Plagiarism As A Form Of Academic Dishonesty

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Academic dishonesty is a very serious matter, that I feel most students do not take as seriously as they should. The most common form of academic dishonesty is known as plagiarism. Let us get into what that is exactly.

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty that is unacceptable at any academic level, but especially heinous at the collegiate level. The reason plagiarism is such a serious offense, is because it takes away the originality of the paper, by passing it off as someone else’s work.

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Most students pass it off as a minor offense, but it is a lot more serious than most realize.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, plagiarism is defined as “the act or instance of using or closely imitating the language or thoughts of another author without authorization, and the representation of one’s work as your own. When writing a particularly great paper, most take pleasure in their work. Students work hard to convey their ideas across in their papers, and present their research or information in a sufficient way. So when students come and simply copy and paste these past works into their papers, it isn’t taken lightly in the least.

Plagiarism is something that everyone should avoid. Not only does it undermine your credibility and destroys your reputation, it makes it harder to create papers from scratch because of the constant use of someone else’s ideas. When one constantly takes other people’s ideas and submit them as their own in their assignments, it becomes difficult to form their own ideas and content. This will only cripple you in the long run, especially if your discipline demands that you do a lot of written assignments.

Writing your own work allows you to come up with your own ideas and voice your opinions easily.

It is also helpful to avoid plagiarism, so that you can actually understand the question or subject matter that you are being required to write on. This is major, because if you cannot fully understand the subject matter you’re presenting on, it completely defeats the purpose of the assignment.

Plagiarizing can also have severe consequences; a student can be punished with a 0 for the paper, or complete failure of the course. But the consequences don’t stop there. At some universities, plagiarism can result in immediate expulsion, which will also be on your academic transcript, for any other school to see it.

Another reason not to plagiarize, is that when one is consistent in writing their own papers, it builds up stronger thinking ability. One of the major problems when writing any assignment is what most call writer’s block. Writer’s block is basically an inability to come up with anything worthwhile while writing a document for a prolonged period of time. However, the more practice you get writing, the easier it becomes to formulate ideas, opinions, and thoughts.

Plagiarism, on the whole, is an act of academic dishonesty and shows laziness on the part of the person writing the paper. The question remains though, when did plagiarism become such a huge issue?

According to an 2011 survey by Pew Research Center (Nicholson, 2018), most college presidents (55 percent) believed that plagiarism has become so common due to websites, blogs, and social media sites.

This is very disturbing, because if this is what is currently happening in colleges, this does not bode well for the future writers and journalists of this generation.

One other reason that students should avoid plagiarism, is because it shows a total lack of respect for the lecturer. In today’s day and age, it is much easier to catch students who are plagiarizing. There are all types of plagiarism checking software, plus most teachers just keep several papers for classes that are popular and just compare past with the present. Most students don’t even take the time to even make a proper attempt at copying from another source, so it’s easy to Google and see where it was copied from.

Professors are not stupid. Attempt to plagiarize just shows laziness and is also an insult to their intelligence. To make matters worse, even if a lecturer has no physical evidence of you cheating, once they suspect a student of it, there is a very high probability that there will be no leniency on any future assignments. It just, in no way shape or form, is a smart decision when dealing with a tough paper. All it does is make things tougher on you in the long run because you decided to try to take a shortcut to a good grade.

Plagiarism also will not guarantee you actually completing the assignment requirements. Let’s take for example, this particular paper. The question asked, was why should we avoid engaging in academic dishonesty at all times? I can guarantee that even with this particular subject, that some students will still attempt to incorporate some form of plagiarism in their assignments. When you plagiarize, you may take subject matter relating to the question asked, but the information copied may not answer the question fully. This is why many lecturers asks very specific essay questions, so that they can weed out the “copy and paste” papers from the thoughtfully written assignments.

However, academic dishonesty doesn’t stop at plagiarism. Academic dishonesty can also be cheating on tests and exams as well. Cheating on tests has become so common and easy, with the aid of the Internet and devices, that electronics are completely banned in most classrooms. In my opinion, I just don’t find it wise to partake in any form of academic dishonesty, because there is a good chance you won’t even retain the information if you’re just looking for a grade. This will have severe consequences in the real world.

Riddle me this. If you needed to have life-threatening surgery from a specific doctor, and you somehow knew they cheated majority of their exams, would you feel comfortable with your life in their hands? Didn’t think so. School is specifically to enlighten us in the information and theory of our academic disciplines, so that we may go into the world and exercise that same knowledge gained to benefit society. So when we cheat and plagiarize, in the long run, we are really only hurting ourselves.

Works Cited

  1. 10 Good Reasons to Never, Ever Plagiarize A College Paper. (2008, November 19). Retrieved November 20, 2018, from
  2. Talbert, R. (2018). Four reasons why academic dishonesty is bad – Casting Out Nines – The Chronicle of Higher Education. [online] The Chronicle of Higher Education. Available at: [Accessed 21 Nov. 2018].
  3. Nicholson, S. (2018). College Plagiarism: Awareness & Prevention Tips. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Nov. 2018].


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