Discuss about the Plagiarism.
Plagiarism is one of the emerging issues the academic world and has proved to be a major problem in many learning institutions. It is an integrity issue. The internet has accelerated the problem. The internet carries so much information and from different sources. Many students rely on the internet to do their assignments (Nguyen 2014). The information gotten from the internet is not always authentic because not all digital articles are duly published. Plagiarism not only compromises the copyrights but also affect the academic abilities of the students because they do not engage in meaningful learning. This reflection will cover three example cases of plagiarism to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem.
Plagiarism case 1: Internet plagiarism stirs University of Virginia
McMurtry (2001) defines plagiarism as academic theft. Literature is stolen, falsified and counterfeited in a manner that can be considered to be piracy or fraud. Ludo et al. (2012), also define plagiarism using others' work without properly acknowledging them and the source.
A senior student at Ohio University, Ms. Allison Routman, was charged with plagiarism. The student wanted to become a team member of the Sea program that is being organized by the University of Virginia. To do that, she went ahead and watched one film about the shipboard life and went a step further to write a paper about it. She did consult the Wikipedia for some historic terminologies. Before submission, her supervisor did ask that each and every student to make a personal and honest confession that they didn't copy the film. She did not know at some point she will be accused of academic dishonesty. Because of the terms that she had used in her article, her supervisor had become suspicious that she might have plagiarized. Even though she tried to argue that she was innocent, her application was declined (Yuliya, D 2017). According to the UVA policy, as argued by her professor, "there is no specific punishment for academic violators; all those involved must be expelled." The student was immediately disembarked from her program just of the accusation concerning the terminologies that she was innocent about. This revelation shades some important point for further discussion before the students are punished. Some plagiarism cases might not be intentional.
Plagiarism case 2: Nine students expelled because of plagiarism at Deakin University
In 2012, nine students of Deakin University from Victoria were expelled for plagiarizing. The statement by the deputy dean, school of Business and Law, Professor Chris Kelly, said that scandal involved 100 students were investigated. There were widespread inconsistencies and irregularities in the group assignment that was assigned to the students. Because of that, the University did a thorough investigation into the conduct which found 30 were found to have the case to answer. The students were subjected to detailed hearing by the Senate and university deans. After the completion of the hearings, it was confirmed that nine students were guilty of the offense. However, the university declined to comment about the outcome of the other 21 students. Kelly commented that academic misconduct was becoming a big challenge affect virtually all universities in the world. He went further to hold that the all those that were involved needed to be observed in the context of all the 14,500 students enrolled in the faculty of business and law. Mr. Owen Wrangle told the BBC that the problem was enhanced by the overseas university students who purchased their essays from dominant online essay websites. The International Educational Association of Australia did accept that it was becoming a challenge to curb the crime in the universities. This is because it was difficult to track the sources where the materials were coming from (Ross, J 2012). The Association went further to highlight that to state the many learning institutions in Australia have invested greatly in terms of time and financial resources in buying plagiarism software and other search engines as well supervisory checking and even in exam marking. Worrying, however, is the fact the tracking has not been the best science to deal with the same and therefore creating little meaningful outcome (Grove, 2014).
Plagiarism case 3: Harvard University
According to Ludo et al. (2012), people share their views, opinions, mind and feelings as well as emotions in distinct ways. In so doing, they have the right to have their ideas and opinions respected and protected from those considered to be lazy persons. It may not necessarily be a crime against the law but act in the academic world. Students present other people's academic work as their own to be awarded a mark and a grade. This form mostly happens when a student copy and paste some parts of an article from different sources to compile their work for submission (Ludo et al. 2012). This kind of behavior is a sign of serious irresponsibility by the student completely on other authors’ work. In addition to this, students also engage in plagiarism by rewriting other people’s work without citing the source. An example of 279 students of Government 1310 in the Harvard University also demonstrates how the evil is highly rooted. Professor Harris lamented the magnitude of the case that was unprecedented. Serious similarities were noticed in all almost all the students’ assignments taking the unit (Rebecca, 2012). After a thorough investigation, it was established that most of the students got a material online and shared among all of them. After the further interrogation, one student who did not want to be named said it was a class collaboration to enable them to pass the unit. In establishing that, the university did give 25 percent mark of the final mark and therefore had to undertake more exams to be confirmed for a pass. The investigation further revealed that the students were given an assignment with one day to submit. However, no single student could figure out what the assignment was all about. After wide deliberations, the student agreed to advise from one of the professors in a renowned American university. The students did go ahead and share the content without changing many of the parts; several areas of the assignments were similar. This confirms that students also engaged in the academic crime because they either have little time to do the assignments or they completely don’t understand what the assignments are about and as such seeking assistance from other academic sources (Nguyen 2014).
Now, having understood this, it is important to point out that plagiarism, by all means, is an "academic virus" that needs to be treated. With that in mind, therefore, one could consider the following to be appropriate measures to deal with the mischief: First and foremost, according to McMurthry (2001), it is important for the professors to plan their assignments on time and give students enough time to do their assignments and provide specific solutions. This is from the planning perspective and cannot ultimately ensure original since there those who will still cheat. From the technical viewpoint, the easiest way to detect and punish the offenders is by using the technology detecting tools (Grove, 2014).
From the analysis, it is important to point out that plagiarism is a serious change facing the academic world today. It is a moral issue because one decides to do it by conscious. Yes, it has noted that there are reasons that induce one to engage in plagiarism but that do not make one break the law and good morals. Plagiarism is more of an ethical as opposed to an academic issue. By fighting the vice from academic perspective alone, it will be a futile exercise. The students need to be positive about learning and the need to understand the best practices that can make one an all-around person.
ReferencesBowdoin 2017, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs: The Common Types of Plagiarism, available at https://www.bowdoin.edu/studentaffairs/academic-honesty/common-types.shtml(accessed on May 2nd, 2017)
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McMurtry, K 2001, E-cheating: Combating a 21st-century challenge. The Journal of Technological Horizons in Education, 29(4), 36.
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TheGuardian 2016, Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto plagiarized thesis for law degree: report, Monday 22 August 2016 21.06 BST, (online), available on https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/22/mexico-president-enrique-pena-nieto-plagiarized-thesis-law-degreeYuliya, D 2017, 3 Examples of Plagiarism in Renowned Universities You Didn’t Know, available online, https://unplag.com/blog/3-examples-of-plagiarism-in-renowned-universities, accessed on 3rd May 2017
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