University of Phoenix – Axia College
May 29, 2013
To be able to explain how to avoid plagiarism, first we have to understand that academic dishonesty is basically copying the works of others, making them as their own. It has been identified as a serious problem that many educational institutions, and have generated predictive models to prevent or identify plagiarism. We know that a high percentage of students practice academic dishonesty.
We can identify some forms of academic dishonesty as, copied exams, this implies to turn and see another student's test, receiving or giving verbal and / or nonverbal, change the tests, hiding notes, or modification of quizzes. It can also occur in tasks, jobs and projects. It is possible to pass the task among students, falsify data, lack of contribution to a team, and hire someone to make their work. Other types can be present even with bribes or threats against the teacher.
Through the plagiarism, the student gives the impression that you cannot learn or that do not want to learn. Also, you may not have a good relationship between student and teacher. "The love of learning is the most effective strategy to combat academic dishonesty."
Below are some reasons for plagiarism:
- Reduced interest in learning
- Plagiarism is easy to do
- Many students are more interested in the grade than in the learning process - They are busy working or doing other things
- Non appreciation of the knowledge
Why is Academic Dishonesty Happening?
Society has communicated the concept that students need to acquire a degree for future employment, financial security, and personal reasons (Choi, 2009; Cohen & Brawer, 2003; McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2006). And students often believe they will receive higher salaries from future employers if they have exceptional grades throughout their college careers (Norton, Tilley, Newstead, & Franklyn-Stokes, 2001).
This is a reality that plenty of students are living. Plenty of them are lucky enough like me, to get the job they’ve always wanted before they earn a degree. “Indeed, plagiarism and cheating are reflections of the need to get good grades at all cost; and, they continue to be serious problems in academia” (Danielsen, Simon, & Pavlick, 2006; Fontana, 2009; Lipka, 2009; McCabe, 2009; McCabe et al., 2006; Rosamond, 2002; Wilkerson, 2009). This is causing that some –early professionals- just try their best to rush their way into a degree without paying any attention to their assignments. In the beginning it was like that for me because honestly, I felt I was not learning anything. My reality was that I learned “everything” in the field. But soon enough I realized that college is not necessarily the place to learn specific topics, is the place where you were how to manage your knowledge and put it in the best use. At the end of the day academic dishonesty is a behavior that makes students gain an unfair advantage and it need to be avoid.
“The risk of plagiarism in academic settings can be reduced by not setting the same essay every year. Burnard (2002) reflected on the possibility of plagiarism extending beyond coursework essays to dissertations. He felt that written examinations may reduce the problem (Burnard 2002). Doing our job correctly will guaranty that we learn in the process and also that we will get the grade we worked for. In my case, I am writing this paper because due to wrong quotation, it was understood that used someone else information as mine. In order to avoid this in the future, students have to make sure to follow the guidelines when it comes to proper citation. It very important to have credit to whom deserves it, and that’s why double checking and practicing the properly citation its key in order to have a clean paper.
Now, we have to be clear that any material that is consider as common knowledge does not have to be cited. Also, field-specific common knowledge does not need citation unless it contains facts from a specific source. As I mentioned, my case was because of wrong citing, but at the end of the day the consequences are the same as of a student stealing information an using it for an assignment. Professors take this very seriously because it is not fair to the students who spend hours working. "'This is superior work,' wrote a professor on a student's paper.' It was excellent when Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote it, just as it is today. Saint Thomas gets an A. You get an F"' (Alschuler and Blimling 1995, p.123). We must understand that dishonesty in the classroom is a serious issue, it is not just a cheating situation, it is considered for some professionals as a crime that deserves a penalty. Plagiarism can be done very easily, and it can even happen when proper citation has been done. Another way to avoid plagiarism, could be by paraphrasing and adding the name of the author; for example: “According to Carlos Santana, guitars became famous in...” it is a way of giving credit and making your sentences flow in a better way.
I will conclude this paper by saying that we all know what plagiarism is, by this I mean that every single student know what is good and bad and academic dishonest will end when we start being honest with ourselves, our instructors and why not, also our classmates. It is true that at time it can be difficult to complete certain assignments, but there is nothing that can’t be fixed with communication. Sending an email to out instructor or asking for help will make the learning experience better and will guide us away from plagiarizing a document.
- Choi, Cohen, and Brawer. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 3rd ed. Vol. 3. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Print
- Burnard P. All your own work? Essays and the internet. Nurse Education Today. 22, 3, 187-188. (2002)
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed. Springfield, Mass.Merriam-Webster, Inc.; 2003:946.