Plagiarism and academic misconduct are two terms that go hand in hand. Later in the outcome of the former. Plagiarism relates to written content and it means copying others’ work without giving the credits to the original writer. Academic misconduct relates to cheating. Misconduct may be in two forms, one in the form of plagiarism and the other in the form of fake referencing. The present work will discuss the causes of plagiarism, how to avoid it and when does it lead to academic misconduct from the point of view of a student and an academic institution.
Every student admitted to any University or College has to follow its rules and regulations and its guidelines. Assignment writing is a part and parcel of academics and all academic institutions provide assignments to their students whether they like it or not. The guidelines always have a clause about plagiarism and academic misconduct and every student should be aware of the same.
In order to complete the assignment, the student needs to know what exactly the professor is looking for. When the student is clear on the content and the points to be covered in the assignment then he/she will not take a risk to complete the assignment from some outside sources. In such a situation, the student may use the lecture notes and his/her knowledge in completing the assignment.
In case the student is unclear about the assignment and its content then he/she will look for some outside help to complete the work. Excerpts from books, articles, online sources or sample work can be used to make the assignment. There are students who know about plagiarism and what it leads to so they will not copy-paste the work rather they will paraphrase the work and there are other students who are just copying pasting the work.
Paraphrasing is rewriting of a previous text but it needs to be supported with the source from where it has been paraphrased. The addition of a source gives credit to the person whose content has been used. The student needs to include the last name of the author along with the year at the starting or at the end of the content and the details about the source are included on the last page in the form of references. No professor raises any objection to the inclusion of any such sources. At times it seems impossible for a student to paraphrase the content in that case he may write the same content using quotations and citing the page number or the paragraph number in the source.
Sources cannot be placed randomly at any section of the assignment as it may lead to fake referencing. Fake referencing is a term that denotes that the references used are not genuine. There is a possibility that the student has mixed some information about a reference like the name of the author, year, or the title is incomplete. There is also a possibility of the content not matching the sources which happens in cases where a student has written some content from different sources but did not keep a record of it. So in order to save the work from being plagiarized the student places some random sources at the end of the sentences which can be caught by the professor. If he reads the content of the source and comes to know that the content does not match the information provided in the assignment help then he may raise a question on the authenticity.
If the student has completed the assignment by paraphrasing the content and giving due credits to the author of the source then he needs to run the completed work through the plagiarism checker software. Plagiarism checker is the software that helps in detecting plagiarized content in any document. It also states the source of the plagiarized content. It highlights the sentences and parts that need to be rephrased. If the assignment has some quotations then it will definitely come under the scanner but the student need not paraphrase the quotations if they are included and sourced as per the required format. There are different plagiarism checker software like Turn-it-in, Plagiarism Checker, Safe Assign, Grammarly, etc. Majorly, University uses turn-it-in is to check plagiarism.
An unfocussed student may either submit a plagiarized assignment or a copied work with some changes. If the University comes across the fact that the work is plagiarized or it is a paraphrased version of another work or the content does not match with the sources used then they charge the student for academic misconduct. In case the student has paraphrased the work of one of the classmates then both can be charged for the misconduct. The classmate has to prove his work in order to save himself. Once a student is charged for academic misconduct, an inquiry is set up and he/she is called for the meeting. If the student is unable to answer back the questions being raised by the committee, he is charged with the offense. In such cases, the student should accept the fault and ask for another chance. There are some universities that provide a chance to the student to rectify the mistake by submitting fresh work.
Academic misconduct has some major repercussions, he fails the course and he is made to pay the entire course fee once again. At some universities, they cancel the Visa of the student in case he/she is a non-resident of the country.
It can be concluded that plagiarism is a grave offense and should be avoided at the academic level as it may lead to academic misconduct. There are various steps that a student may adhere to while writing his assignment or paraphrasing an outside source. Credit to the outside source is a must. When the assignment has been written it needs to be scanned through the plagiarism checker in order to detect the plagiarized content. If the required check has been done the student may go ahead and submit the assignment.
Plagiarism and academic misconducts are the two terms which trouble every student while submitting their assignments. This article explains all of the gravity of the offense which is plagiarism and how it can lead to academic misconduct which potentially ruins your whole year.