High School Students And Plagiarism
Plagiarism is very common among student high school and colleges today as various tests assignments and project works have elements of copying in them. These students may as well have no knowledge of the depth, effects or impacts of their acts. Some of them might not even have an idea of what plagiarism means and how wrong the act is as well as why it is discouraged and condemned in every form. The fact that some students have little or no idea on the subject will only mean that they are ignorantly engaging themselves in one or more form of it.
There are four types of plagiarism to include: Direct, self, Mosaic and accidental plagiarism. Direct plagiarism refers to the word for word copying or transcription of someone else’s work without giving acknowledgment or including a quotation mark on such piece. This practice is highly unethical, academically dishonest and is attracts sanctions like expulsion. For self plagiarism, a student submits his or her own previous work or a part of it without seeking permission from the teacher in charge. It can also refer to when a student submits the same piece of work to different classes without permission from both teachers/professors but in Mosaic plagiarism, a student borrows a phrase from a source without reference.
The accidental form of plagiarism occurs when a person tends misquote the sources or unintentionally paraphrase a source by using similar words. In one way or the other, high school students engage in one or more forms of the act knowingly or unknowingly. There are various reasons students plagiarize which depend on factors like personal factors, environmental or even social factors. For instance, when students are lazy they tend to look for other means to complete tests assignments and term papers and do not mind copying. Panic and lack of confidence is another factor as a student who has little or no confidence that what he/she puts down would be correct will tend to copy other people’s work.
Students who come from a background where collaborative learning is the in thing will definitely find it difficult not to plagiarize. To them, it is normal to do assignments in groups and collaborate with others just as it has been for them growing up putting them in the dark on the effects of their actions. In this case, the students have no idea that what they are practicing is a form of plagiarism which is unethical and frowned at. Many scenarios of this occur in High Schools among students, having no idea of the fact that they do wrong by not giving attribution or citing sources whenever they use some other person’s contents in their writing. Direct plagiarism is the common form of plagiarism in high schools and asides the fact that the students are may not be able to tell when they plagiarize or not, they are still learning.
This is the point where the high school teacher comes in to address the issues that lead students to copying as well as explain the effects in clear terms to them. Starting from the foundation would go a long way in that most High School students are not aware of plagiarism and why it is bad in every way. The teacher should be able to enlighten the students all round on the topic especially when giving out assignments. It should be clearly stated the effects of the action just as appropriate punishments given to deter others from falling prey.
In colleges and higher institutes of learning, the punishments are more severe as students there are to be more grounded than those in a high school setting. Asides explaining to the children on plagiarism as a whole, factors that result to the act addressed as well. This will make the children develop as well as give awareness which in turn reduce the rate of copying among them in every form. For instance with the children who plagiarize as a result of a collaborative learning background, the teacher can discuss gray area cases with the students. The reasons for citing sources should be discussed and explained to their understanding just as what does and does not count as plagiarism should be highlighted as well.
Having more high school students become even more aware of the reason to be more creative and if they have to use ideas and opinions from others, it should properly be documented. This in turn would get more high school students aware of this ill and curb the rise of these actions among them in general.