Plagiarism in Education

Essay by bawiiiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2008

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Plagiarism in education is happening more today than ever. In a sample of 1,800 students at nine state universities, "84% admitted to cheating on written assignments" ( According to a study performed in 1999 in the United States, "almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead," and "51% of high school students did not believe cheating was wrong" ( The Internet has helped students to plagiarize, making papers and research data easily available. Plagiarism is not only committed by students. As shown in an article by Carrell and Sidebottom (2007), five faculty members of a university committed serious plagiarism offences. These are the very people who should be setting the proper example. This paper will focus on student plagiarism. Specifically, this paper will define plagiarism, explain how and why it happens, discuss potential consequences if identified, and explore method to manage it.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary (2006), plagiarism is presenting "the ideas or words of another as one's own."

As simple as this may seem, the education sector continues to struggle with plagiarism. Wicker (2007) stated that, "to avoid plagiarism, writers must always compose their own essays, using their own writing supported by references to other authors, and never directly copy another author's work."A study in 2001 found that, "72% of students reported one or more instances of serious cheating on written work," and "52% had copied a few sentences from a website w/o citing the source" ( Not all cases of plagiarism are detected, so determining the exact extent of plagiarism is not possible.

Plagiarism is not just a recent issue, but detecting it has become much easier. In 1876, an article appeared in the New York Times claiming that Charles Reade had plagiarized in his novel, Put Yourself in His Place. Claims that Shakespeare...