Plagiarizing occurs on both sidesThursday, January 29, 2009 By Micaela Magsamen
Dating back to pre-school, teachers have lectured students on the ethics of being honest. It is drilled into the brains of students everywhere that plagiarism is wrong, illegal, and the consequences of being caught doing it can result in failure. With it being so easy to do, kids plagiarize all the time, usually with no consequences. "64 percent of high school students report one or more instances of serious cheating on tests/exams while 58 percent report one or more instances of serious cheating on written assignments," Professor of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School Don McCabe said. More than half of the student population cheats and plagiarizes. In 2003, there were 17 million students enrolled in high school, according to http://census.gov . That amounts to 9,860,000-10880,000 students plagiarizing in high school. Where do those students get the idea that it is okay to plagiarize? They get it from their teachers, of course! In today's busy world, there is not enough time for teachers to make up every single one of their own worksheets and tests that they hand out. That is not any different from students who do not have enough time to do homework with school, sports, jobs, and family obligations. If teachers do not have enough tie to make their own homework and projects to hand out, they should not expect students to have enough time. Teachers get multiple worksheets, test, questions, and project ideas from the Internet, just like students. Students learn from the best. If teachers did not give projects that require outside sources, plagiarism wouldn't be as big of a problem. When one is given a five page report on information about a country they have never been to, of course they need outside sources to write it. The biggest problem in plagiarism is students not knowing, or caring to cite sources. It is understandable that teachers need to get some ideas and questions from other sources other than themselves, how else are they supposed to offer the best education they can? The problem resides in that rarely, if ever, do teachers give credit to the sources, while punishing students for the same act. Teachers stick up for themselves often by saying that they talk to other teachers and share ideas and that it is okay to do that. Kids are exposed to the same material twice and as a result may learn nothing new. Yet, if students are found sharing ideas and turn in two similar projects it is still considered cheating. Students are punished on assignments that are found to be plagiarized, but that happens when a student comes across the website that teachers copied from? It would be intimidating to walk up to a teacher and accuse them of stealing their project idea from another source. However, a double standard on plagiarism exists and teachers need to refrain from the old saying of, "Do as I say and not as I do."