“Google can bring you back 10,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one” the lines by renowned blogger and writer Neil Gaiman raises a significant issue that threatens to skyrocket into a global sociological crisis. The internet, which acted as the main catalyst of the information revolution and knowledge, has now assumed the status of a proverbial double-edged sword. The pervasiveness of technology has significantly affected many areas of society positively, including the area of education. Today’s students have not only used computers to aid their assignments or schoolwork but also Internet to propel their research work. However, apart from all these advantages one of the major concerns of academicians is regarding the issue under plagiarism. Plagiarism has turned out to be the foremost blemish on the internet in the culture. Plagiarism is an act of presenting another’s work without giving appropriate recognition even if it is unintentional. Plagiarism has become a norm for many students in our country who routinely purloin from the internet and present them as personal research work.
Plagiarism freezes our intellectual growth. Finding information and reproducing the related ideas will not help us in developing our individual independent decision-making skills. Why do youngsters or students practice plagiarism has become a complicated question. There are numerous reasons for practicing plagiarism, for instance, peer pressure linked with high stakes course and assessments. According to Bennett (2005), the incentive to take ‘shortcuts’ (i.e. to plagiarize) in order to succeed is greater among people with a pronounced goal orientation (e.g. the goal of getting a good job). Thus, competition for both gaining good grades and securing job could result in plagiarism, particularly among students who hold a strong objective of competitiveness in every field. In result with the significance of deadlines decided by professors and time pressure created by students undertaking paid part-time employment, they may more tend to follow the ‘shortcuts’ or ‘lazy’ options in order to complete their assignments, where undoubtedly one of these
choices can make them indulge in plagiarism. Taking the example when a student submits the former report or varies it with the present one or gives it to another student of different section regardless the consent of all fellows involved. Furthermore, responsiveness started declining among students. There is no censorship or fact-checking process available on the internet. The fact-checking process is extremely tedious. Hence, young students accept any information they receive on the internet as the truth just to avoid case study or research that’s actually time-taking. Disease of distraction, T.S. Eliot joked that he had been “distracted from distraction by distraction”. This is true in case of today’s students too. Modern day parents encourage their children to utilize their time constructively in the pursuit of more information and knowledge. However, the internet has so many distractions available to the students and hence they would not feel to go for any guidance as they bombard with lots of information at one click so it doesn’t make any difference for them as to what content they should pick and whether they are able to identify trustworthy sites to gather information or for case-study. Students often plagiarize and/or employ “patch writing” when faced with more challenging texts (Howard, 1992; Roig, 1999). Patch writing is a careless form of paraphrasing which is not suitable for writing skills. In spite of copying the whole content, students prefer to rearrange the text or phrases and modify tenses, like copying many sentences and phrases from different sites and then joining them to make their own sentence, but this type of writing is too careless and grammatically incorrect. Sometimes, plagiarism can be done unintentionally i.e. the citation confusion where a student is unaware of the guidelines of proper citation and referencing; like difficulty in identifying the main source. “Academic writing in particular calls upon writers not simply to express their own idea, but to do so as a response to what others have said.” (Graff & Birstenstien, from They say, I say). So, keeping the conversation in mind while writing can really help to build our both analytical and writing skills. One has to be analytical and observant in order to be a part of surrounding and different conversations and their articulation among scholars. It’s not just the matter of giving acknowledgment. Though, utilizing source in writing and paying honor to precede study who contributed to your knowledge and typical problems would be considered to avoid plagiarism. By demonstrating the responsiveness of the research conducted by you can also help to evade plagiarism. Good research practices or case studies are likely to understand the important scholars based on your field. Reading ways and identifying the style of your discipline would also help. Summarizing appropriately that is particularly helpful to connect your words with the audience and also helps to build your own research topic. Developing a systematic approach to staying organized by keeping notes whether in a folder or some kind of endnotes. Marinating printed reference into the files or boxes for quick access. Providing an absolute context and research’s foundation i.e. how does the research aid to extend the current knowledge of your topic. Consulting your professors and subject librarian would definitely help to analyze your own discipline and rectify your mistakes and it also results in credibility in your writing. Since there are many instances of erroneous data and incorrect facts & figures being served in the guise of bona fide knowledge on the internet so a young one is an easy prey to such stuff. Hence, avoiding plagiarism should not only be restricted to students but both parents and teacher must keep a strict watch and they must help the students. They should take steps to counter this practice of copy and paste and a more stringent supervision can be a good step to avoid plagiarism effectively. In brief, you never have to worry about plagiarism if you analyze judiciously and practice reading and writing with integrity.