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Effect Of Plagiarism In University

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2511 words Published: 10th May 2017

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Plagiarism is to use someone else’s words or idea without acknowledging the source. With the development of globalization process, more and more students choose to study aboard. Different education background precipitate plagiarism becoming more serious. Since the diploma from international university has become more valued by most people, resulting in a large number of people to study abroad is not in order to acquire knowledge, but in exchange for a diploma. This lead to a lot of students who are at the low foundation choose to study abroad, but limited academic competence and can not be independently completed the task of assignment, then they would use plagiarism complete it. According to that plagiarism is becoming more common in university.

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Another reason of plagiarism is that some students lack of understanding on foreign universities’ plagiarism discipline, therefore during the process of finishing the assignment the mistake may be happened. In short, plagiarism is a very serious issue in the academic writing. To avoid plagiarism, students must complete understand what the plagiarism is, and the cause of plagiarism. Only understanding the cause and effect could prevent it. There are many reasons for the cause of plagiarism. Moreover it has several negative effects on students and education system.


Do not understand plagiarism

First of all, sometimes students do not realize that they are plagiarizing, because sometimes the inaccurate language can be regard as plagiarism. There is one way to avoid plagiarism is using the quotation marks around the copy words, and also need to add the author’s name and publish year. But improper quote is a kind of plagiarism. When a direct quote is used, the quotation mark must be put in. If not, even if the reference is provided. This situation could cause the writer be accused of trying claim another person’s work as his own (http://library.leeds.ac.uk/tutorials/plagiarism/).

Even the quote is completely correct; overuse of direct quotations can lead a poor mark on the assignment. So it’s not a good choice to use too many quotations. That is why students need to use paraphrase and summary in academic writing task.

An unfortunate thing is for the international students, especially the students from the non-English speaking countries. English as their second language they can not use it as well as their first language, so paraphrase and summary may make trouble in their writing. Students may use some sources full of complex sentence structure. To paraphrase those sentences is hard to organize words as well as the original one. That may make some students thinking their own work cannot compare and they may choose to copy the original source or just change some words of them, but use its primordial structure. (Kuhn 1957) “To avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing, not only should the original words be changed, but also the sentence structure of the newly paraphrased text must be different from that of the original” ( Roig, 2001) . According to that, students do not really understand it maybe plagiarizing.

Inaccurate referencing

In addition, inaccurate referencing could also cause the plagiarism. It includes five forms. (http://www.uea.ac.uk/plagiarism/understanding_plagiarism). Firstly reference must be clear to readers exactly which parts of essay draw on which scholars’ work. Simply including a bibliography at the end of assignment does not help the reader to distinguish which is own work and which is drawn from other scholars.

Secondly using misleading reference is not allowed. Students can not forge references or include ones that they have not read. When students do not read the original but find it quoted in others’ article, it must indicate both the original text and the one they found. If only the original was acknowledged which is falsification.

Third one, the ideas, theories, findings, etc of others are failed to attribute. Even there is no exact words quoted, it is still another scholar’s work that need to be acknowledged with a reference. Fourth one, the images, diagrams, tables etc should be also referenced in the same way as words. Even if the information in the presentation has been reworked, it also should be acknowledged where the data come from.

The last but not least, on occasion students use some source without reference because they think it is a common knowledge, but sometimes the assuming is incorrect and it must actually be ascribed a certain individual or individuals. All in all, incomplete or inaccurate references can lead to plagiarism. Students need to check all references thoroughly when proofreading to ensure that no errors have been made. All references should be complete so that they can be traced by the reader. ( http://www.uea.ac.uk/plagiarism/plagiarism_forms5)


According to famous research (Patrick G 1998), pressure is the strongest factor lead to possibility of plagiarism or cheating. The main kinds of pressure are grade pressure, time pressure, and task pressure. These three kinds of pressure are not isolated, for example, in many conditions without some time restraint the likeliness of feeling task pressure was reduced.

(1) Grade pressure means academic pressures to a certain extent. When the students study in a university, they will face this pressure. Getting a degree is not a simple thing. To finish the assignment is quite a hard work and sometimes may get a low mark or even worse after a long period effort, after that student perhaps feels awful. Moreover going to study with an awful feeling can not achieve a satisfactory result. Then students will find themselves in the cycle.


When students in this situation probably choose plagiarize to get a better mark to avoid it.

(2) Time pressure -“Students are often juggling conflicting constraints on the time they allocate to study due to working part-time or an active sporting or social life. Spending a significant amount of time undertaking paid employment whilst studying at university can present challenging situations which are likely to cause students to resort to plagiarism. Although there is no causal link between plagiarism and students being employed, evidence has found that students face increasing pressure to work whilst studying full time, putting them at risk of academic dishonesty or intentional omission of references as they make choices between allocating time between study and work.”(Powell. L 2012) Time pressure maybe a excuse for students but it does exist.

(3) Task pressure – “Task pressure relates to the number and types of assignments a student is struggling to complete during a given time period.”(Patrick G 1998) Sometimes students will be given many assignments by different tutors but need to finish them in a short time.

There is one more pressure need to be statement. “The whole education system pressure” “The number of undergraduate and graduate students has been growing in almost every country around the world and those who enter the system stay for a longer time. (Just consider how much time it takes to get a Ph.D.) The personal investment is greater, as is the competition. In addition, there are more countries trying to move into the “big leagues of academia,” which adds even more pressure to the whole system.”(Ivan Pacheco 2011). This pressure provokes the plagiarism in the academic field.


