Why Students Plagiarize
Following is a list of factors to consider when thinking about plagiarism and how to help your students to avoid it.
- The internet has made it easier to access information that can be effortlessly pasted into one's writing.
- Perceptions of intellectual property influenced by file sharing, music downloads, Wikipedia, etc., make it difficult for students to evaluate the source of information.
- Students may be unprepared for college level writing.
- Students' focus on grades and their fear of failure create a motivation to cheat.
- Procrastination and poor time management leave students with limited options.
- Students are uncertain about which documentation rules to follow.
- Students in groups may blur lines between individual and collective responsibilities.
- Assignments that are too general or only require a final draft may be perceived as opportunities to cut corners.
- Inconsistent campus and faculty responses make it easier for students to hide behind their own confusion.
What are some differences in non-traditional/traditional students related to plagiarism?
In addition to the above, there are special circumstances that non-traditional students may face:
- Increased time management demands of balancing home, work, and school
- Increased feelings of lack of integration coupled with higher outside pressures
- Increased grade pressures for those whose employers fund their education
What are some cultural differences related to plagiarism?
International students may face specific challenges:
- Text and other intellectual property may be viewed as collectively owned by the society or culture, not the individual.
- Some cultures value open access over individual ownership.
- Learning based in rote memorization and copying rather than critical examination leads to instances of copying and pasting.
- The use of someone's work verbatim can be viewed as honoring the author.
- The buying or borrowing of papers and other forms of cheating are widely accepted.
- The pressures of writing in English create additional challenges: Excessive paraphrasing, cutting and pasting passages, and “patchwriting” can be considered as a means of learning the language.
- Students are unfamiliar with rules defining common knowledge, documentation, and other concepts.
- Best Practices for Preventing Plagiarism
- Procedures for Dealing with Plagiarism
- Plagiarism Resources for Students
- Additional Plagiarism Resources
- A-Z Faculty Resources
- Faculty Development Center
- Plagiarism Prevention Program
- Faculty Resource Guide
- Global Citizenship Program Collaboratory
- Training & Workshops
- Fair Use Guidelines
- Faculty Senate