25 March 2017

15+ Unobvious Consequences of Plagiarism in Academia

Plagiarism leads to
  • a faked reputation of cheaters
  • a reputation loss
  • a weaker immune system
  • author’s demotivation
  • spoon-fed iteration
  • monetary theft from the author
  • a weakened educational community
  • atrophy of creative thinking
  • atrophy of critical thinking
  • a cheater’s disreputation
  • distortion of moral
  • deterioration of human spirit
  • broken trust between teachers and students

The ugly truth of life is most students hate academic writing, and many will stop at nothing to escape it. They get into plagiarism knowingly and voluntarily, even at risk of expulsion: they use paraphrase wrong or ask someone to write an essay for them, and they can hardly size up the problem at full breath.

Duplicated essays, poor grades, catching red-handed, and expulsions are far from all consequences students might face because of plagiarism. Effects of such action are way more dystopian.

We asked professors, educators, and instructors to share the most unobvious consequences of plagiarism in academia. That’s what they’ve told us.

Spoon-Fed Iteration

An oft neglected but serious consequence of plagiarism is suppression of “”idea””. The negative ramifications of plagiarism transcend the realms of originality and collectively inhibit the pursuit of “”an idea””, by enclosing the boundaries of imagination and stripping the zeal towards innovation. This results in not just an isolationist attitude on the part of the original thinker but lethargic contentment among the cheats, both of which eventually trickles down through generations where the desire for perfection is discarded in favor of a spoonfed iteration, and the concept of “”idea”” spirals down the inevitable path of monotony and mediocrity.

Smitha Muran

Smitha Muran is enthusiastic teacher and writer with a very sophisticated view of the education system in general.

A Weaker Immune System

David Leonhardt

David is founder of THGM professional writing service and author of two books on personal effectiveness: “Climb Your Stairway to Heaven” and “The Get Happy Workbook”

You can never go back and own what you write.
You can raise expectations that you can’t meet.
Your mirror will punish you.
Your immune system will be weaker from either A) the stress of the guilt, or B) the fear of getting caught, or C) both.
You might someday need a security clearance, and guess what can crop up long after you’ve forgotten about it.

A Reputation Loss

Assumption by others that some knowledge is possessed by the plagiarizer.
I had a chunk of one of my published papers lifted out and used in a doctoral thesis at a Christian school. Aside from the moral issues, which are many, there is the belief that this thief of intellectual property possess knowledge about a particular domaine of knowledge, and she does not.
So she masquerades as an expert in a field in which she does not possess deep knowledge. Deep knowledge is a lot different than some knowledge that can be parroted back, because one stole it.

David C. Berliner

David C. Berliner is Regents’ Professor of Education Emeritus at Arizona State University who is a member of the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education.

Phil Turner

Phil is educator and blogger who taught science and chemistry in two schools in Wigan and St Helens from 1975 to 2003. Phil’s website: bizzrepublic.com

Plagiarism causes a loss of reputation – reputation is everything and any loss is something to worry about. Reputation is the currency upon which your fortune will be built – It is the main criteria people will use to judge you and your work. Only a good reputation will allow you to earn a living.

The unobvious consequence, in my opinion, is that the students get a bad reputation (how they are viewed by teachers) because this behaviour tends to be portrayed in multiple subject areas. Teachers do talk about their students work at times and at this point habitual plagiarizers are highlighted. We tend to be somewhat lenient with students who plagiarize mistakenly because they are learning about the concept for the first time. Habitually plagiarising even after being corrected or in multiple subject areas leads to this view.

Camile Clarke

Camile Clarke is a Geography Teacher at a high school in Jamaica. She teaches grades 9-11 where grade 11 students are required to do projects where sources must be cited in a bibliography.

Monetary Theft From the Author

Chad Morris

Chad is an English teacher with a solid experience in writing. His 15+ years of experience in trading financial products have been reflected in the book on growth investing. Also, Chad works with ETF’s, Forex, annuities, mutual funds, ETN’s, and real estate.

Plagiarism is ultimately a form of theft. It’s not just academic deceit. A book that has been lifted from one author and sold as the material of another is a form of monetary theft. It steals from the true author so that the plagiarizer can make an easy dollar. Although typically viewed as academically dishonest, plagiarism at the cash register is nothing else but an economic crime.

Different Kinds of Harm for Plagiarizer

If you ask me, I rest assured that it is always just a matter of time and especially of our intertwined modern world when all the consequences of plagiarism would be fully perceived, felt or present. However, at least initially, the most unobvious consequence of plagiarism is a long-term one and that would be the distortion of moral and deterioration of human spirit, wisdom, mind and potential. To be inspired by knowledge of other people, that is to say, richness and depth of universal mind personified in an individual human soul/s, is the path toward divine level of existence and progress. If not inspired but only ready to use the existing knowledge pretending it is our own achievement, it means corruption of our soul, no development and/or decrease of progress sooner or later.