Negative attitude

Final cause is the negative attitude. Personal attitudes determine success or failure. The students with negative attitude could effect their academic motivation. If the academic motivation went to the negative part, students will lose their learning interests. When students lose it they will cost more time on enjoying college life, such as go parties or anticipate other activities, and when they pick up books they would feel sleepy. It is necessary to consider how these students can pass the exam? The majority of students may choose cheating in the exam or even pay someone to write the essay or just copy and paste other’s work then add a reference list at the end.

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Besides the student, even the professors are drawn into cheating issues. “A professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College who was propelled into the national spotlight when a noose was found on her office door last fall has been found to have plagiarized the work of a former colleague and two former students, the college has announced.” (KAREN W. ARENSON and ELISSA GOOTMAN 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/education/21prof.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1346065286-naQLgtFv9vk7661DOblX1Q). Academic research is tough and endless. If the professors feel too eager to succeed or finish the tasks given by university, they may choose a closer way to succeed by plagiarism.

To sum up above mentioned, plagiarism include two main types, Unintentional plagiarism and intentional plagiarism. Plagiarism is not allowed whatever the reason is.



The first effect of plagiarism is this behavior is disrespectful to the original author. It is so rude to use another’s idea without referencing. Taking the exact words of another person without attribution is just like stealing a car from another person (Janice Moulton and George Robinson, Smith College, 2002). Michelle Langley (2010) claims that “A student who has copied the work of another person is not showing respect for his own creative and intellectual potential. It also shows that he does not care about maintaining personal integrity”. (http://www.ehow.com/facts_5472037_effect-plagiarism-students.html#ixzz24md4DHE4)

Worsen academic environment

Plagiarism tarnished the academic purity. When many students cheating in university, the whole learning environment will be affected then make the situation worse. When one student pass the assignment through plagiarism successful, and people around him know this news, they may try it. Then more and more students will find it is easy to finish assignment by plagiarism. That will make the number of people who plagiarism rise continue. That is minority students plagiarize cause plagiarism rife. It is certainly effect the whole academic environment in the university. Even in the famous university Oxford can not avoid it “Plagiarism could threaten the value of a degree from Oxford University as students increasingly copy large slabs of work from the internet and submit it as their own, the university has warned.”(Alexandra Smith 2006 http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/mar/15/highereducation.news) That is plagiarism produce plagiarism.

Academic corruption

The third effect is plagiarism make academic corruption on the rise. (Ivan Pacheco 2011) Plagiarism is one main part of academic corruption. (Michael Agelasto, 2004). According to that, when plagiarism is becoming more serious , it will be accompanied by the academic corruption. The fact is that the number of students in the UK who plagiarized is rising. (BBC news) That leads to academic corruption become more serious. For example, China now is experiencing the most serious academic corruption in recent years. In Chinese university, students finish the course work in the selected course by copy and paste from internet will not receive a punishment. And if one student finishes his/her assignment, the others will copy his/her work. Also it will be not a big deal in Chinese university. Those things make situation worse.


Students will receive a stiff penalty when they were caught in plagiarism. In educational institutions, particularly universities and colleges, treat plagiarism as a serious problem of academic purity. They admonish their students of serious results for plagiarizing the assignment of others. Maybe different colleges and universities have different discipline on plagiarism. There are four common penalty always be used by Our Lady of the Lake College. “(1)Lowering a student’s grade on the assignment (2)Giving the student a failing grade on the assignment (3)Lowering the student’s overall course grade (4)Giving the student a failing grade in the course “(http://www.ololcollege.edu/archive_material/plagiarism_project/Penalties_Plagiarism1.html)

Loss of Degree or Job

University students who were accused plagiarism

College students who commit plagiarism face the loss of their degrees upon discovery of the offense. College faculty members who plagiarize the work of other scholars face serious consequences as well. Professors who commit plagiarism may lose tenure and face even if being the loss of their jobs and damaging reputations. An academic found guilty of plagiarism faces the permanent loss of her credibility as a scholar. Plagiarism also may damage the reputation of schools as places of learning and intellectual inquiry.

Damaged Relationships

Plagiarism poisons the relationship between students and teachers by undermining the mutual trust that is an important element of the learning process. Widespread incidents of plagiarism, such as students taking work from the Internet and presenting it as their own, force teachers to act as police investigators, constantly searching for wrongdoing. All students become suspect in such an environment, and learning becomes impossible. Suspicion and mistrust replace intellectual curiosity and trust. Plagiarism also damages relationships between students who plagiarize and those who earn their grades honestly.

Lack of Critical Thinking

When students or instructors present others’ work as their own, they fail to develop and use critical thinking skills, which are necessary for learning and success in life.

Financial Aid

Continued receipt of federal financial aid is based upon a certain percentage of successfully completed course work. Students who receive F’s or who are suspended for entire semesters will likely be affected in financial aid eligibility. Private scholarship eligibility could also be affected.


Schools maintain student records, and instructors share information informally. Students who are caught plagiarizing may develop reputations as cheaters. Teachers will likely scrutinize students with reputations more carefully than other students.

All in all, effects of plagiarism can conclude into two main parts. Effects on education and students.



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