Plagiarism today has become highly rampant everywhere that we see. In recent times the numbers of cases that have been witnessed are drastically increasing in numbers every passing day. Plagiarising is a very dishonest and wrong practice indeed. It totally destroys any original thinking and makes people used to the idea of copying and stealing from others. Not only this, it makes the concepts of hard work and patience absolutely alien to these people thus turning them into absolutely lazy non-thinkers. It is basically the copying or stealing another’s ideas and thoughts with the intention of showing them to be ours without giving any proper credit or due or acknowledgement to the original author. This is done to be able to pass of another’s work as ours without putting in much effort or hard work for our own convenience. We normally look at plagiarism and think of it to occur only in the academic field. This statement is true in a way but not entirely true. Though it occurs very frequently in the field of academics and studies it is also seen in many other fields. These fields are many and vary from advertising to business, from art to architecture and from music to theatre. The fields where plagiarising happens, are in very large numbers and are highly varied from each other. However as said before, plagiarising and copying from another is mostly seen in the world of academics today. In addition to this, this practice is done by mainly students. In some rare cases, it is done by experienced intellectuals such as authors and college professors. Though these cases are more embarrassing and shameful than others however such cases are not as many in number. Getting back to the students who indulge in plagiarising, there a number of reasons why these students do what they do. Out of the many reasons the following are a few that can also be read on the Theplagiarism.com.
Firstly, students plagiarise for the simple reason that it comes very naturally to them and not just them, it would come naturally to any human being given certain work where he or she would have such an easy option available to them. Plagiarism is done by these students for another simple reason that it is the easiest option available. They think that why should they waste so much time in completing their assignments themselves when they can so easily copy and plagiarise them. They do not wish to put in hard work or show even a trace of patience as they want to do their work with minimal effort and at the earliest. The second reason is because these students keep very busy most of the time. These students have very little time to spare or do anything else on account of the other activities, jobs and tasks occupying most of their time through the day. Most of these students have a lot of academic work apart from assignments. They have to attend various classes and labs, tutorials and what not. Not only that, apart from these they have other jobs and things to do. Many of them have to do various recreational and sports activities and a fewer number have to work at part times jobs to earn money. These activities are highly important for these students. While many may beg to differ, these activities are truly very necessary for students. Recreational and sports activities rejuvenate students whereas part time jobs help them earn money to pay for their education and needs. Because of such a tight schedule of these students and because they lack time, they resort to plagiarism. These students can’t help themselves because they are so busy that they hardly have any time to breathe and relax and hence resort to such ways. The third reason is that students being students have extremely poor time management skills. For many students it is the first time that they have so many assignments and tasks to handle all at once. As most of them are inexperienced in these matters they cannot really manage all of these jobs so well. This is a combination of giving wrong amounts of time to the wrong jobs and tasks at hand along with poor anticipation of the time taken for all the various jobs. Students generally can’t anticipate very well because of which they very frequently run out on time and thus have less time for assignments. The fourth reason is that many students are unsure and have low confidence in their abilities. While many students might want to plagiarise, there are many still who would want to do their assignments themselves. The problem however is that these students have low self confidence because of which they might want to take external expert help and this indulge in plagiarism. The last reason is the most uncommon one. Not many students plagiarise because of this reason yet there a very few students who do this for the sheer thrill of it. However, such students are far and few as compared to the students who plagiarise for the reasons mentioned before.
There are many types of plagiarising that are seen today out of which the more common ones are discussed ahead. These various types of plagiarising ought to be known and understood. Understanding and identifying the various types of plagiarism is very necessary in the task of battling plagiarising and copying of original work. The first type is the most common one and is the free download type. In this type, students generally download a whole free assignment from any of the various numbers of websites on the internet which make assignments freely available for download. There are number of websites on the internet today who are offering such free assignments for download. However such assignments are most of the time of extremely poor quality, not to mention, totally plagiarised. The second type is the copied and modified assignments. This type of plagiarising is done when the student wants to be extra sure about his assignment not being tracked to its original source. In this the student copies large and major portions of articles from either one source or from many sources that are so freely available on the internet today. Then the student slightly modifies this or these portions and presents them as his or her work. The third type is where a student buys the assignment from a local source anywhere near to the student. This local source could be anyone from fellow students to pass out students to even college lecturers. The student could even be copying from his or her own previous assignments that are similar in nature or of similar topic. Following this is the fourth type of plagiarism which is the missing quotations type. In this type students very conveniently forget to add quotes when including a previous author’s words or ideas, thus trying to pass them off as their own. Such a practice shows that the student doesn’t wish to show that he or she is, in fact, using another person’s words and thoughts. The last type is the missing citation type. Here, the students do not give citations in their papers or sometimes do not give the sources of their work to prevent anyone from finding the real source of their plagiarised work. They try to make it hard for the mentors to track down the sources of their plagiarised assignments.
Students have to be made aware of the wrongness of their doings and no one can do it better than their lecturers and teachers. These teachers can play a big role in helping these students from plagiarising. Firstly they have to properly define what plagiarism is, to these students. It is the copying of another author’s ideas and thoughts with the intention to pass them off as one’s own without giving proper credit to the original author. This ought to be done to make it clear to the students what plagiarising actually is and leave them in no doubt about what it constitutes. Students should be made to realise the importance of giving due credit. They need to be told that giving due credit and acknowledging a person who one has referred to is very important as this is a sign of respect and also is the right thing to do. They have to also be told what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, meaning that they have to be shown difference between the two. The acceptable parts are the ones where another author’s words are quoted and proper citations and sources of information are given. Apart from this using another’s words is acceptable as long as proper source of reference for that knowledge is given. What is unacceptable is copying an author’s ideas without quoting them and also giving improper citations and improper sources of information. What students believe to be harmless modifications of another author’s work also constitute as plagiarising. They have to continuously reminded, time and again, that they are being watched. Without the fear of being caught or the fear of someone monitoring them, students will continue to plagiarise endlessly, which is why they need to be reminded of this.
In addition to this students also have to be told as to why plagiarism is a wrong practice. They need to be told that this practice does not give the correct due to the right people who deserve this, which is why this practice becomes so wrong. Apart from this, it only inspires people to be lazy and impatient. People only learn to copy from others and steal others ideas. They forget all about originality and free thinking of fresh ideas and thoughts. They have to be told, in no uncertain terms, as to what the consequences of plagiarism are and what is thought of the people doing it. Firstly, the people doing it clearly show that they are not interested in a proper education. They show that their reason for studying is not to learn anything new or to learn to think independently, but just to lie, cheat and steal to get their degree. These people are big deceivers and by doing what they do, all they do is insult their mentors. While their mentors are waiting for original essays, these students hand in such substandard papers and assignments. In fact these students just make a mockery of the whole education system by their wrongdoings. The consequences of such actions are nothing short of expulsion and being black listed.
Many students wonder about how to make their work look professional and good without resorting to plagiarising. The answer is through citations. While some students give improper citations and sources of information to hide the fact that their work is plagiarised, use of citations actually makes the work more professional and better. Many times students put forward certain points in their assignments that they think of themselves yet people ask for the arguments of experienced people to back up their claims. In situations like these citations work best because they provide evidence in the form of the words of the original author that acts as the backing argument required to prove the students points right. Also this keeps the student from indulging in any sort of plagiarism.