Cheating and Plagiarism - The Plague of Plagiarism Essay

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The Plague of Plagiarism

Simply defined, the word plagiarism means "the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own" ("Plagiarism"). While many students understand and comprehend the first clause of this definition, many encounter problems with the second part - the thoughts part. Many students in today's educational system are frequently unable to develop their own thoughts, opinions, and ideas relating to the subject matter that they are studying. However, when people at a university are educated according to the ways set forth by John Henry Newman in "The Idea of a University," their ability to create original concepts would be cultivated to the
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. . followed by parental pressure" (Clayton 187). The solution to this problem lies within the framework for education laid by John Henry Newman. Newman states that students at a university should and will "learn to respect" others as well as develop a "clear atmosphere of thought" (48). This will then lead them to be able to think more independently and therefore rely more on their own intellectual skills than those of others. If and when the ideals of John Henry Newman are followed rather closely, the ability of all students to reason autonomously will increase dramatically and, thereby, decrease the amount of cheating.

Since the ultimate purpose of a university is to prepare people to be good citizens in society (Newman 48), and according to Jeffrey Hart, students in a university should become citizens after they complete college (131), if cheating is minimized at university level, it will also reduce in the society. In this context, citizens should be wholesome people who are able to give back to society, the honesty they have learned in the university; once they are a part of it. The university, also, has an aim of "purifying the national taste" and "raising the intellectual tone of society" as a whole (Newman 49). Cheating and plagiarism are not a part of this noble aim, neither of them improves any part of society. On the contrary, they are a boar on society, a plague that must
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