Tip on plagiarism prevention
Nowadays students are being various assignments at all levels of education .In middle school these could be simple essays, in high school these could be projects or reports, at college level these are term papers and at the post graduate level these could be research papers. These assignments are a very important part of the academic syllabus and studies of the students. In most cases these carry a large bulk of the total marks in academic studies. These assignments given to students are expected to be original, written in their own words and absolutely no sort of plagiarism is expected of the students. However these students still plagiarise from various sources for a number of varying reasons.
The first question that comes into a person’s mind is that why these students copy in spite of this being such a wrong practice. There are many reasons for the plagiarising that students indulge in. The first reason is very straightforward and obvious. Students plagiarise and copy because THEY CAN. In earlier times when assignments were given, students used to take them very seriously. Lots of hard work and effort had to be put into the assignment. Apart from this a great deal of patience was required for carrying out the research that is associated with such assignments. A highly exhaustive and extensive research of various materials from a varied number of sources was required to obtain information for the assignment. In today’s times however, we have the internet at our disposal. The internet is a great source of information and data. Sadly though, this is being highly misused as students are indulging in plagiarism on the internet. The students are aware of the vast amount of information in the form of essays, papers, reports etc that is available on the internet. So all these students do is that instead of researching for data all they do is copy everything from the internet, just because it is a much easier method and hardly requires any effort. The second reason is because of the under confidence that many students may face. Many students may want to copy but a lot of them are honest and want to do the assignment themselves. The problem however lies in their doubts about their abilities and skills. As the students are not very sure whether they will be up to the challenge of doing the assignment by themselves, hence they copy. The third reason hold for a very small group of students. These students participate in plagiarism only for the thrill of it. They get excitement in the fact that they might be able to get away with plagiarising. However this reason holds for a very small group of students.
But a majority of students do it for the want of better marks and grades. Whatever their reasons maybe, whether it be laziness or low self confidence or the thrill of copying, it ultimately boils down to better academic performance. Students want better grades and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get better ones. This is where they are wrong. Students should be explained the reason behind the assignment. The assignment is not given to judge how well the student has done it and thus give those marks accordingly. Yes, this is a certainly a part of the assignment but the actual reason is something else. Students are given assignments to make them more aware and responsible. They are given these projects to teach them how to work hard and to teach them the responsibility of work. This is the main of giving assignments, marks and grades are only secondary. Students have to learn to do things by putting in effort and not just by indulging in plagiarism.
Some students, as mentioned above, may actually see the assignment as a challenge and want to do it themselves. But these students may change their mind either because of ridicule from other students or because of the fact that everyone else is copying apart from them. When students look at others plagiarising then they think, “why am I the only one putting in effort”? This outlook of students has to changes by teaching them the importance of identity and self worth. One should not just follow the pack but must learn to think for himself. Just because the other students are doing plagiarism doesn’t mean that one also has to. Students should not pay attention to others and should only remember the main reason for doing the assignment which is learning about hard work, patience and originality.
Another reason why students do this is because of time constraints. Students most of the time are not able to judge the time required for doing the assignment or simply start doing the assignment late for other reasons. As they are short of time and also under pressure, they resort to indulging in plagiarism to finish their assignments on time. Students should judge their assignments properly and hence should start work on them at the appropriate times. These tips will help students to avoid copying from other sources.