At the beginning of the semester, each course’s syllabus contains at least one commonality: the part in which the professor tries to admonish students of plagiarism and its consequences. And every once in a while when a research paper or essay is due, this procedure is repeated all over again. However, some people just seem to be unteachable. They have the energy to look for online essays but can’t find the time to write their own papers. And as we read in the blogpost “Is College for Everyone?” (635), students who can’t manage their time aren’t a right fit for college.
Even without consulting today’s “plagiarism-detection software” (281), most professors are able to differentiate between the hard work of a student and the ever-growing “cut-and-paste”-society. As one of those “‘borrowing’” (281) students, you not only deceive your professors and fellow students, but above all, this scheme of “misrepresenting someone else’s work as your own undermines the goals of education” (284).
Once we are out of college, intentional and unintentional plagiarism won’t be accompanied by a failed course but the possible destruction of our career. In 2011, the German Minister of Defense abdicated due to accusations concerning plagiarism in his dissertation. At a moment’s notice, Germany’s most popular politician and aspiring chancellor had to abandon his pursued career path. He was publicly compromised, and even a website was created to find more plagiarized material in his doctoral thesis. And just a few days ago, the German Secretary of Education was deprived of her doctor’s degree and resigned because of fraud accusations.
The last two examples illustrate the following clearly: Plagiarism (frequently known under the synonym laziness) did, will, and certainly can ruin careers and lives. So, what would a solution to this problem be? The answer is easy: “give credit were credit is due” (282).
(citations taken from the book Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell)