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One of the most up-to-date problems in the arenas of academic writing is plagiarism. Administrators and teachers have actually become very concerned about plagiarism. The reason is that these parties have an objective of ensuring that the academic assignments done by their students do represent their individual efforts and as a result reflect their learning outcomes. On the contrary though, plagiarism and/or its suspicion has reportedly began to impact teachers in various levels following the advent of the internet and worldwide web (WWW) (Lipson, 2004). This paper therefore, aims at availing a response to the growing educational apprehensions by defining what plagiarism is, listing the probable causes of plagiarism, giving the proposed responsibilities on the part of the students, administrators and teachers in an effort to address plagiarism and recommending the possible ways through which plagiarism can be avoided.
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What is Plagiarism?
By definition, plagiarism refers to an instructional vice occurring in the event that an individual (a writer) deliberately uses another person’s idea, language or other authentic material without necessarily acknowledging the source. Notably, this definition is applicable to those texts that hve been published in print, on manuscripts, on-line as well as the works of other student writers. Plagiarism may also entail the submission of another person’s text as one’s own or even making attempts to blur the line between a person’s own idea and those which have been borrowed form a different source. Carelessness or inadequate citation of words and ideas borrowed from another source may also amount to plagiarism (Council of Writing Program Administration, 2003).
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Causes of Plagiarism
There are various causes of plagiarism, but the primary ones are discussed below. The first cause is ignorance. While scholars in different countries may have been taught different referencing conventions and rules, there are those who are unable to paraphrase properly. Others think that citing the source at the very end of a paragraph is acceptable. Likewise, careless notes-taking amounts to this writing vice (Neville, 2007). Reportedly, majority of the students have poor notes-taking practices. Another cause of plagiarism is desperation. Desperation may be as a result of failing to comprehend the assignment’s material, procrastination, anxiety in writing or even being overwhelmed with too many issues or jobs. Inadequate intellect invested is yet another of the causes of plagiarism. More often than not, students have been regardedd as masters when it comes to avoiding busywork. Plagiarism may also be as a result of deception or outright laziness among scholars.
The main way through which plagiarism is avoided is through proper attribution. There is a need for each and every individual to learn the way forward in declaring intellectual debts. It is solely through proper attribution that these debts get to be acknowledged in a responsible, useful and respectful manner. The time at which attribution qualifies to be responsible is when it appears at a location and in a way that removes each and every doubt in a reader as regards to who is being thanked and on what he or she is being thanked for (Lipson, 2004). Moreover, in the event that attribution expresses the appreciation we have for a thing that has been satisfactorily done to guarantee our borrowing; the attribution qualifies to be respectful.
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It is imperative noting and coming to the realization that plagiarism is everyone’s problem of personal morale, since it is a willful action of the one plagiarizing. It is crystal clear that plagiarism is a product of lack of appropriate ethical education among students therefore all ought to rise in fight against this educational vice.
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