Plagiarism as an Aspect of Academic Dishonesty

Integrity is expected in all the academic activities, especially in the examination as far as the role of schooling is to equip students with appropriate knowledge for their future developments. In that case, plagiarism is the most common case of academic dishonesty experienced by most of the institutions in the world. Yet sources treat plagiarism as an act of stealing one's ideas and making them your own, especially in writing, however, it varies with different sources the degree of vice it is to the society.

According to Russell Haitch, plagiarism is regarded as a violation of the social convention (Haitch). In that essence, plagiarism can be amplified to appear as a severe moral breach.

On the other hand, Raymond A. Scroth identifies the act as a hurting offense or rather a violation whose hurting impact goes straight to the deceiver and not the source (Schroth). It is ridiculous how Scroth stands to shade the implications of plagiarism on the offender and not the source.

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Both Scroth and Haitch relate the issue to the greed to earn credit and finance by the end of the day (Haitch).

Yet the society finds plagiarism as an emerging issue within the institutions of higher learning across the world, Jeff Karon associates the matter with the difficulty of the field a student chooses to study (Jeff). The latter is due to the reason that the act, as said by the students, is easy. However, justifying plagiarism from that perspective could be the most awkward thing as far as seeking honesty is concerned.

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Haitch, in his literature, claims that plagiarism is dated back to as early as the time when the Bible was written. The statement '…the prophet Isaiah plagiarized the Psalms, Micah plagiarized Isaiah, Peter plagiarized Jude, and about 25 percent of Colossians was plagiarized from Ephesians…' illustrates how possibly old plagiarism could following the recent claims that it is on the rise. The only fact tied to plagiarism is that there was little awareness about it within our institutions of higher learning. On that note, Scroth describes plagiarism as nothing foreign. Instead, Scroth places the malpractice in people's personality (Schroth). And it is only a matter of choice whether to commit it or not.

Nevertheless, before getting to be a classroom affair, cheating is an ethical issue. Originating mainly from the religions the children grew up in, cheating comes out as part of the difficult things the religion teaches them not to do. Robert J. Sternberg puts the religion in the center of cheating. He places it that the religions teach the children not to do the wrong things that are against the norms of the society claiming that it is difficult doing the wrong things than doing the right ones ( Robert). Sternberg suggests that the contrary is the reality the people encounter in an ideal society. So then, sticking by this concept then implies that society is the main contributor to cheating only that it reflects differently when it gets to a classroom setting. In the end, academic dishonesty, based on Sternberg's idea, is rooted in the upbringing of the children only to focus on anything easy to be done as ethical without examining what precisely the act is. In that case, the difficulty of action to a student is not acceptable, while the ease in doing something is ethically right (Robert).

Perhaps, Nancy Guillot Pearson in her article 'Classrooms That Discourage Plagiarism and Welcome Technology,' extends the scope of plagiarism from the controversial classroom setting to a high level and even elite book writers and publishing companies. On the same note, granting plagiarism a position whereby a student is in a situation where they are not getting the classroom content nearly justifies the cause of low academic integrities among the institutions of higher learning. Pearson puts it that teaching flaws are also part of the most significant causes of cheating or plagiarism in assignments (Pearson). It is true, however, that if a lecturer keeps giving out the same assignments over and over to the students will promote dishonesty in classrooms. Through that, students can copy and paste answers to the questions asked from internet sources or revised sources of the same. In other words, from the context of the article, as mentioned above, it is a matter of competence that can do away with cheating in examinations and other classroom activities. Apart from the latter situation, plagiarism also is confirmed to occur on the grounds of varying environments, and personal factors contribute to plagiarism in academics (Pearson). For example, R. Christopher Qualls in his article 'The Relationship Between Disciplinary Practices in Childhood and Academic Dishonesty in College Students' plagiarism by students at university and college levels to environmental factors including poor quality of a student's high school education along with cultural and childhood backgrounds (Qualls).

Additionally, for the personal factors, it is found out that male students tend to display a high prevalence of cheating and plagiarism in classroom assignments as compared to their counterpart female students. Also, as for the personal factors, parenting tolerance of mischievous habits like cheating will later on in life translate to academic dishonesties when these children grow to become college students. So then, according to Qualls, plagiarism is a result of what our surrounding (Qualls).

In as much as different writers and authors have varying opinions concerning the topic of academic integrity, it is also important to note that they all address plagiarism as nothing other than an academic vice. Plagiarism, however, is a misconduct that is done from various platforms. Ed Finkel confirms that students can access internet sources and download the content right as written and use them as their own words. Others copy and paste internet published materials and pastes them as straight as they appear (FINKEL). Finkel presumes that the internet is the best learning resource only that the plagiarists are misusing it to look like it is promoting forms of academic misconduct. Luckily enough, there is software that detects any attempt of plagiarism in a paper, including Turnitin (FINKEL). The latter does not serve any better at apprehending academic dishonesty suspects because they too have access to Turnitin, given that it is a website. Pearson proves lecturers wrong for using Turnitin since the students also on their end have the capability to upload a plagiarised content to Turnitin to counter check plagiarised percentage of which on finding any they correct it before submitting. All the same, plagiarism, from the latter stated scenario, will not be detected, but it has already been done.

Nonetheless, while so many institutions are setting strict rules and regulations against plagiarism and other academic misconducts, it is also essential that these rules should consider working on an unlimited scope. For example, Haitch talks about institutions that give a certain number of words that a student should copy directly from the source and quote it. That is itself a platform offering students to discover counter plagiaristic approaches to beat the rules and remain in their comfort zones.

In summary, plagiarism is one of the worst practices, slowly killing our academic competence as well as tolerating laziness that will eventually translate to other aspects of life. According to writers of academic integrity literature, plagiarism is a form of violation of academic transparency whose primary cause is within us despite sources claiming that it had been in existence since time immemorial. Other sources claim that there is a remedy to plagiarism, perhaps there are detection measures (Pearson). Now the issue is the students' countermeasures that keep them in the act despite the presence of the detectors. On top of that, plagiarism in the institutions of higher learning all across the world is at an alarming rising rate. The debate, as of now, is no longer the type of strict rules to be put in place but rather how to counter online plagiarism supportive platforms and websites. Nancy Guillot Pearson presents precisely the kind of online means where students can challenge the institutions' anti-plagiarism measures. Indeed fighting and winning the battle of academic integrity is going to take our institutions a toll.

Work Cited

  1. FINKEL ED, February 28, 2005, Sticky Fingers on the Information Superhighway
  2. Karon Jeff, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012, A Positive Solution for Plagiarism
  3. Sternberg, Robert J. “Slip-Sliding Away, Down the Ethical Slope.” Chronicle of Higher Education 14 Jan. 2011, Vol. 57, Issue 19. Print. The Chronicle of Higher Education is a publication of Editorial Projects for Education, Inc.
  5. Raymond A. Schroth, May 14, 2012, The Plagiarism Plague © America Press Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.
  6. Nancy G. Pearson, July 2011, Classrooms Tat Discourage Plagiarism and Welcome Technology
  7. Russell Haitch, Stealing or Sharing? Cross-Cultural Issues of Plagiarism in an Open-Source Era © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Updated: Jan 24, 2024
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Plagiarism as an Aspect of Academic Dishonesty. (2024, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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