With unlimited access to the World Wide Web available, plagiarism tendencies among high school students have reached unbelievable heights. Whether done unintentionally, owing to ignorance, or intentionally, due to insufficient knowledge of plagiarism detectors like ‘Turnitin’, to obtain good grades or just to challenge authority. Truth is that varying degrees of plagiarism consequences in high school exist. Read on to find out more…
Using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source constitutes plagiarism…. To plagiarize is to give the impression that you wrote or thought something that you in fact borrowed from someone, and to do so is a violation of professional ethics…. Forms of plagiarism include the failure to give appropriate acknowledgment when repeating another’s wording or particularly apt phrase, paraphrasing another’s argument, and presenting another’s line of thinking.. – Joseph Gibaldi, M.L.A. Style Manual.
A word used widely today mainly due to its rampant prevalence, plagiarism is the English derivation of the Latin word plagiarius, meaning to snatch or abduct arbitrarily. The Internet has reduced the world into a global village. Information on no matter what, from no matter which end of the world is literally a click away, thus cutting down on the magnanimous task of reference work. This boon however, has become a raging menace owing to the restless group of high school students who have reduced it to a tool to access the easy way out.
Most of the time, students of the aforementioned section plagiarize without knowing much about plagiarism consequences in high school. True as it is, law and order always catch up with any phenomenon much later. In reality, well-defined penalties for plagiarism in variant degrees are existent in high schools. These are implemented after an in-depth scrutiny done by the teacher in order to understand the motives behind a particular case of plagiarism. Before you proceed, you might like to take a look at the different types of plagiarism.
Reasons for Plagiarism
The usual excuses for plagiarism, cited by high school students when nabbed, are grounds of scrutiny to gauge the motive and thus determine the subsequent penalty. Broadly, the excuses can be further segregated under intentional and unintentional plagiarism.
Generally for intentional plagiarism, the excuses stem from mismanagement of personal time when the student is either multitasking, meeting multiple deadlines or is simply lazy. Naturally ‘copy-pasting’ is faster and anyday less tedious than self-composing and typing out original material, thus indulging in Internet plagiarism. Also when a student develops a general lackadaisical disposition due to a lack of interest in the course material, or topic, the faculty’s disinterest or ignorance towards technological possibilities or the presumption that the older generation is by large lagging behind when it comes to the Internet, she resorts to plagiarism. Most crucially, the desire to step up in the rat-race in a quest for good grades either due to the constant pressure generated by parents, relatives, peers or personal ambitions, leads to plagiarizing. Also, very often a student is unaware of her potentials either due to insufficient self-exploration or constant discouragement from others. But naturally, she then tends to depend on works of others rather than create something on her own and thus, plagiarism is thrived upon.
Unintentional plagiarism, on the other hand, usually occurs due to unclear knowledge of Internet referencing, or the student’s lack of knowledge of the purview of plagiarism. Also, confusion about handling of specialized works or how to tackle takes of experts on specialized subjects or in-cognizance of the system of giving credits when the fact is yet to be a part of the public domain, is considered unintentional.
Consequences of Plagiarism in High Schools
The effects of plagiarism on students are more or less the same. Not only is it the prerogative of the high school authorities to avoid legal consequences, copyright issues and subsequent litigation, but also uphold the basic educational aim to encourage original thinking and action and limit academic theft. So depending on the reasons mentioned above, the following are usually the consequences.
- The first step is generally a stern warning given to the student. It may include omission of the plagiarized portions of the assignment and marking on whatever is left of it. At the most the student is asked to re-submit the assignment, which in reality is a boon in disguise to fair well.
- The entire assignment is scraped and the student is given no marks for it.
- Parents are notified along with the school administrators, usually followed by meetings between the two parties.
- Students are given elaborate counseling sessions on consequences of plagiarism in high school.
- If the student refuses to adhere to rules even after that, then he has to suffer abeyance from extracurricular and other school activities. Also a note may be added to the student record for future reference. This obviously hampers the reputation of the student and takes a heavy toll on further academic ambitions or admissions in cases of transfer.
- In extreme cases though, the penalty is rather heavy wherein a student is not allowed to sit for a subject exam or the course exam or is expelled altogether.
Sadly, as Dr. Donald McCabe, a management professor at Rutgers University in Newark, puts it, “In high school, the consequences are not so grave as they are in college. High school students caught cheating are usually given a stern lecture or, at worst, a failing grade. On rare occasions, seniors will not be allowed to graduate.” Thus, repeated attempts are made by school authorities to change the attitude of the students towards plagiarism.
It is, therefore, very important to inculcate simple habits to avoid plagiarism in high school. Here’s more on ways to avoid plagiarism. Pay attention while you read instructions in order to comprehend techniques of doing reference work, incorporate double-quotes while quoting someone word for word, widen the resource base for research work, and most importantly, avoid the tendency to cheat or copy from classmates or anyone else. These simple tips are enough to help you avoid the plagiarism consequences for students. After all, the joy of creating something new and giving wings to your own abilities is high, which little exists in anything else. So, cheers to life and originality!