Plagiarism in students’ lives

In modern conditions, plagiarism has become a serious problem for the higher education system both in the Russian Federation and other countries. According to the data of the sociological polls and expert opinions, extensive unfair borrowing is contained in more than half of the works of Russian students of various specialities. Written assignments increasingly turn into an imitation of the learning process, which calls into question of the quality and competitiveness of such higher education as it does not give fundamentally new knowledge even in comparison with secondary school. Moreover, we have serious doubt whether the government should cover the cost of studying of negligent students while maintaining low teachers’ salaries.

As many believe plagiarism in student work is treated as a form of academic fraud. According to the results of the study, one knows the opinions of students and teachers on the assessment of this destructive phenomenon. One proposes measures to prevent it. So the article also analyzes measures of preventing the spread of plagiarism, which is used in Russian and foreign educational institutions.

Scale data of student plagiarism

One should start with some researching proving that plagiarism is a serious problem of modern society. Estimates of the prevalence of student plagiarism vary widely. In the course of sociological polls which were conducted in different Western countries from 25 to 45% of students were admitted at incorrect borrowing (in some universities, the spread was much wider — from 10 to 80%). However, researchers believe that the figures were probably underestimated because some students could not admit at misconduct because of fear of punishment or shame. In addition, we should add that in Russia and some Asian countries the proportion of plagiarists among students is apparently much higher.

The reasons for the popularity of plagiarism

Well, why plagiarism is so popular? What are the main causes of the global student plagiarism epidemic? Let’s consider the most typical explanations which are offered by experts. The main reason is the progress of Internet technologies and the expansion of access to them. It is not necessary to rewrite or reprint the text from a book or magazine with your own hand as you can quickly download or copy it and paste it into your work, and combine suitable passages with several phrases. In addition, the Network is very actively used by firms where students can order their written work.

On the other hand, in many countries, the burden on the teacher is increasing. Teachers have to spend more and more time on bureaucratic formalities. Because of this, they spend less time on individual work with students. Careful verification of written assignments for originality is not an easy additional and, as a rule, it is unpaid work. According to some researchers, plagiarism is promoted by a drop in the level of corporate culture in higher education. There merchant relations “seller-client” dominate, diplomas are bought and they do not demonstrate the knowledge acquired at a university.

The prevalence of student plagiarism is primarily due to the development of the Internet. However, other factors also create fertile ground for it. For example, the workload of teachers and students is increasing.

Ways of countering to plagiarism

Technical methods for detecting plagiarism are varied. The easiest way is to enter short phrases from the evaluated work in the search engines, primarily in Google. However, this method is very laborious. It takes more than one hour to check carefully all the work in this way. Special programs and online services check much faster. There are a lot of free plagiarism checkers .

And if programs like PlagiarismFinder compare the whole text at once with the available materials in the Network, then online services use their own databases, including a huge number of student works, electronic texts of scientific publications, etc. One of the most well-known site, offering this type of service is Turnitin.com. It is used in 8,500 educational institutions in 109 countries.


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