Why Universities Punish Plagiarism Essay


Discuss about the Report for "Why Universities Punish Plagiarism".


Plagiarism is one area which is a matter of concern for all universities across the globe as well as the various industries and companies. First and foremost it is very important to understand what is plagiarism before understanding the reasons for punishing those who do the same. An act of copying or claiming someone else’s work, song, any sort of a write up or even an idea as one’s own is defined as plagiarism. Information can be taken from various mediums such as internet, journals, articles, books or any such media which provides data to the users. Thus it is very important to acknowledge the person or the medium from where the data is being singled out. This is known as internal citation and failure to do the same also connotes as plagiarism. Thus plagiarism in simple words is cheating hence the same should be avoided to the highest level so as to avoid any ethical issues (Carroll, & Zetterling, 2009). The best way to avoid the same is by adapting ethical practices from the beginning of the academic career of a person. By avoiding plagiarism one can also develop vocabulary and such other academic skills which would ensue that the work is done in the manner possible best suited for the student.

Thus the universities tend to punish the students who resort to plagiarism in their work due to varying reasons. Firstly, just like stealing things from anybody’s house or office or any other such place is termed as theft and a punishable crime similarly plagiarism is also termed as a theft which should be resorted to adequate punishment to the plagiarist. Cheating is an unsolicited act of not abiding by the rules. However cheating is also classified into varying levels depending upon the kind of immorality it poses. However the concept of cheating in universities works in a different manner. Many times plagiarism does not cause any harm to the person from whom the data is stolen as it doesn’t affect his capability to give ideas. But there are times it leads to material effect on the person whose work is being stolen. For example if a patent is stolen of an inventor then he has to pay a huge amount for the said loss.

Further it affects the person whose work is plagiarized when his ideas which were original and written with careful deliberations are stolen and presented to the same professor by two or three other students. By the time the originator’s paper catches the eye of the teacher, its impact is reduced to such a level that he may even end up getting poor grades thus affecting his academic performance card (Batane, 2010).

Thirdly universities punish students who copy other’s work as it leads to devaluation of the degree that they provide of those who are the actual deservers of the same. If one student succeeds by defrauding then it encourages other students as well due to which many end up resorting to cheating. This leads to applauding and convocation of students who do not deserve the degree, thus diminishing the value of the same for those who are worthy of the said degree. Though it seem to be a very meagre reason for punishing students for cheating but on viewing the fact that it weakens the feeling of trust which is of utmost importance in this world of globalization the same seems to be worthy enough a reason.

Another very important reason why the universities should resort to punishing the students for plagiarism is that it hampers the name of the university. It is considered to be highly unethical on the part of the professors as well as the university as a whole to ignore the plagiarized work as it may lead to giving degrees to those who don’t deserve. For example in the field of medicine if plagiarism is ignored then the university may end up giving degrees to those who are not worthy of becoming a doctor or a scientist (Gorges, 2009). Thus because of the same the university may end up giving degrees to students who actually have no knowledge about medicine which may affect the patients or the research firms in future.

The kind of punishment that the universities spell out in case of plagiarism is varying depending upon the harm it causes to the student itself, other students, and teachers as well the university as a whole. They may even end up failing the student for the same and many a times the originator may become victim of the said situation. Thus to avoid the same, punishment should be given only after proper check is conducted so that the intellect is not punished and rewarded with good grades (Rebecca, 2010). The universities nowadays even conduct classes to make the students aware of the consequences that they may have to face for such plagiarism from warning to being expelled from the university thus disrupting their carer forever.

Therefore on summarizing the said issue of plagiarism it is clear that universities punish the students and even teachers and professors in some instances due to many factors. Some of the important factors are reputational factors, quality of students, furtherance to the same the effect and danger that it poses to the field in which the student has gained the degree but not through its own hard work but through cheating and lastly it breaks the trust and affects the mind of the deserving candidate pessimistically. He concludes that all his efforts are all in vain due to the university’s lack of investigation and differentiation between good and bad students. Thus keeping in mind all the above reasons the universities have adhered to punishing students who resort to plagiarism and ensuring ethics is maintained at its highest level.


Batane, T., (2010), Turning to Turnitin to Fight Plagiarism among University Students, Educational Technology and Society, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 1-12

Carroll, J., & Zetterling, C.M., (2009), Guiding Students away from plagiarism, KTH Learing Lab and the authors Layout: AMGD, Available at : (Accessed 29th August 2016)

Gorges, B., (2009), Why Punish Plagiarists ?, Available at : (Accessed 29th August 20160

Rebecca, A., (2010), Plagiarism tariff: let the punishment fit the demerit points, TLS Education Ltd, Available at: (Accessed 29th August 2016)

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