Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Thesis

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Academic dishonesty has probably existed since the first educational systems in human history. Generally, the motivation for plagiarizing and other forms of academic dishonesty relates to achieving higher grades than those that correspond genuinely to the student's learning, ability, or performance level, or to laziness and the desire to acquire formal academic degrees as credentials for employment and/or social status.

Literary plagiarism is probably more prevalent than other forms of cheating, such as stealing exams or soliciting answers from other students during examinations, primarily for many of the same reasons that remote copyright theft of music is much more prevalent than the actual theft of tangible music recordings from retail outlets.

Unlike other forms of academic dishonesty, plagiarism is incapable of direct detection in the manner that exam theft and communication between students is capable of being detected at the time that it is being committed.

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Plagiarism occurs in private, just like illegal Internet downloads or unauthorized sharing of single-use software licenses. For this reason alone, plagiarism is perceived as being less risky from the outset. Plagiarism exists in several different specific forms, including the overt misappropriation of substantive authoritative text, the misrepresentation of prior research, the recycling of papers written and already submitted for course credit by other students, and in the use of professional ghostwriters. Many times, plagiarism is deliberate, but other times (and in different forms), it is also capable of being perpetrated unintentionally.

Overt Direct Substantive Misappropriation:

Thesis on Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism Academic Dishonesty Has Assignment

The most obvious form of literary academic plagiarism consists of reproducing the text from authoritative academic sources like textbooks and journal articles verbatim and then presenting that work, unchanged, as that of the submitting student. The growth of the Internet has greatly increased the efficiency and speed of deliberate plagiarism by allowing students to search through thousands of published sources online without ever having to go the library. The greatly expanded range of possible sources available to contemporary students also significantly reduces the relative risk that a teacher or professor will recognize the plagiarized material on reading it (Innerst, 1998; MJS, 2004).

To address the growing problem of academic plagiarism via online databases, an industry has emerged providing a means of detecting overt substantive plagiarism of this type. Generally, anti-plagiarism software allows instructors to enter text suspected of plagiarism into an online resource designed to identify similarities with vast databases of relevant material. Internet ventures like provide membership-based services to academic institutions and instructors and retains all material submitted for scanning to detect any attempts by other students to reuse those works subsequently.

Overt Indirect Substantive Misappropriation:

Whereas overt direct substantive misappropriation is the misrepresentation of unoriginal authoritative work as the student's own writing, overt indirect misappropriation involves original text but unoriginal intellectual contribution to the material presented as academic work. Instead of reproducing prior authoritative text verbatim, students engaging in this type of plagiarism rewrite portions of prior authoritative work, sometimes entirely in their own words, but do not give appropriate credit to the original source (Boon, 2003; Girard, 2009).

Unlike overt substantive misappropriation, this form of plagiarism can occur unintentionally as well as deliberately. Many students may commit plagiarism unintentionally simply because they do not understand that appropriate academic standards require that any unoriginal idea (outside of the realm of common knowledge or widely known historical fact). At the time that they paraphrase prior work, they may honestly believe that they are doing nothing that is dishonest academically.

Misappropriation of Research:

Plagiarism also includes the misrepresentation of secondary research as primary research and the dishonest use of already existing secondary research as secondary research conducted by the student. Typically, a student might acquire a single piece of research such as an extensive peer-reviewed journal article as the sole appropriate authoritative source of secondary research. Instead of continuing to accumulate other appropriate research material, the student simply misappropriates titles selected from the sources acknowledged in that piece of writing. In most cases, the student never sees the actual source referenced but provides citations in the proper format to that source and includes it in the list of references as though it contributed to the research conducted by the student (Boon, 2003; Slobogin, 2002).

Recycling Old Papers:

Before the Internet revolution, academic essay recycling was one of the most common methods of committing plagiarism on college campuses. Typically, students simply traded, gave, or sold papers to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism" Thesis in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.  (2009, January 30).  Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism."  30 January 2009.  Web.  26 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism."  January 30, 2009.  Accessed January 26, 2021.