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Plagiarism is not to do any research or quotation and cite other person`s thoughts or words as your own. It is a kind of cheating and a breach of academic ethics. However, the phenomenon of plagiarism becomes more and more common and happens every day.
A shocking news by The New York Times (Christine Haughney, August 10th 2012)that Fareed Zakaria, a famous host of CNN and Editor-at-large TIME Magazine, was found to plagiarize several paragraphs from an April 23 New Yorker article on the National Rifle Association was written by Jill Lepore. Consequently, Time had suspended him for a month .CNN deleted his article and informed him of further warming. And then, they started to investigate his work. There is no doubt that he would suffer from an abrupt frustration. His lesson will keep alert the rising phenomenon of plagiarism, especially in universities. An investigation taken by The Sydney Morning Herald (Alexander, 2006) discloses the problem in Australia. For instance, the university of technology, Sydney recorded 362 counts of plagiarism in 2005, at the same time, the University of Wollongong recorded 134. Across eight Australian universities, it is approximated nearly 3500 students have been caught cheating or plagiarism since 2001.
Another research journal in Australia was launched in 2005, the International Journal for Educational honesty, to solve the education and academic problems. According to this research “plagiarism in Australia, particularly in relation to the country`s historically high number of international students…”(Cohen, 2007, p. A51).
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So, what do university’s students especially international students actually think about the concept of plagiarism and what does it mean to them?
Penny cook (1996) states that he notion of ownership of text is a particularly Western concept. He indicates that plagiarism is a complex phenomenon. As a result, we have found that the reasons of plagiarism in university are followed by ignorance, digital resources and personal factors.The first cause of plagiarism in university is some students` ignorance. So we can find , student are always confused whether the action is plagiarism, especially for international students. For example, Students from the areas out of the UK, may have been taught different rules and academic environments before they entered in the English academy. Matalene (1985) states that her Chinese students produced a writing assignment, she found their sources were too similar and students were surprised by her subsequent objections to what they saw as a valid writing method. Later, one of her students found this eloquent way of summing up the ensuing class discussion:In this case the students agreed that they had copied from their sources but believed that they just to “borrow” the language from a source and copying was appropriate. They did not want to violate academic standards or pretend that they had not copied. As a result, this phenomenon have been offered, due to different cultures bring out different attitudes for plagiarism.In addition to students` ignorance, Internet may be is another cause of plagiarism.
So, internet provide so many different channels for students to get all binds of information in today`s digital age. For example. They can search whatever information they need in Wikipedia and Google, at the same time, they also can share and gain tens of thousands information in facebook and twitter. And there are incalculable number of words without the author attributed. So that is the important reason that some students even don`t realize they were plagiarizing. Figures obtained from an investigation by Journal of Second Language Writing (Yongyan li,2012,P165-180) reveal that the students` understanding of plagiarism and take an interview with a girl, for example, Her teacher found that approximately 25% of her essay overlapped.
According to this interview, we can found that this student never intends to plagiarize by using internet, but always did not know how to dealing with it. Well, that is true. Sometimes, when we looking for some resources on internet, it is too difficult to make a choice because of there are too many information online.
The last cause of plagiarism may be some personal factors which are attitude and procrastination. Specifically, may be most students will good faith effort to write their essays, there will always be some people just do not want to work hard. Steve Schriener, an English teacher in Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, who gave his students a poetry assignment:According to Schriener’ s experience, and there is a find that some students did not think their actions will be caught or bothered about the consequences of plagiarism. Meanwhile, procrastination may be one of the personal factors, especially for international students. When foreign students go to a country for studying, they will have many problems that they need to deal with. Such as the language barrier like not fully comprehending the assignment, adapt to new manners and customs. Sometimes they may have a little time to do their essays. So, some of them were forced to copy.Because of those causes, there are some serious issues of integrity, learning and relationships happened in college student. College-level plagiarism will product so many irreparable effects such as students betray trust with their fellow friends and professors. The serious punishment include expulsion from school, and when they plagiarize, they lost their original intention of studying.
First of all, plagiarism is a disrespect of others, especially for teachers and classmates. For instance, Plagiarism taints teachers and students, creating a climate of suspicion. Specifically, teacher and student need to means teacher s want to rely on their students’ honesty. Students have to be able to trust each other. When you steal the job from other writers, you lost your credit. And maybe no longer can your teachers believe that is your own works. Also, plagiarizing teacher’s and the job of the independent whose work is a kind of plagiarized action. If you didn’t care about the honesty of other people’s work, maybe later you would have to care about the relationship with people as well. For the classmates, if they help you before, they would think of you as a thief full of unfair, if students know that you are cheating and getting away with it, they may cheat.
Secondly, plagiarized is a disrespect action for yourself, especially for your leaning and motivation. When a student plagiarizes someone else’s job, it means he lost a very important opportunity to improve his writing skills and the ability of thinking, as well as he waste the time and life. plagiarized work means that you spent so many time and did an insignificant job.In other words, the reason why teacher want you to writing an essay, is to expand upon what you have learned in lectures and carefully develop writing assignments. To make sure that students can articulate the knowledge they have learned by a clear way. On the campus when plagiarism is discovered, unofficial drawbacks can have serious effects.To sum up, there is no doubt that plagiarism is a kind of abominable action for yourself, your teachers and the school, even it produces a bad influence for the society. So we have to think about some serious questions that why we studying and what is the most important thing during our studying process. The answers are genuine understanding and you must make all of knowledge become your own mind. It is not just replaying something you have heard and looked. Writing is a kind of form to show your own mind to readers, and you have to achieve that the readers can distinguish what is yours and what is someone else’s at a glance. At the same time, it is the very important and effective way to test whether you understand a topic authentically.
However, plagiarism makes your learning become insignificance. You need to learn how to write a paper that can show your mind completely and equips your own styles, maybe sometimes you found an essay that has the same ideas as yours, it is clear and easy to understanding, so you may be influenced by it, then you would write the similar one, but it not means you have learned it, it just learns how to cut and paste.And we should think about another question that why you should believe me if without the reference. We always use so many references in our essay when we want to show our minds clearer and equip more persuasion, that is good but we have to recall what the most in our paper is, references or our own words. If just someone else’s sentence, even they are from some famous people. It is true that your essay is very authoritativeness but it is a kind of plagiarism even so you are unintentional to do that.So in my opinion, plagiarism is not inevitable. In view of the above-mentioned causes in raising the output, I have written three reasons why plagiarism happens, if it happens just because there is no ability to accomplish it, we can find a solution for example the teachers can decrease the requirement and extend the time you make it temporary. It is not a way to relax just because of our only objective is we can learn and understand all of them authentically. And the second reason is internet, there is no doubt the internet can provide so many information for us, the great and the bad. I think if students can search the essay that has the same idea as them, they would copy them unhesitatingly because everybody can write the same words. So we can change the education environment like letting the students had the imagination and ability of creation when they were children, and how to pick the useful information up in the internet and become the own words not just cut and paste.
The last one is changing your attitude of learning, just thinking about plagiarism is from someone else’s but not your own, it is an action to waste life.
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