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Across the nation, college students work hard during the school year to provide good grades and good news to send back home. In the recent years, plagiarism has become a more common issue nationwide and it needs to be put to an end. Whether a student is copying half a sentence or a whole paragraph, they are plagiarizing by copying someone else’s work. Plagiarism’s definition is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”, that means it could be anything from copying a friend’s homework to cheating off someone on a test.
Trip Gabriel discusses plagiarism in his article, ‘Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age’. He explains how the current generation of students has a lot of shortcuts in their hands due to technology, but how it is a major problem to copy someone else’s words. Originality is key when writing and the internet has made it seem to some that if you read it online it becomes your own. Gabriel talks about a few examples of plagiarism around the country. One, in particular, referred to a student at the University of Maryland who got in trouble for plagiarism and stated that since he copied from Wikipedia, he didn’t think it would be plagiarism because Wikipedia is a public database where anyone can post. This mindset can only do a few things to a student; it gives them the thought that they can copy others and act like it is their own and it teaches them how to be lazy. We live in a world today that requires knowledge and drive to get you where you want to be. Anything is possible with the right mindset and the cheating mindset will get you nowhere in life.
In her article, ‘Forget About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach’, Rebecca Moore Howard presents an interesting point on plagiarism. Rebecca says, “We deprive them of an interested audience if we
scrawl a grade on a paper — and nothing else. We deprive them of a respectful audience if we tear apart the style, grammar, and mechanics of their papers, marking every error and accusing them of illiteracy, without ever talking with them about what they were trying to accomplish, how they might achieve their goals, and why all the mechanics matter anyhow.” Rebecca is saying that the issue with students plagiarizing is due to student feeling that their work will be a failure in their academic environment. Students nowadays would rather pay for someone else to write their paper, than to risk getting a bad grade with their own work. Students have plenty of resources to fix their own work such as peer editing/revisions, writing workshops, etc. The excuse to blame it on yourself failing should not be valid. With all the resources to succeed and gain knowledge around you at college, students should be going to get help and trying to do it themselves before they copy someone or pay someone to write their paper.
The University of Arizona is a renowned college that people come from across the country to get a great education and have a great experience. Cheating should never be what people think when they think of the University of Arizona. I do think that cheating is around at every college across the country, and I think that expulsion is a great punishment to show students that plagiarize that it is not allowed or accepted. The policy that is being discussed though seems extreme. I propose an idea of a 1st-time offense of plagiarism resulting in the failure of the course. This way the student will have to redo the whole course as a punishment, and on a 2nd offense- they would be expelled.
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