Implications of Plagiarism
Colleges and universities regard plagiarism as one of the most offensive infractions a student may commit. Plagiarism is the use of another person’s thoughts and words and passing them off as your own. It is such a serious offense that students can be expelled for it. If you are expelled, you do not receive your money back that you used to pay for tuition. It follows you if you try to get into another school and can come back to haunt you as you search for employment. The effects can be so crippling that a student that is tempted to plagiarize someone else’s work must consider the seriousness of what they are considering.
Students can be compelled to cheat for a number of reasons. The most common reason given by students is that the pressure they felt drove them to this length. If you feel so much pressure that you are actually considering using someone else’s work, then you need to talk with your advisor or professor. If you feel like you need more time to complete an assignment the correct way, then your professor may grant you an extension. Even if you don’t receive extra time, you are better off to hand in an assignment late than to cut corners to hand it in on time. If you feel the pressure is too great, then you need to reassess your schedule. You may have to drop a course, or at least set up a more manageable course load for next semester.
Keep in mind that many professors have the computer software available to check if a student is plagiarizing. There are programs available where all the professor has to do is submit a copy of your paper and it will check against a multitude of sources, including other students’ work, to see if there are elements of your work that are not your own. More importantly, your professor is not stupid. Even if they suspect plagiarism in the smallest amount, they will check or challenge your work. A student can be suspected of plagiarism for simply not citing their sources properly.
Plagiarism is considered academic fraud. As mentioned above, it can lead to expulsion. First-time offenders may go on academic probation. This means that you will be more carefully watched to make sure that you do not commit this offense again. The embarrassment that the student feels is also a severe punishment. Your name will be known around the campus by other professors and students as a cheater. In an environment where academic honesty is prized and celebrated, having this reputation is absolutely detrimental to your character and reputation.