Why Have Plagiarism Rates Gone Up?

Mar 19, 2015
by: 18keegane

When entering High School, and even college the pressure to do well or at least get by in school becomes harder and harder. Trying to keep up with schoolwork, extra-curriculars, socializing, and sleep seems to be nearly impossible. Under this amount of stress children seem to resort to an easy but extremely risky form of getting their work done, plagiarism. It may seem like the best idea at the time, but the repercussions if a student gets caught can be extreme. In a lot of colleges, it can lead to expulsion and in High School, it could cause the student to fail the class. A big question in this issue is, why have plagiarism rates gone up in the past few years?

A lot of this increase has been attributed to the internet. With the answers to any question at the click of a button, there is extreme ease to plagiarizing. Since the internet has become more advanced and technology has been used to add more and more information to people’s reach it’s even become easier to find information on a subject (Ma). In a survey conducted with college presidents, about 55% have noticed an increase in plagiarism among their students and over 90% of the respondents said that the internet has caused this increase (Kelley). Many students are also not clear on what is considered to be plagiarism. In a study, 77% of college students thought that it was perfectly fine to copy and paste a line or two from a website for a report. This is in fact technically considered plagiarism and can result in consequences, but this demonstrates how widely accepted academic dishonesty is (Ma). In a study done on Yale undergraduates, most of the students had never read the official rules on plagiarism, and have to face repercussions when they reuse even their own work (Perez-Pena). A lot of teachers also think that it’s not easy to catch students most of the time. If it is in fact a handwritten assignment, it can’t quite be checked for internet content or even the content of another student. Most teachers don’t even feel like putting in the effort to put typed assignments through a plagiarism checker such as “Turnitin”. It’s not considered that big of a deal when it’s not done on major assignments, which makes students more likely to cheat (Ma).

At one point or another, every single student has had the temptation to cheat on a test or copy a sentence or two off of the internet. The difference between a good student and a bad one is making the correct choice. This can happen to anyone, even some of the brightest kids in the country. Pressure is pressure, no matter if it;s to be valedictorian or to just pass a class. In many situations, students at this school have plagiarize while the guidelines for it are explicitly stated. Students should be happy to learn early in High School, or even Middle School not to plagiarize. This will help immensely in College when even accidentally plagiarizing can expel them from the class.


Kelly, Tara. "College Plagiarism Reaches All Time High: Pew Study." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. https://via.hypothes.is/h/http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/colle...

PÉrez-peÑa, Richard. "Studies Find More Students Cheating, With High Achievers No Exception." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Sept. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/education/studies-show-more-students-c...

Ma, Hongyan Jane, Guofang Wan, and Eric Yong Lu. "Digital Cheating And Plagiarism In Schools." Theory Into Practice 47.3 (2008): 197-203. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. https://via.hypothes.is/static/ann/viewer/web/viewer.html?file=/h/id_/ht...

Image Source: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs23/f/2008/017/3/4/Ferrets_Against_Plagiaris...


This is very true. With the

Submitted by Lola on Tue, 2015-03-31 22:53.

This is very true. With the internet and new access to information, plagiarism has become a very real threat to students' reputations. People have their reasons for plagiarizing. Whether it's because they're lazy, don't have time, want to get a better grade, don't have confidence in their work, etc., it's still not okay. It's better to fail one assignment than plagiarize. Kids don't understand how real and dangerous the consequences are.