The crime and punishment of plagiarism in schools

There are many online tools that teachers, professors, and professionals can use to find if there is any plagiarism in writing and the source of the content.

The crime and punishment of plagiarism in schools

Sadly—perhaps they were reading this blog— they expressed no interest in me. But if I had become President there, one of the first things I would have done is have a good look at the plagiarism policy. What should the punishments be? In the popular imagination, plagiarism carries exceedingly heavy penalties, often expulsion and perhaps some kind of public shaming ritual.

In reality, punishments are usually much lighter.

One with the zeitgeist

Indeed, in over 20 years studying and working at universities, I have never known a single student who was expelled for plagiarism. It might happen, but not often. Having a clear and reasonable punishment policy would help in this regard. So where is the right balance?

Somewhere between nothing and expulsion.

Legal Consequences Of Plagiarism - Copyright |

It seems clear to me that simply having a student rewrite the paper is grossly insufficient. Because whether he makes amends or not, a crime has still been committed. With plagiarism, the violation of the rules itself must be addressed, not just the result of the violation.

Similarly, only deducting marks is not strong enough, either, because it fails to recognize the seriousness of the offense. For reasons that I have addressed elsewhereplagiarism is not simply a matter of misunderstanding an arbitrary convention. It runs contrary to the whole process of higher education.

Consequently, plagiarism cannot be treated in the same way as one treats margins that are too wide or a font that is the wrong size or a sentence that runs on.

Minimally then, a plagiarized assignment should receive a grade of zero, recognizing that the student has violated a basic principle of academic discourse.

The crime and punishment of plagiarism in schools

Such a punishment seems fair for a first offense. It sends a clear message, but it does not unreasonably hobble a student who has learned the lesson.

But if we are counting offenses, cases of plagiarism must be reported to the administration which must, in turn, keep track of how many offenses a student has committed. For a second offense, a student should get a zero in the course in question.

This punishment is in line with simple justice: Such a notation would serve as fair warning to any potential graduate or professional program that the student has refused to play by the rules on more than one occasion. A third offense should result in some kind of suspension or expulsion from the university.

The penalty would serve as a deterrent to students who might adopt cheating as a general strategy, would assure that wider community that the university values academic integrity, and would remove chronic offenders who take up valuable time from teachers and staff from the system.

The suspension or expulsion for academic dishonesty should be noted on the transcript as well. I have a feeling that most students would see such a regime as fair and reasonable.

As I mentioned above, I suspect that most students think the policies are already harsher than this. My own august institution has something like this now partly because I helped draft the policy. As for faculty, they are responsible for ensuring that plagiarism has been fully explained to their students.

A boilerplate reference to the academic calendar is not enough. Failure to report plagiarism means that a student can offend multiple times without facing serious consequences. Professors may feel they are being generous to the student, but such favours to individuals come at the cost of the integrity of the entire institution and thus to the whole student body.

Administrations bear some responsibility, too. To be fair, they must have a clear and accessible route for students to appeal if they feel the charge of plagiarism was unwarranted. At the same time, administrators must ensure that all faculty understand the policy and remind them that following academic policy is a responsibility of their employment.

Faculty who overlook plagiarism should be disciplined just as surely as if they never showed up to class.What are the Legal Consequences Of Plagiarism. Share. Individuals caught plagiarizing can face serious consequences. Individuals caught plagiarizing in school may be expelled.

In addition, individuals caught plagiarizing at work may be fired and have a difficult time securing future employment.

Academic crime and punishment: Faculty members' perceptions of and responses to plagiarism.

The crime and punishment of plagiarism in schools

School Psychology Quarterly, 20, And of course, the law determines what happens when students sue schools, claiming that they were unfairly accused or punished for cheating. Cheating in All Its Guises.

Plagiarism—From Copy-and-Paste to Bespoke Research Papers. Being aware of the punishments for plagiarism both in and out of school can help you become more responsible and dedicated to the personal integrity of your work.

Addressing Plagiarism in Academia Punishments for plagiarism in high school and college usually depend on the severity of the offense.

Few would claim, I’d guess, that a $ fine would be an appropriate punishment for plagiarism, not necessarily because it’s disproportionate but because it’s not relevant to the offense.

Yet failing a student in the class, while apparently more relevant, can have just such irrelevant consequences for the student. The retributive and utilitarian approaches to punishment are basically two different views on punishment, based on philosophical schools of thought. Western society has a long tradition of punishing criminal offenders.

Historically, offenders were banished, exiled, killed, or tortured (Schmalleger and Smykla, 73).

6 Consequences of Plagiarism