Understanding Plagiarism in Academic Context and Strategies for Prevention

Plagiarism is the practice in which information, ideas and expression of one’s original work is copied. In academic context, plagiarism is considered as the journalistic breach and academic dishonesty that interferes with ethics of academic writing. Here the essay is going to discuss the reason behind students doing plagiarism and how university can assist students to avoid the chances of plagiarism to maintain originally in academic writing.


Evidences-based studies have stated that, there are many reasons behind students do plagiarism. According to Mostrous and Kenber (2016)), many students deliberately plagiarize, due to their panic of being failure in the academic field. Sometimes students are under high academic pressure that makes it difficult for them to conduct proper time-management and develop strong academic skill. In this context, students feel that plagiarism is the only way to save them from being failure in the examination. Another potential reason of plagiarism by students is lack of self-confidence in them (). In modern academic era, majority of students lack their self-confidence in terms of making good academic writing, which sometimes compel them to copy the information and ideas of one’s original writing. Poor writing skill is another potential reason behind plagiarism in university by students. As mentioned by Wrigley, (2016)), in academic field there are many students who are unable to have proper writing skill, grammatical knowledge and knowledge on sentence formation. This is why the students think it is better to use information from other’s original work rather than using their own writing, as their own writing may not meet teacher’s expectation. Other potential reasons associated with plagiarism are lack of proper time to write an assignment and difficulties in collecting relevant information that students can use in the writing to meet the criteria.

In terms of eliminating chances of plagiarism, universities can use two important ways such as using Turnitin and handwriting. As mentioned by Wrigley (2016), in modern academic field, universities use Turnitin, the plagiarism checking software that calculates the similarity index of a writing by highlighting the verbatims that copied from one’s original work. Through using Turnitin, university can easily determine the overall percentage of similarity in student’s writing.

In this context Mostrous and Kenber (2016) argued that, by using Turnitin it is not all-time possible to eliminate student’s habits of copying other’s work or developing proper writing skill in them. On supporting this viewpoint many studies have stated that, sometimes students paraphrase the work of other people, in which they check that no consecutive three words would be exactly same in their writing with the context from which they paraphrase the work. In this context, Wrigley (2016), mentioned that hand writing is the best method for student which assist them to not only reduce chances of plagiarism or De-plagiarism, but also develop academic skills as well as writing skill in students. Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) has mentioned that, hand writing is associated with improving cognitive and intellectual skill in students. However, although the hand writing is best process in eliminating plagiarism, it can enhance the academic burden on student in terms of completing the writing within limited time allocated to the work.

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From the overall discussion it can be concluded that, university needs to use both the hand writing and Turnitin in such manner that will assist the students as well as teachers to maintain ethical and moral values of academic writing.

Reference list:

Mostrous, A. And Kenber, B. (2016) Universities face student cheating crisis. The Times. Accessed on 29/01/19 at:

Mueller, P. And Oppenheimer, D.M. (2014) The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science. 25. Accessed onWrigley, S. (2016) How universities can help students avoid plagiarism? Get them to write better. The Conversation. Accessed on 23/01/19 at

Wrigley, S. (2016) How universities can help students avoid plagiarism? Get them to write better. The Conversation. Accessed on 23/01/19 at

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