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Causes and Impacts of Student Plagiarism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2653 words Published: 17th Mar 2021

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This research paper will focus on the enormous expansion of understudy literary theft including the Internet, the reason for this examination is to figure out which hypothesis of moral thinking understudies summon while guarding their offense: utilitarianism, cultural relativism, or Ethical Egoism. Plagiarism is an unethical issue which affects institutional systems worldwide. By understanding which hypothesis of moral thinking understudies utilize is basic, as preemptive advance can take by staff to neutralize this thinking and avoid plagiarism.

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Plagiarism is a challenge in modern society. Students have access to digital material via the internet, thus making it simple for students to copy and paste information. It is simple for teachers and professors to identify plagiarism. Plagiarism is not just about copying of someone's work. It can be far more complicated if it is a case of paraphrasing or obfuscation. According to Kong, Lu, Qi, & Han (2014), high-obfuscation plagiarism can be realized by modifying original text by reduction, combination, paraphrasing, summarizing, restructuring, concept specification and concept generalization (Asim, Wasim, Khan, Mahmood, Mahomood W., 2019).   Plagiarism is an act of fraud as a result of it entails stealing and mistreatment another person’s words or concepts while not attribution credit to the person: the act of plagiarizing one thing (Plagiarism,2018). Academic plagiarism means to simply use some one’s body of work, research or ideas and submit it as your own body of work.  Plagiarism has a cause and effect component that requires ethical decision.

Analysis of plagiarism

Scholastic literary theft is a genuine offense in our academia reality. Numerous individuals may state that they are pushed into counterfeiting content because of conditions yet some of them achieve these conditions. The reason for this are: (a) dread of disappointment on exhibiting their very own work; (b) the dread of going out on a limb with one's own work which may bring about disappointment if work is not appropriately done ; (c) poor time the executives abilities henceforth one needs sufficient opportunity to chip away at their assignments or bits of work viably. All the above causes or 'conditions' as some may get a kick out of the chance to call them, are what many states or depict that 'constrained' them into submitting the offense of stealing.

Laziness is the biggest reason in almost all cases of plagiarism. The study has shown that students and academic staff established that 32 (62.7%) students strongly agreed that they plagiarism because of laziness and poor time management, lack of good  academic writing skills, (to cite, paraphrase, summarize or write references) 27 (50.9%) students strongly agreed that they plagiarize because of pressure to beat assignment deadlines. From these findings, it concludes that students commit plagiarism intentionally and unintentionally (Selemani et al., 2018). 

A study of students at Mzuzu University stated that students committed plagiarism even though knowing the ramification of the offense in the academic domain. The results showed that the majority of students with scores of 45 (88%) regard plagiarism as a serious offense whereas six (12%) students regard plagiarism as serious offense. Other studies have established that the more students regard plagiarism as a serious offense the less likely they can commit plagiarism (Selemani, Chawinga, & Dube, 2018).

Ethical Analysis

The reason for this examination is to figure out which hypothesis of moral thinking understudies summon while guarding their offense: cultural relativism, Ethical Egoism or utilitarianism. Plagiarism is an ethical dilemma which affects institutional systems worldwide. By understanding which hypothesis of moral thinking understudies utilize is basic, as preemptive advance can taken by staff to neutralize this thinking and avoid plagiarism. Decision will reveal vast number of theories on why plagiarism is seen as wrong under different theories; what type justification a student would use for plagiarism.

Cultural relativism

Cultural relativism is the meaning of justice, injustice, right, and wrong rests with a society actual moral guideline. The guideline is different from place to place and from time to time. A student that utilizes this theory to justify plagiarism as being acceptable in society for example “I did it in junior college and it was okay;” “Everybody does it in Asia;” “It’s permitted in the country where I’m from”. According to James, Miller, Wyckoff (2019). Australia believed that the Internet is a free zone because the information is common knowledge and, therefore, does not need to be cited appropriately. While in China, text is viewed as a repository of knowledge or a means of conveying knowledge rather than a construction of knowledge. Chinese students see using another author’s words as a form of respect. Another explanation is that Chinese teacher’s culture totally has the authority and is an expert that recognize any source, and citation would suggest that the writer does not acknowledge the teacher’s expertise (James, Miller, & Wyckoff, (2019).

In this case, a choice not to submit scholarly copyright infringement would be molded by the understudy's predominant culture and standardizing practices.

Ethical Egoism

Ethical Egoism is a philosophy that states each person should focus exclusively on his or herself and sacrifice others for their benefits. A moral decision a person to take in a particular situation is the action that will provide that person with the greatest benefit in the long run.  Egoism can also be linked with the common-sense moral intuitions. It states we should not to do certain things for example do not lie, do not kill, cause in the end it will serve he/her own interest. A famous phrase goes  “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”.  It is in he/she own self interest is to not harm others. A student that utilizes this theory to justify plagiarism if they happens to get away with doing it and did not get caught for example “I’m smart, I plagiarized, and didn’t get caught. If I did get caught, then I’ll blame it on someone else”.  When students are caught, they accuse others or deny the charge. Some regular cases such understudies made were: ''It was the educator's shortcoming since he/she didn't discuss it in class;'' ''I unintentionally submitted an inappropriate form of my paper;'' or ''the other individual had copied them.'' Finally, they denied that they had appropriated, even within the sight of indisputable proof.

The decision to submit scholarly written falsification would be founded on the understudy's view of the individual advantages followed from doing as such (i.e., a longing to succeed or an advancement that is more grounded than the moral limitations being abused)


In direct contrast to egoism, which induce individuals to act for personal gain, utilitarianism stress the degree to which an act leads to the greatest good for the society.