Ana Markovic

Ana Marković, an English teacher and translator/interpreter, PR, ex-journalist, M.A. in Religious Studies (interdisciplinary)

Viktoria Hristova

Viktoria Hristova is a qualified English teacher, translator, editor, CELTA.

One of the consequences of plagiarism I can think of is the potential adverse effect it may have on the author. It depends on the type of product of course, but if a person spends much energy to create something and then it’s been plagiarized, this could make the author discouraged. If this happens to a talented author and he or she decides to stop creating new products, then this will be a great loss for the whole mankind.

I would call plagiarism a creativity killer. People who plagiarize look for the easy way to success. However, we all know that good things cannot be achieved easily. If you write articles and plagiarize, you can never be a good journalist. If you are a singer and plagiarize, you will remain a middling singer. If one wants to be a success, they need to put some efforts and be innovators. They may have a lot of failures but at least they will have the chance to succeed and do something meaningful.

The most covert consequence to plagiarism is the disservice it affords to the plagiarizer. Those who plagiarize are not only taking credit for the hard work of another person, but they are not giving him or herself the opportunity to rise up to the challenge of creating their own work.

Melvina Brandau

Melvina Brandau is Assistant Professor of Nursing and Outstanding Teaching Award Nominee.

Meredith Granger

Meredith Granger holds a Bachelor’s degree in English language and Literature with Education. She is qualified / registered as a teacher with the Ministry of Education.

The student fails to really develop his / her mind regarding the subject because the mind does not get to grapple with the ideas or concepts presented in a process that if done properly, would produce independent and original thought on the subject. Thus, it promotes dullness and demonstrates that the individual is severely lacking in critical and creative thinking skills.

One real shame about plagiarism is that it shows that students don’t value their own thinking. So, one unobvious consequence is that when students plagiarize, what they are not doing is learning to articulate, explore, and defend their own ideas.

Anna Gratz Cockerille

An editor at Heinemann Publishing, Anna Gratz Cockerille also writes for a variety of blogs and journals. She is a former teacher of K-8 schoolers in Australia, Honduras, and New Zealand, consulting in schools today and helping them reach academic goals. Anna’s website: twowritingteachers.org

Nancy Meshkoff

Nancy Meshkoff is English teacher and trainer, writer and editor.

When you plagiarize, you lose the chance to gain skills that aren’t evident to you at the time. When you’re assigned to write a paper on, say, religion in ancient Rome, you might be correct in saying that you won’t need that specific info in later life. But what you will also lack are the skills in researching, handling varied or contradictory information, deriving a conclusion, and expressing it well. Those things you will need in later life. You don’t always see what you’re gaining while you’re gaining it.

Everyone looks for the consequences that plagiarism can bring in people’s job, education or academic career. But, in my opinion one of the main consequence of plagiarism is that people who employ in it harm themselves. In order to make a good writing or research paper one needs a good range of skills like choosing well-suited citations, taking precise notes, classifying sources, interpretation skills and acknowledging others for their contributions. Those who plagiarize will never learn these skills and life duties may be tough without them which means that one harms himself more than others by plagiarizing.

Asemina Iljazi

Asemine Lijazi Ahmed is a Professor of English Language and Literature.

A Weakened Educational Community

Rosemary Edmonds

Rosemary Edmonds is Educational Consultant and Leading English Teacher

Plagiarism leads to a narrowing of academic debate and opinion. By copying other people’s arguments plagiarists are failing to put forward their own views on academic issues. Their personal perspectives and understanding of an argument are lost. This means that their contribution to academic debate is lost. Through academic debate people are pushed to examine and develop their academic thinking in response to the contribution of others. If this debate is limited to a few well-constructed but unoriginal positions this broadening and deepening may be lost and the educational community, as a whole, weakened.

Broken Trust Between Teachers and Students

The least obvious consequence of plagiarism is the broken trust between the teacher and the students. When teachers assign an essay, they are placing faith in students and trusting that they will work diligently and submit an original piece of work. Students who plagiarize are breaking that bond of trust and fostering feelings of suspicion and doubt in the mind of the teacher. Broken trust is difficult to fix, and the feelings of betrayal can be hurtful and persistent.

David Moadel

David Moadel is an English Composition Professor at a local college in South Florida, writer and inverstor.

In a Word…

The consequences of plagiarism in academia are not as clear and evident as might appear at first sight. And only their careful thought can help us struggle, as well as defeat their dystopian effect.

Are you a student reading this? It’s high time to change your tune on the plagiarism issue and stop considering it nothing but an itty-bitty problem.

Are you an educator reading this? Send the message to your students and contact us to add a valuable response to this roundup.

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