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Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarismand CheatingOfall forms of cheating and academic dishonesty committed by students,plagiarism is the most prevalent form in educational institutions.Plagiarism is a serious problem for higher education institutions tosolve in the current digital age. It is an academic deceit committedby several students either aware or unaware of the guiding academicethics.&nbspThe act of plagiarism is a type of academic treasonsince it undermines the integrity of the whole academic community.This is because plagiarism presents several unanswerable questions toprofessors who are responsible for maintaining academic standards. Inaddition to the problem of plagiarism, professors have to tackleother challenging forms of cheating by students.Thereis an increase in cheating among students by using variety of methodsas advanced by developments in technology. The situation of cheating,non-originality and plagiarism is further aggravated by thedevelopments in the internet with hundreds of direct academicassistance providers. The current situation of is not only affectingthe academic standards but also the quality of educational gradesthat the cheating students attain. They qualify with educationallevels that they are not exactly worth to attain as since theireducational presentations were achieved through the vice. The authorsat the chapter under review have analyzed the situation and haveillustrated a range of tactics to tackle the problem particularlyplagiarism in the wake of the advancements cheating methods. Discouraging Plagiarism andCheatingTheuse of some of the tactics presented by some authors would besuccessful in discouraging plagiarism among students at all levels.The use Turnitin.com as a tool for detecting plagiarism as suggestedby Julie Rawe is a tactic that can bear fruits over the cheats (Rawe624). It is a globally recognizable online tool that not only detectsplagiarism but also directs the detection process to the source ofthe plagiarized content (Lathropand Foss 49).Through the use of Turnitin.com, several colleges and universitieshave been able to get papers that are originally written. Moreover,Turnitin.com provides tools for detecting plagiarism and guaranteeseducational institutions of reliable detection.However,some students get their papers done by online academic experts andthen present the papers to the professors through any method such asTurnitin.com. Therefore, the adoption of Turnitin.com becomes a tooltoo blunt to curb the problem of cheating by students at all levelsof study. It is one challenge to curb plagiarism in the content ofthe papers being presented by students but it is even a tougherchallenge to ensure that the papers are done by the students. It ispossible to ensure that the papers presented to professors andlectures all over the world are original by evaluating the paper thatis presented. However, it is almost an elusive fight to ensure thatthe original paper that was presented was done by the student turningit to the professor.Thesuccess of avoiding plagiarism is just a small tip of the big icebergof curbing the cheating by students. Rawe (623) indicates that thereare hundreds of websites offering paper writing service to thousandsof students through online ordering platforms. It is furtheraggravated that these sites present unavoidable pay packages thateven includes full money back guarantee (Rawe 623). In case therecipients have problems with the papers sold to them at veryaffordable rates, they are offered re-writing services until theprofessor’s demands are addressed. The use of these sites to seekassistance by lazy and cunning students is what makes the challengeof curbing cheating by students a big mountain for educationalinstitutions to climb.These service providers offerprofessionally written papers that cannot be detected by theprofessors or even turning tools such as the one provided byTurnitin.com. This doe not only make it challenge for lectures tocurb plagiarism, but also an equally bigger challenge for theeducational institutions to evaluate the quality of students andacademic delivery being experienced at the class level. This isbecause the quality of academic levels in an educational institutionis evaluated by the examination of grades and quality of academiccontent provided by its students. With the current trend of cheatingand the advancement in the methods used by students to achieve theirgrades in synthetic methods, the future of academia is under threatof domination by the multi-dollar academic help industry.McCabeDonald presents a true picture of the problem of cheating in therelation to the happenings of the larger community. It is highlyprobable that the culture of cheating way out in high school and inhigher educational institution is linked to the practice of cheatingway out by dishonest members of the community (Lathropand Foss 49).It is possible that lazy students have learnt how to find theshortest and easy way out of academic situations from the older lazymembers of the community sometimes even their parents. Therefore,lazy students do not feel guilty when using all the availabledishonest methods of cheating to get higher grades.Inaddition, the culture of cheating in the academics world may bemotivated by the encouragement that students find from dishonestcommunity members. They do not get the forces to deter them from thecheating and plagiarism practice. It is worth noting that many of theparents of these students have the knowledge of the practice but donot take the right action of deterrence. Moreover, many tutors,lectures and professors have knowledge of the practice but end upgiving the suspected students the benefits of the doubt (McCabe 628).Thepractice of plagiarism and cheating in schools is rampant because theperpetrators are well supported by the community to do so. The hiringof online writing websites is also facilitated by the parents andguardians of these students since they finance them to pay the costlyonline service. Without such financial support, these students cannotbe able to pay for the services or even engage the services ofacademic helpers. It is worth notable that many of these studentseven get the support of parents and legal counsel to stand up a caseagainst the measures set to curb plagiarism. Rawe (624) discusses acase where students in Virginia, at a high school in Mclean suing theplagiarism detection website Turnitin.com which ironically serveseducational institutions. Proposed effective Methods

