do so. The
hiring of online writing websites is also facilitated by the parents and
guardians of these students since they finance them to pay the costly
online service. Without such financial support, these students cannot be
able to pay for the services or even engage the services of academic
helpers. It is worth notable that many of these students even get the
support of parents and legal counsel to stand up a case against the
measures set to curb plagiarism. Rawe (624) discusses a case where
students in Virginia, at a high school in Mclean suing the plagiarism
detection website Turnitin.com which ironically serves educational
institutions.
Proposed effective Methods
The problem of plagiarism and cheating in all educational institutions
has been fought at all angles with little success. This elusiveness can
be evaluated by contemplating on a few issues that are critical in
understanding the academic vice. For instance how do the professors
make a decision between a good student and a bad one? How will they
evaluate a student for an academic rank? How will they grant promotion
to a faculty member? If not on the basis of academic belief that their
presented work is truly their own personal work, then on what basis?
One of the most effective ways of dealing with plagiarism would be to
avoid placing students into situations that they have plagiarism as the
shortest route to success. It is advisable that professors engage
students in practical evaluation tasks and tests other than theoretical
papers. This is because practical tests and simulations as well as
in-class course works do not require voluminous presentations of paper
work. It is worth noting that the orientation of evaluations towards
practical class work involves the student more and reflects their exact
academic capability.
Research studies and data illustrated by the authors in the chapter
indicate that cheating by students is much more prominent and is
today’s prime problem in the field of academic writing. In the last
few years, majority of students rely on the advancement of technology
and accessibility of online resources to complete their academic
obligations (Devlin 2). Other than critically thinking and scrutinize
the subject material to get academic conclusions they rely on online
educational resources and use them wrongly as plagiarism (Lathrop and
Foss 194). This means that more practical tests would be an effective
tactic in fighting the academic vice by students and high-tech
professional helpers.
In addition, students should be trained on academic ethics and the
effects of plagiarism as part of instilling a culture of honesty in
school (Lathrop and Foss 9). They should also be informed of the risks
that perpetrators of the vice will have and the consequences that will
befall those who will be caught plagiarizing. This way, they will have
personal task of avoiding the practice. Majority of the students
practice plagiarism deliberately, but a few of them follow the practice
unintentionally in their paraphrasing and summarizing. Either way,
plagiarism is a non-ethical and punishable act. Sometimes due to the
lack of proper knowledge about plagiarism, even students themselves
might be plagiarized (Devlin 2). Therefore, there should be clear debate
about the meaning and circumstances for plagiarism in different
conditions when analyzing an academic content.
Finally, the most ignored method is the inclusion of penalties against
plagiarism at all education levels of education and not only in higher
education. When students are punished severely for plagiarism and
cheating while in low academic levels, they will develop a culture of
avoiding plagiarism. This culture will develop as they continue with
their education up the academic ladder to higher education institutions.
It is worth noting that various studies indicate that plagiarism and
other academic frauds are increasing among higher education students.
This makes the problem of plagiarism as an epidemic that has infected
universities all over the world’s higher academic institutions (Devlin
3).
Conclusion
Cheating by students in educational institutions is developing into new
methods with the advancements in technology. Of these methods,
plagiarism remains one of the most committed academic sins that prevail
in all academic levels. As a vice, plagiarism is being fought by all
educational institutions in a fight that seems elusive. This is due to
the professionalization of academic cheating into a lucrative online
industry of academic writing services. Through the services, students
find solace to the practice that leaves them totally undetected even by
the most sophisticated tools. Tactics used against plagiarism have
succeeded but are not promising to end the vice. However, change of tact
from theory-based voluminous tests into practical course work
evaluations might be the best shot at ending the academic vice.
Works Cited
Delvin, Bowden.  Coming to Terms. The English Journal, Vol. 85, No. 4,
Literary Festival (Apr.
1996), pp. 82-84. National Council of Teachers of English, 1996. Print
Lathrop, Ann and Foss, Kathleen. Guiding Students from Cheating and
Plagiarism to Honesty
and Integrity: Strategies for Change. California: Libraries Unlimited
Inc, 2005. Print
McCabe, Donald. It takes a village: Academic dishonesty and educational
opportunity. Elements
of Argument, A text and Reader. Ed. Rotenberg, Annette and Winchell,
Donna. Boston: Bedfrd/ St. Martins. Print
Rawe, Julie. Battling Term-Paper Cheats’ Elements of Argument, A text
and Reader. Ed.
Rotenberg, Annette and Winchell, Donna. Boston: Bedfrd/ St. Martins.
Print
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