Is plagiarism and cheating a problem that should be of concern to educators? Here are some recent findings posted at Plagiarism.org:

"A study by The Center for Academic Integrity found that almost 80% of college students admit to cheating at least once.

According to a survey by the Psychological Record 36% of undergraduates have admitted to plagiarizing written material.

A poll conducted by US News and World Reports found that 90% of students believe that cheaters are either never caught or have never been appropriately disciplined.

The State of Americans: This Generation and the Next (Free Press, July 1996) states that 58.3% of high school students let someone else copy their work in 1969, and 97.5% did so in 1989.

A study conducted by Ronald M. Aaron and Robert T. Georgia: Administrator Perceptions of Student Academic Dishonesty in Collegiate Institutions found that 257 chief student affairs officers across the country believe that colleges and universities have not addressed the cheating problem adequately.

According to the Gallup Organization (October 6-9, 2000), the top two problems facing the country today are: 1) Education and 2) Decline in Ethics (both were ranked over crime, poverty, drugs, taxes, guns, environment, and racism, to name a few).

A national survey published in Education Week found that 54% of students admitted to plagiarizing from the Internet; 74% of students admitted that at least once during the past school year they had engaged in "serious" cheating; and 47% of students believe their teachers sometimes choose to ignore students who are cheating."

So...what can you do to stem the tide of cheating and plagiarism?

Look for the warning signals as you work with your students. Librarians at Duke University suggests that students are more apt to cheat or plagiarize when they are...

  • Confused - they don't understand whether they should quote or cite
  • Stressed - they fold under the pressure to get an A
  • Swamped - they feel overwhelmed/lack time management skills
  • Frustrated and/or Embarrassed - they are trying to use material that is difficult and perhaps above their level of understanding

Review and use prevention techniques and some of the online tools included as part of this site.

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