The essay reviews various causes of plagiarism and the adverse effects that follow from plagiarism. The data relies on the existing literature from sources of University Canada West’s library related to the topic of plagiarism such as the reasons why postgraduate students commit plagiarism as well as its effects on students’ academic careers. The academic research indicates that students will plagiarize when they are under pressure of good grades, lack of excellent academic writing skills, and a fear of failure in assignments. They commit plagiarism – a mistake - contributes to debarring or expelling studying, loss of reputation, and financial issues.
Keywords: plagiarism, reasons for students to plagiarize, causes of piracy, consequences of plagiarism
Title: Causes and Effects of Plagiarism for Students in Tertiary Education
Plagiarism has become a controversial topic in academic aspects in universities. There has been a dramatic growth in plagiarism among university students in the world over a few decades. There are variety of plagiarism including copying parts of information from sources without quotation marks; and paraphrasing texts without citation or stealing articles from another source and using it as their own; submitting contents of authors and claim it as their own; (Park, 2003, as cited in James, Miller, & Wyckoff, 2019). Although some people are taught how to avoid plagiarism, they still plagiarize in their academic research. Numerous reasons cause this plagiarism and its impacts in the field of academics pose a threat to students seriously. This essay will examine that students under pressure for a good grade, lack of good academic writing skills, a fear of failure in assignments, they will commit plagiarism – a mistake- results in debarring or expelling studying, loss of reputation and financial issues.
It is undeniable that students encounter loads of problems in their studying that leads to plagiarism. To begin with, students might suffer the pressure of good grades, which results in plagiarism. This makes them face stress to perform better in their assignments or projects. With the help of the internet, these assignments can be solved quickly on the internet so students can plagiarize online source to get a high score. Also, parents put pressure on their children to study well to get a high score in classes to be proud of their parents. Secondly, the lack of excellent academic writing skills is one of the primary reasons that cause students’ plagiarism. This is because academic writing is a difficult skill which related to quotes, summary and paraphrase skills or expresses the author’s ideas. Whenever students use sources written by others for their essays, they are not able to paraphrase well the source and fail to cite correctly or acknowledge the original source is considered plagiarism. According to Zafarghandi, et al (2012) committing plagiarism such as lacking quotation marks in directs quotes, paraphrasing without acknowledging sources, and presenting secondary citation as if the original source had been consulted are the popular forms for students (as cited in Apatsa, Winner, & Gift, 2018). An afraid of failing in assignments could be another main reason for students to commit plagiarism. It can be further explained that the level and depth of academic subjects at the postgraduate level are quite tricky so students do not feel confident enough themselves to deal with assignments. Also, lecturers’ strict rules and peers’ rumors of challenging writing assignments make students increase afraid of failure. Therefore, they are more likely to plagiarize.
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There are several adverse effects of plagiarism on students including debarring or expelling studying, loss of reputation and finance problems. Firstly, students who commit plagiarism can be debarred or expelled from their courses. If students are caught plagiarizing, they may not only be eliminated from their curriculum but also they may never be allowed to study for a degree again since institutions will not want a dishonest and unworthy student who has recorded themselves as “kidnapper”. The research shows that 143 tertiary students in the UK were debarred in 2007 for copying offenses (Pandoi & Gupta, 2018). Secondly, loss of reputation could be one of the most adverse impacts on students when they commit plagiarism. This is because their trustworthy and honor may lose when they are caught for plagiarizing. In situations such as students’ previous long essays have more than 10,000 words, it can be doubted as dishonest assignments, which result in the entirety of the students' work being destroyed. Also, peers or lecturers will not expect to keep a relationship with such students, and tertiary education’s academic reputation is put into jeopardy. Finally, another negative effect of plagiarism could be finance. When student’s essay assignments are caught plagiarizing, students may get a zero score or do not pass courses which means they have to pay tuition fees for that course to study again. Consequently, committing plagiarism could seriously threaten students’ academic careers in higher education.
In conclusion, plagiarism has been increased to an alarming rate in universities. Students who will commit various plagiarism because of multiple reasons such as the pressure of good grades, lack of excellent writing skills, and a fear of failure in assignments, its effects bring severe consequences for students including adverse or expel studying and loss of reputation as well as financial problems. Therefore, students should consider carefully plagiarizing for a moment of foolishness, which may damage their entire academic career.
- Apatsa, S, Winner, D. C, & Gift, D. (2018). Why do postgraduate students commit plagiarism? An empirical study International Journal for Educational Integrity, (1), 1. https://doi-org.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/10.1007/s40979-018-0029-6
- Avoiding plagiarism: Mastering the art of scholarship. (2015). University of California, Davis. Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs. Retrieved from https://supportjudicialaffairs.sf.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk216/files/files/page/Avoiding%20Plagiarism.pdf
- Pandoi, D., & Gupta, A. K. (2018). Opportunity versus threat among students: A study on plagiarism. Global Management Review, 12(1), 37–50. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohostcom.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=134096312&site=eds-live
- Pettigrew, T. (2010, August 10). All your profs are wrong about plagiarism. Maclean’s. Retrieved from https://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/all-your-profs-are-wrong-about-plagiarism/
- James, M. X., Miller, G. J., & Wyckoff, T. W. (2019). Comprehending the cultural causes of english writing plagiarism in chinese students at a western-style university. Journal of Business Ethics, 154(3), 631–642. https://doi-org.ezproxy.myucwest.ca/10.1007/s10551-017-3441-6
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