I have been working as a tutor grading students essay writing and research paper writing for 5 years now. One main problem that I find it difficult to eliminate is the attitude and perception of the students to complete their assignments by copying and pasting content from related research publications found in the internet. I have been reading several essay writings tonight and the same problem has been appearing on my face countless times since the first hour I started grading these students.
The lack of creativity and dominance of laziness are evident in their increasing preference for copying content. Sometimes I wonder if these boys and girls understand the consequence of plagiarism and how copying another person’s work make them unconsciously deprive themselves to express their own creativity. The headache is upon me each time I need to decide whether to punish by giving failing grades or have them learn to paraphrase their work.
Realizing that giving punishment may not be enough, I decide to teach more on how to avoid plagiarism. The pool of related information about their topics made these students think that they won’t get caught using similar words or text of another author’s article. This involuntary act has been in their subconscious mind that automatically functions especially when the article sounds too scientific or professional. They just lose the confidence to synthesize and express the idea in their own words. In short, plagiarism made them look up to other people’s work as something they cannot do on their own.
A tutorial class on how to avoid making plagiarism mistakes would be highly effective in decreasing plagiarism instances. One alternative is to teach them how to make the APA and MLA citation. They need to have a guideline on what constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is heartbreaking for tutors. If you really care for your students, you will know that the world is going to a doom if they don’t get up and be more creative. The world needs creative people who could innovate and improve systems and lots of things.