Utilitarianism is an action which an individual ought to gauge the expenses versus the advantages and act to create joy or avoid despondency for an individual or a community. An ethical choice is one that makes the best all-out utility. A student that utilizes this theory to justify plagiarism if the results were good for example “if it leads to better grades and passing the course”; “No one gets hurt;” “I didn't think there was any damage being done;'' and ''I was falling behind and doing inadequately, so I figured this would help.''

The choice to submit scholarly written falsification would be founded on the understudy's solid feeling of having a place with a scholastic network, feeling of scholastic trustworthiness, or regard for the first writers of the work.

Recommendations for the ethical theories

The suggestions underneath is fundamental to making a moral culture at any institution of higher learning and to imparting moral qualities in their understudies.

Cultural relativism

Since these people believe that unoriginality is passable, the professor or teacher should focus on clarifying why it isn't right and what precisely it is and afterward show appropriate conduct.

• Define copyright infringement as off-base

• Contract respect

• Teach appropriate reference and documentation procedures

• Use against written falsification programming


The recommendation centers around making the negative results of counterfeiting clear and significant.

• Explain and underscore reconnaissance

• Institute clear, serious punishments

• Enforce punishments

• Emphasize learning hindrance and other negative outcomes

Ethical Egoism

The institutions reaction must concentrate on making understudies mindful of how they can be gotten and guaranteeing these understudies learn and recognize what written falsification is, so they can't reprimand others for a ''misconception.''

• Explain and stress reconnaissance

• Institute clear, extreme punishments

• Enforce punishments

• Contract respect

• Teach appropriate reference and documentation procedures

Academic Plagiarism Methods

Since we have access There are many Plagiarism software that can differentiate academic and research paper plagiarism methods. How the software Turnitin differentiate academics methods is as follows:

  • Knowingly submitted an author’s words or concept without referencing.
  • Knowingly submitting erroneous info about the origin.
  • the origin that is not common knowledge

How the software Turnitin differentiate research paper methods is as follows:

  • Submitting previously submitted paper without correct attribution
  • Failure to cite the collaborative nature of a body of work or study.
  • Submitting a paper through multiple publications.

Action to caught Plagiarism with monitoring Software

For the institution to combat the rampant issue of Plagiarism software was developed and utilized to display warning and measures in the academic of students. Here is a few of the plagiarism checkers listed:

  1. Turnitin recognize unimaginative substance with the world's best literary theft discovery arrangement. Oversee potential scholarly wrongdoing by featuring likenesses to the world's biggest assortment of web, scholastic, and understudy paper content. Retrieved from turnitin.com 11 Nov 2019
  2.  Vericite is a plagiarism detection software create in 2014, used by more than 150 institution students from kindergarten through 12th grade and higher. Vericite has been purchased by Turnitin, so now the merging of the two with help more institution with plagiarism.
  3. Viper (Windows only) is a plagiarism checker that work like Turnitin which is utilized by many universities. Viper is able to scan over 10 billion sources of databases which contains book, essays, journals, an other online sites.

As opposed to utilizing it as a dread prompting obstruction, the institutions should put hostile to copyright infringement programming like turnitin.com, Viper to use. The product can be utilized as an educational device, enabling understudies to present a draft rendition of their final venture before submitting it to their professor or teacher.


This research paper analyzed how understudies legitimize unoriginality once they are gotten. The suggestions offered can be utilized to seize any justification of literary theft. Future research can concentrate on the progressions that may have been fashioned on the moral view of the clients of the new media. In like manner, it would be difficult, yet interesting to look at efficiently whether the basic reasons why understudies appropriate have changed too.

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This research paper analyzed academic plagiarism based on the theories of moral thinking of cultural relativism, utilitarianism and Ethical Egoism. Throughout the paper plagiarism is discussed as an unethical issues because of students dreading of disappointment of their own work, poor time management, and the biggest reason being laziness.  The fundamentals to making a moral decision and recommendation for each. Institution are discouraging students with the utilization of monitoring software such as Turnitin, Vericite, and Viper.


  • Kong, L., Lu, Z., Qi, H., & Han, Z., "Detecting high obfuscation plagiarism: exploring multi-features fusion via machine learning," 1nl. 1. U-and e-Service. Sci. Technol., vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 385-396, 2014
  • Asim, M., Wasim, M., Khan, M., Mahmood, N., Mahmood, W., The Use of ontology in retrieval: A Study on Textual Multilingual and Multimedia Retrieval, Access IEEE, vol. 7, pp. 21662-21686, 2019.
  • Plagiarism. 2018. In Merriam-Webster.com Retrieved September 19, 2019 from Merriam-webster.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism
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  • James, M., Miller, G., Wyckoff, T., (2019). Comprehending the cultural causes of english writing plagiarism in Chinese students at a western-style university. Journal of Business Ethics, , (22),4vol 22 no.3, 631-642.
  • Yang, S., (2012). Ethical academic judgments and behaviors: Applying a multidimensional ethics scale to measure the ethical academic behavior of graduate students. writing plagiarism in Chinese students at a western-style university. Journal of Business Ethics, vol 154 no.3, 631-642.
  • Harley, B. (2019). Confronting the Crisis of Confidence in Management Studies: Why Senior Scholars Need to Stop Setting a Bad Example. Academy of Management Learning & Education18(2), 286–297. https://doi-org.tamuct.idm.oclc.org/10.5465/amle.2018.0107
  • Gerdy, K. (2004). Law Student Plagiarism: why It happens, where It’s found, and how to find It. brigham young University Education & Law Journal(2), 431–440. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.tamuct.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=14164804&site=eds-live
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