The educational institutions are gradually shifting towards a more practical and research-based education curriculum, including several projects and paper submissions. Many surveys have revealed this has increased the rate of plagiarism. The current plagiarism trend can also affect the career of the students.
The University of California-Berkeley official surveyed to show the change in students’ mindset about plagiarism. It revealed that from 1993 to 1997, on-campus cheating increased by 744%, which is quite alarming. Another statistical data obtained from a survey conducted on 24000 students of 70 schools by Dr. Donald McCabe showed, almost 58% of the students admitted plagiarising.
According to many experts, COVID restricted the learning environment to a home-based set-up devoid of face-to-face communication. This remote earning may give the students more opportunity to commit acts of academic dishonesty.
When the students fail to understand their topic, many may find it useful to seek help from writing services or ghostwriters using different online platforms. The tendency to procrastinate has also led them to copy content from different online platforms. A student must know the plagiarism trends so that they can compose a plagiarism-free unique content.
How Do the Students Cheat and Produce Plagiarised Content?
A student may have some misconceptions about the term plagiarism. Though plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional, it is unethical and can severely damage a student’s reputation. It may also happen that a student is not getting much understanding of a subject, and they may not have enough time to research.
They may think it is not wrong to copy-paste from another article. It is not only ‘wrong.’ It is a mistake that may negatively impact the student’s career. Here are some reasons why a student ends up with plagiarized or copied content-
Common Misconception: The students have different misconceptions about plagiarism, which affects their quality of writing. Therefore, a student must know what they should do and what they should not. Many students do not know what things they need to cite.
Even if they are using an online article or journal, they need to mention the date of publication, author’s name, and other relevant data along with the URL of the content.
Students must be careful about the spellings of the words used within quotes and the name of the work mentioned in the citation.
Failing to do proper citation can lead to plagiarism. Many of them also think that using content from published works may fetch good marks, which is an absolute mistaken notion.
Taking the help of Writing Services: On occasions, a student may seek help from the writing services or the ghostwriters associated with some online platforms. They may think that hiring professional writers may help them to unburden their load of studying. This idea may backfire as well.
Many writing services have issues with the quality of the content, and they may also provide pre-written content to more than one student. These can be an instance of plagiarism.
Using Online Tools: To avoid getting caught for plagiarism, many students use different AI-based tools, including the spinning tools. The spinning tools take away the essence of writing and can sometimes make the language flow rigid.
Therefore there can be a distinction in the writing style, and the teacher can quickly identify those copied parts just by reading them. There are several plagiarism checker tools available online that can identify those copied parts.
Other Forms of Plagiarism: On occasions, students take plagiarism casually, and even after knowing that plagiarism is unethical, they may end up with copied content.
Many paraphrase those copied parts or substitute parts of a sentence with synonyms to avoid allegations of plagiarism. These are some commonly committed forms of plagiarism. A professor can easily find out these parts by using an online plagiarism checker tool.
Accidental plagiarism: The increased cases of accidental plagiarism has also added to the plagiarism trends. Intentional or accidental, both sorts of plagiarism affects a student’s career.
A student may be willing to produce plagiarism-free content, but their mistakes like misquoting, missing quotation marks, lack of citation, absence of in-page citation can cause plagiarism. They may accidentally write some parts of pre-existing content without even realizing it. These can also be an instance of plagiarism.
Educational Institutions on Plagiarism?
Since many institutions consider plagiarism a threat to their academic integrity, they have their academic policies to avoid it. Allegations of plagiarism can take away an institution’s reputation, and they may lose their international students. It is the reason the institutions prefer to educate and aware the students against plagiarism.
Specific data collected in 2004, 2009, and 2014 showed a gradual decline in plagiarism trends after making the students aware of plagiarism. The institutions also prefer to take a firm stand. Therefore, when students commit plagiarism repeatedly, they may give the student a failing grade or suspend them from the course even after the warning.
Concerning the plagiarism trends in pandemic situations, there can be an increased number of cases. The institution can still control the issue by providing a special session where the students interact with their teacher in a one-to-one communication set-up and clarify their doubts about the topic.
They can also take suggestions from the teacher regarding their paper if they get their lesson simplified to reduce plagiarism significantly.
What Students and Researchers Can Do to Avoid Plagiarism?
Plagiarism can affect a student’s career, and therefore, they need to be careful about committing plagiarism. The researcher must keep in mind that any unique idea and writing can create the best impact.
They can jot down the names of their sources in a place and carefully place the in-page references and citations to avoid plagiarism and mistaken citation in the first place. The students and researchers can use MLA format, APA format, and other formats while writing their citations.
They can use a plagiarism checker before publishing or submitting their article. The online plagiarism checker scans the content and compares it against the other content available online. Then those tools produce a detailed report about those copied parts. They also mention the source of those plagiarised parts. The students can efficiently work on those parts for avoiding plagiarism.