Students and Plagiarism

587 Words2 Pages
It is often difficult for today's students to avoid plagiarism. In some cases, plagiarism is unintentional because students were never taught proper methods for researching and writing papers. In other cases, students feel so pressured balancing coursework with the demands of a job or family perhaps both that they resort to plagiarism in order to complete their assignments. Some students excuse plagiarism with the claim that "everyone does it," and it is a matter of keeping up with peers. None of these scenarios makes plagiarism acceptable, but it does make it easier to understand why it occurs. Hamilton (2003) noted there are honest students whose plagiarism is unintentional "because they do not fully understand how to summarize, paraphrase, and make correct bibliographic citations." Students may truly believe that substituting synonyms (e.g., "happy" for "glad") makes the words their own. Many students do not realize that structure and ideas, not just words, can be copied. As technology advances, the temptation to cheat becomes over powering. The Internet has become a speedier and easier way to gain knowledge. Visiting the library has been replaced by a simple visit to a computer (Read, 2004). Unfortunately, many students try to use the Internet as opposed to the subscription-based databases (such as Academic Search Premier) that all academic libraries make available to students. Students may not feel comfortable using these databases and unless there is instruction,
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