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Academic honesty refers to the reflection of truthfulness and accountability in student’s work. It exemplifies a number of guidelines and policies that help a learner to deliver original and authentic academic tasks (Simpson, 2016). Academic honesty is important because it ensures that students are held liable for their work. It assists them to develop communication, intellectual, social, and self-management skills, which are necessary for both academic and career development (International Baccalaureate, 2014).
The Meaning of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is an improper act that involves putting down the works of other authors, knowingly or unknowingly, without recognizing their efforts (Wager, 2014). In many cases, students fail to acknowledge the source of information that helps them to complete academic tasks.
Plagiarism is defined as passing off someone else’s work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as your own for your own benefit. The most common form of plagiarism is copying information and using it as part of one’s assignment or essay, without acknowledging the original source of information (Hosny & Fatima, 2014, p. 749.)
Sometimes, students are dumbfounded by the amount of work assigned to them owing to insufficient time and/or preparations for eligibility exams meant for higher levels of education. In academia, putting down information from a source without using in-text citations or supporting references is regarded as plagiarism (Hosny & Fatima, 2014).
How Teachers Detect Plagiarism
Occasionally, teachers are obliged to accomplish bulky tasks such as checking homework assignments or examination papers. In most cases, they find out that students do little to justify the originality of their writing. Shariff (2016) unveils a number of ways that teachers follow to detect plagiarized work amongst students. First, they are keen on the presentation of unfamiliar expressions, duplications, or uneven writing styles. Secondly, teachers check out for wrongly cited styles. In this case, a student may intend to use APA referencing but end up mixing it with the MLA citation style in the course of copy-pasting material from online sources. Students also fail to include references at all prompting the teacher to detect plagiarism. Lastly, plagiarism can be detected where a student fails to use information that corresponds to the subject in question.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
Students can avoid plagiarism by practicing ethical writing (Dhammi & Haq, 2016). First, they should get a clear understanding of paraphrasing, which entails writing the original text in own words. In most cases, rephrased work should be followed by in-text citations. In addition, direct quotes should be accompanied by appropriate names, year of publication, and/or page number depending on the choice of referencing style used. Overall, any borrowed ideas or language should be properly cited and reflected in a reference list or bibliography.
Penalties and Consequences of Plagiarism
The most common punishment for completion of copied work is the invalidation of examination results (Higher Colleges of Technology, 2014). The completion of assignments or examinations following unethical means can result in the corresponding annulment of results regardless of the level of study. Another consequence that arises from plagiarism is deferral from school programs for either a part or for the whole semester, which can be a loss for the student. For worse cases, the victim’s education is terminated indefinitely.
The last decade has been characterized by the increased availability of information on the Internet. Students in the digital era have taken this opportunity to copy-paste and/or unethically present information obtained from online sources without acknowledging the owners. Following this state of affairs, educational institutions should devise a universal system to help students avoid academic honesty violations.
Higher Colleges of Technology. (2014). Student Handbook 2014-2015. Web.
Hosny, M., & Fatima, S. (2014). The attitude of students towards cheating and plagiarism: University case study. Journal of Applied Sciences, 14(8), 748.
International Baccalaureate. (2014). Academic honesty in the IB educational context. Web.
Shariff, R. (2016). How teachers can detect plagiarism. Web.
Simpson, D. (2016). Academic dishonesty: An international student perspective. Academic Perspectives in Higher Education, 2(1), 5.
Wager, E. (2014). Defining and responding to plagiarism. Learned Publishing, 27(1), 33-42.