Academic Integrity

Recent Findings on Plagiarism in Education

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Academic honesty is a growing problem in America’s schools. Students are not doing their own work, and they are submitting assignments that are supposed to be their own original works but are not. Data shows that one in five students are suspected in plagiarism cases. This is a trend that can be seen all across America.

Academic Competitiveness

Students are becoming more competitive, and they are looking for every edge to boost their GPAs. Unfortunately, they are not doing it the right way. They are letting others write for them, or they are copying entire essays and papers off the Internet and passing them off as their own. Teachers and professors are getting wiser and are scanning and checking each paper to make sure that there are no violations of the academic honesty policy. These violations are known as plagiarism.

According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor,

Donald L. McCabe, a professor at the Rutgers University Business School, and a leading researcher on cheating, told the Times he doesn’t think there’s any question that students have become more competitive under more pressure, and, as a result, tend to excuse more from themselves and other students, and that’s abetted by the adults around them.

Visiting Students

In recent years, students are traveling more frequently and in greater numbers to the United States from China. They are facing rigorous academic standards, and it is speculated that their English writing skills are not up to par for the universities that they are attending. To avoid poor grades, these students are turning to plagiarism. According to an article in the South China Morning Post,

academic dishonesty accounted for 23 percent of Chinese students expelled in the United States.

According to data analyzed and mentioned in the SCMP article, approximately

8,000 Chinese students were expelled from American schools in the past year, according to a Pittsburgh company specializing in overseas education services.”

Plagiarizing is considered a new trend because

academic dishonesty and rule violations among Chinese students also have been on the rise, said Andrew Chen, chief development officer of WholeRen Education, a consultancy for Chinese students in the US.

Academic Dishonesty is Popular

In the past, cheating was one-hundred percent frowned upon, but now it has become the popular thing to do. Many students have completely turned their backs on learning the material or writing their own papers because it is an easier and faster way to guarantee a good grade, provided that the student is not caught and expelled for violating the academic honesty policy of the university. According to a Stanford University fact sheet,

cheating no longer carries the stigma that it used to. Less social disapproval coupled with increased competition for admission into universities and graduate schools has made students more willing to do whatever it takes to get the A.

Not Just For Guys

Stanford University’s research also found that

thirty years ago, males admitted to significantly more academic dishonesty than females. Today, that difference has decreased substantially and some recent studies show no differences in cheating between men and women in college.

College has turned into a cutthroat endeavor, and the students feel that they have to do whatever it takes to be successful. Plagiarism seems to be the optimal choice for both males and females. Some feel that it is no big deal because it is an individual thing that really is not hurting anyone.

However, they are cheating themselves out of an education, and they are cheating their future employers out of an exact picture of their abilities because their grades will be skewed higher when their cheated grades are figured in.

Plagiarism Detectors Can Solve The Issue

It is obvious that the world has a cheating problem, and it is pervasive in even the elite schools across the nation. According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor, Stanford is just one of several elite schools that have investigated violations of the respective academic honor codes in the past few years, including Harvard University, Dartmouth College, University of North Carolina, the Air Force Academy, and Stuyvesant High School.

Unplag has the answer for this. The free plagiarism checker online for teachers allows teachers to scan the documents and determine if plagiarism has occurred. It automatically highlights the plagiarized passages within a text. It works quickly, and there is no reason that the plagiarism epidemic cannot be stopped. If instructors were more vigilant and the consequences and penalties were enforced instead of turning a blind eye to this immature, unprofessional behavior, the playing field would be leveled for all students, and there would be no desire to cheat.

If the consequences are minimal and the odds of getting caught are slim, then there is no deterrent for the cheating behavior. Plagiarism detectors like Unicheck work to catch cheaters so that they aren’t being rewarded.

Check out our post on how to deal with cheaters in the classroom.