Professor Laura Howard
November 22, 2014
Plagiarize in Order to Get a Good Grade?
Today, a new student enrolls in college for the first time. When new students enroll, they are being told that in order to get the full amount of financial aid they are required to take at least twelve classes. Full-time status would amount to four classes at their school. As the semester starts and the assignments start coming in, the student begins to feel overwhelmed with all the required writing assignments. The student is now feeling overwhelmed and anxiety is high. The first paper is due, and he or she has not started it. They decide to copy and paste the assignment topic and copy the answers directly and turn it in as their work. When a student is caught plagiarizing on his or her homework assignments, the college or university options should be to expel the student.
Since the beginning of college classes, students always look for a way to get good grades. They know that they excelled in the high school classroom, and when they start attending the college classes they realize that they will have to work twice as hard to receive the same grades. Every day, students are required to work on strict deadlines for assignments for many classes. With the rise of the internet, students can find and receive the papers and test questions from previous students or experts in the field. There are many problems that plagiarizing and cheating can create for the student who is suspect and accused by a professor. Depending on the honor code of the school, the student can face expulsion for such acts. There are many cases that students are required to pay punitive damages to the author for the work that the student copied without permission.
The first problem that causes the students to cheat and plagiarizing is the increase in technology. Sarah Sloane states, “blatant cut-and-paste copying from the Internet; only a word changed here and there, "sort of like Mad Libs" (as cited by Simpson, 2012).Technology now allows student to have no longer to spend hours in dictionaries and encyclopedias. With the internet, the same student can have access to the same and updated information with seconds or minutes. As the technology improves, students will find a way to avoid getting caught with plagiarizing on their assignments and papers for their classes (Simpson, 2012).
During the interview with Professor Michelle Wampler, the question was asked about how she avoids the copy and paste of questions for her online students. She remarked that for all of her online classes, she does expect the students to do this to get the correct answers on the quizzes but not on the papers without proper citation and quotation marks (Wampler, personal communication, October 28, 2014).
The second problem that is being faced is the lack of education that the student receives when they enter school on what is plagiarizing and how to fix it. Students receive information packets on citing sources and what will happen if they do not, but nobody displays what happens if the information needed and found and how to summarize the information provided without copying it exactly. The schools are no longer teaching students on how to paraphrase from articles or books that are being used on assignments.
One example of plagiarism happened in the case of Semester at Sea program, Michelle Routman was assigned to watch a movie and write a piece of paper relating to the onboard or shore experiences. She went to the Wikipedia website and looked up the historical terms. The professor reported her for plagiarizing by using the same sentences. In her statement Routman states, “No one had ever defined paraphrasing for me". "It was one of those things I'd kind of heard; I did not think of what," (as cited by Sampson, 2011).
The third problem is that the teachers think, so small of a student significantly improving from one