Plagiarism’s Dark Cloud Loiters Over College Students’ Integrity


By George Verity

Recently an attempt made by U.K. academics and administrators to regulate plagiarism amongst students, has sparked a global debate of integrity and honesty. According to NewCastle University and plagiarismadvice.org, strict plans to crack down on this new-upcoming epidemic have been proposed; that would ultimately tax students for cheating. To go along with potential tax or fines so to speak, plagiarismadvice.org has created a point system for alleged offenders. Each offense counterparts to a certain quantity of points that adds together to formulate an appropriate penalty. Is this a valid plan? What has society come to when even the purest of all purest things: education; becomes corrupt and regulated through penalized taxation?

I feel that plagiarism, over recent years is on the rise because of time obligations and the internet. In today’s society, society has put tremendous pressure on young adults; particularly college students. Between social obligations, work responsibilities, religious duties and college life itself, young students press for time. All these engagements lead for no time to research and write term papers, exams and essays. I myself, in certain situations, have been pressed for time and had no time to do my assignments on time. However, I did not jeopardize my integrity by plagiarizing.

Some administrators and academic officials believe that students plagiarize because they don’t care about their work or are too lazy. In some cases this holds true, but I believe the contrary. I believe that they do care and that’s why they find a way to get their work done; no matter the cost. Students are so desperate that they will do anything to accomplish their work on time. This dedication leads them to plagiarize. I think these students that lay on the line their integrity; do this because they feel they are invincible to getting caught. Even though these students who plagiarize know it is wrong and socially unacceptable; in the back of their mind they truly believe they will not get caught: the teacher won’t notice, the teacher wont research, the teacher won’t mind. So they take the risk for a sense of accomplishment and a grade.

Another contributing factor to time management is accessibility. The internet has made it easier to plagiarize in today’s society. To plagiarize on the internet is just a click away. Most forms of plagiarism come from copying and pasting words and from ghost web sites that allow you to purchase already written essays on the topic over the internet. But that same access is available to the professor, ironically. I think these web sites that offer already finished essays are a tease and are the main problem when it comes down to plagiarism. It kind of goes along the lines of okay you’re not allowed to do this, hear this, or think this, but I want to for the simple fact that I’m not allowed to.

Proposing this point system plan is one thing but, implementing it is another. Plagiarism as we all know it to be; happens on a global scale impulsively. For this plan to be affective it would have to be adopted worldwide. I’m not saying this plan is a bad idea or that I don’t support it. I actually agree with this policy and think it is a good idea. But that is just the thing, it’s just an idea. In my opinion I don’t think this plan will work because I don’t believe these procedures and policies will be adopted and enforced worldwide. This problem is so large in scale that it is happening and reoccurring constantly. So to think that this problem will ever go away is just down right foolish. Plagiarism will always occur whether strictly enforced or not enforced at all. Hey you never know if a worldwide policy does take in affect, plagiarism will be on the black market along with nuclear weapons and alcohol prohibition during the 1930’s in the United States.

For now all we can do is try to prevent plagiarism with awareness and a good sense of integrity; even though it doesn’t help when students and professors turn their cheek and look away. That ignorance in place is igniting the fuel for plagiarism to burn. So if find the urge to plagiarize; just hold your head up high, your chest out and refuse to take part in the epidemic. Remember reputation and integrity is all you have in this world and that is directly controlled by your actions and words; not someone else’s.

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