The problem ofplagiarism and cheating in all educational institutions has beenfought at all angles with little success. This elusiveness can beevaluated by contemplating on a few issues that are critical inunderstanding the academic vice. For instance how do the professorsmake a decision between a good student and a bad one? How will theyevaluate a student for an academic rank? How will they grantpromotion to a faculty member? If not on the basis of academic beliefthat their presented work is truly their own personal work, then onwhat basis?

One of the mosteffective ways of dealing with plagiarism would be to avoid placingstudents into situations that they have plagiarism as the shortestroute to success. It is advisable that professors engage students inpractical evaluation tasks and tests other than theoretical papers.This is because practical tests and simulations as well as in-classcourse works do not require voluminous presentations of paper work.It is worth noting that the orientation of evaluations towardspractical class work involves the student more and reflects theirexact academic capability.

Researchstudies and data illustrated by the authors in the chapter indicatethat cheating by students is much more prominent and is today’sprime problem in the field of academic writing. In the last fewyears, majority of students rely on the advancement of technology andaccessibility of online resources to complete their academicobligations (Devlin 2). Other than critically thinking and scrutinizethe subject material to get academic conclusions they rely on onlineeducational resources and use them wrongly as plagiarism (Lathropand Foss 194). This means thatmore practical tests would be an effective tactic in fighting theacademic vice by students and high-tech professional helpers.

Inaddition, students should be trained on academic ethics and theeffects of plagiarism as part of instilling a culture of honesty inschool (Lathropand Foss 9). They should also beinformed of the risks that perpetrators of the vice will have and theconsequences that will befall those who will be caught plagiarizing.This way, they will have personal task of avoiding the practice.Majority of the students practice plagiarism deliberately, but a fewof them follow the practice unintentionally in their paraphrasing andsummarizing. Either way, plagiarism is a non-ethical and punishableact. Sometimes due to the lack of proper knowledge about plagiarism,even students themselves might be plagiarized (Devlin 2). Therefore,there should be clear debate about the meaning and circumstances forplagiarism in different conditions when analyzing an academiccontent.

Finally,the most ignored method is the inclusion of penalties againstplagiarism at all education levels of education and not only inhigher education. When students are punished severely for plagiarismand cheating while in low academic levels, they will develop aculture of avoiding plagiarism. This culture will develop as theycontinue with their education up the academic ladder to highereducation institutions. It is worth noting that various studiesindicate that plagiarism and other academic frauds are increasingamong higher education students. This makes the problem of plagiarismas an epidemic that has infected universities all over the world’shigher academic institutions (Devlin 3).


Cheatingby students in educational institutions is developing into newmethods with the advancements in technology. Of these methods,plagiarism remains one of the most committed academic sins thatprevail in all academic levels. As a vice, plagiarism is being foughtby all educational institutions in a fight that seems elusive. Thisis due to the professionalization of academic cheating into alucrative online industry of academic writing services. Through theservices, students find solace to the practice that leaves themtotally undetected even by the most sophisticated tools. Tactics usedagainst plagiarism have succeeded but are not promising to end thevice. However, change of tact from theory-based voluminous tests intopractical course work evaluations might be the best shot at endingthe academic vice.


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1996), pp.82-84. National Council of Teachers of English, 1996. Print

Lathrop,Ann and Foss, Kathleen. GuidingStudents from Cheating and Plagiarism to Honesty

andIntegrity: Strategies for Change.California: Libraries Unlimited Inc, 2005. Print

McCabe, Donald.It takes a village: Academic dishonesty and educational opportunity.Elements

of Argument,A text and Reader.Ed. Rotenberg, Annette and Winchell, Donna. Boston: Bedfrd/ St.Martins. Print

Rawe, Julie.Battling Term-Paper Cheats’ Elementsof Argument, A text and Reader.Ed.

Rotenberg,Annette and Winchell, Donna. Boston: Bedfrd/ St. Martins. Print