Plagiarism has become a serious concern in the university as it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that university students plagiarise in English-speaking country. The growth of internet usage had lead plagiarism to a worsen situation. Plagiarism is the “act of plagiarising” (Hank 1979 cited in Park 2003, P. 472), which means ‘to steal ideas, words, and information from others and make it to your own work. It can also explain that is copying others words. This essay critically discusses the university undergraduates plagiarise intentionally in which this can be treated as an academic offence.
There are three main reasons for students plagiarise: poor time management, the temptation and opportunities and the attitude of the student. Student faces stress throughout the academic year which is one of the reason why undergraduates plagiaries. Student who has poor time management might find themselves difficult to meet the deadline as sometimes the workload in the university is a burden for the student. Pressure from multiple work assignments in short amount of time will increase the chance of student plagiarise.
If the student only starts writing their essay the night before its submission day, it is obvious that he/she would not have enough time to finish it. Poor research, writing skills will responses to why students plagiarise as well. It is because students need to put effort on the research and writing essays. Peer pressure might be one of the reasons why student has poor time management as they might encourage each other to have an active life and also student might have commitment on sports and performance activities (Park2003, P479).
Not only peer pressure would lead to poor time management but also family responsibilities as well. The cost in which associated with education is a burden for their family therefore it is “too much” to fail. According to Marcia & Kathleen (2007), they interviewed an international student in which he/she claimed that it is so expensive to fail as he/she had been working for three and half years in order to save money for university. Therefore student will feel that it is not worthy to redo a year as the cost of the university tuition fee is expensive.
In other words, student’s lifestyle, family responsibility and pressure from peers encourage student to gain the best possible result with the minimum work. The higher education embraces the advantages on the technology, this leads to an increase of student’s temptation and opportunities of student plagiarise. In these recent years, the accessibilities of internet and web search are easier than the past in which it is more tempting for student to plagiarise. There are 40 % of students plagiarise because of the easy access to materials via the internet in UK.
Students are not required to do their research in the library and find information related to their course work or essay. They can now have ready access to any digital source, including full-text CD-Rom database and electronic journals on the internet which they can search it anytime and anywhere even in their house. For instance, student nowadays can buy essay online with their credit card and turn it into their own work like www. cheathouse. com selling pre-prepared essay over the internet as a business. Google. com has provided large databases for student to do their work like scholar, books.
Moreover the student’s attitude of the ownership of the work is weak as nowadays students feel comfortable and acceptable when they illegally downloading music and reading articles on the internet (Young, 2001 cited in Chris2003, P481). Student who pays ghost writer or essay led to believe that plagiarism is a serious academic offence however they still believe that it is impossible to get caught. They also outweigh the risks of being caught and think that the punishment is only little or even no punishment. The attitude of the student placed an important factor towards the level of plagiarism as well.
If the student respect the tutor/ lecturer, they will finish their course work or essay by themselves and they also think it is important for themselves to finish it on time and punctually. Some of the students cheat because they think the task that teacher required them to do are not important and meaningful. Those students have a negative attitude towards the lesson (Howard, 2002 cited in Chris, 2003 P. 479). Besides, if the relationship between the teacher and the student is positive, student is less likely to cheat.
It is because the student trusts the professor is teaching what they should learn. However, if the relationship of the teacher and student is negative, the student believes that their professor doesn’t bother reading their paper. (Burnett, 2002 cited in Chris 2003 P. 479). To simplify it, plagiarism tend to be more common in class when the student believe the subject does not matter to he/she or they have no interested on the topic or even they think it is not important to them. In addition, some students enjoy plagiarising and be ‘the guy who have the answer’ in which it will make them feels proud.
Devlin and Gary (2007) highlights that some student argue that ‘To do it the hard way is stupid’ for this reason student think plagiarism make them feel good. It illustrates that student nowadays is particularly more easy to get involved in different things in which will influence their behaviour towards their motivation on the task. To conclude, it is generally believed that student plagiaries behaviour is intentional as of the above example that have been explained poor time management, temptation and opportunity and the attitude of the student.
However, even so there are still student plagiaries unintentionally because of their lack of understanding of referencing skill. Therefore, the university should take action to stop student plagiaries by giving out correct morality to the student and to remind them plagiarism is not a right behaviour whether intentional or unintentional, by giving penalty or lower grades if they find out. Additionally student’s reckless behaviour should change as plagiarism is a serious academic offence. Hence university and student should work together to avoid plagiarism.
Chris, P. (2003). In Other (People’s) words: plagiarism by university students- literature and lessons. Assessment &Evaluation in Higher Education, 28/5,471-288 Devlin, M. and Gary, K. (2007). In their own words: A qualitative study of the reasons Australian university student plagiarise. Higher Education Research and Development, 26/2,181-198 Hart, M. and Friesner, T . 2004). Plagiarism and Poor Academic Practice- A Threat to the Extension of e-learning in Higher Education? Electronic Journal on e-Learning, 2/1, 89-96. Retrieved November11, 2010, from http://www. business-kac. co. uk/art25. pdf