December 2, 2021

What is plagiarism and how can we help educational institutions prevent it?

Donald McCabe of Rutgers University conducted a 7-year study of over 70,000 high school students. In the study, 64% confessed to cheating on a test, 58% confessed to plagiarising content, and 95% admitted to some form of dishonesty.

This study is just one of many that sheds light on the growing problem but what exactly is plagiarism? Cambridge dictionary defines it as: the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own.

Simply put, plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work or idea as your own, without their consent or without giving them due credit. But in today’s era of technological advancements and access to ‘free’ online tools, its the scope and concept has further expanded from a simple copy-paste to include instances of cheating through translations – where one just re-writes a text from the original language to another language, use of ghostwriters – where consent is attained against a payment for the service, etc. To tackle these emerging forms of dishonesty, educational institutions need to constantly educate their staff and adapt their knowledge and tools accordingly.

Furthermore, it is important to realize that this form of cheating is not always intentional. Sometimes, it might just be a case where students may have incorrectly cited a source or not presented the content in the right way. Hence, it is imperative for teachers to explain to the students what constitutes cheating so they can avoid making these mistakes.

Why is it important to prevent plagiarism?

Intentional or not, academic dishonesty can have very serious consequences for students as well as educational institutions. Students can lose their grades or worse, get expelled if their submissions are thought to have been plagiarised while educational institutions might find it difficult to uphold academic integrity and the quality of their degrees if their students are found to use plagiarised content.

In addition, plagiarism is a severe threat to original thinking and can hinder the academic development of students. It can also have an adverse effect on their future and mental health.

How can we detect instances of cheating?

A wide array of prevention tools such as Ouriginal are available in the market today. Ouriginal compares the submitted content against its extensive database and highlights any matching texts in an easy-to-read report. It is then the reviewer’s responsibility to ascertain whether any dishonesty has occurred by checking the matches.

Furthermore, using a detection tool helps increase awareness among students and has a preventive effect when they understand more about similarity detection. Students realize that taking shortcuts will not take them too far and might even have serious repercussions.

Therefore, we at Ouriginal endeavour to equip our customers with the best possible tools that will help them lay the right groundwork for their students today so that they have a successful future.

Using Ouriginal for plagiarism prevention

Ouriginal is constantly evolving and re-inventing itself to offer an optimal text-matching solution to our customers. Our solution helps teachers save time. It automatically scans all submitted content, matching it against our extensive database, and highlights the similarities in an easy-to-read format, so that teachers can focus on what they do best – teach.

The solution can be seamlessly integrated into your existing working and learning environment without you needing to change how you work. Its intuitive interface makes navigating through the different features simple and straightforward.

Privacy and data security are taken very seriously at Ouriginal, and you always remain in full control of your data. We comply with the principles of GDPR. We also pride ourselves in knowing each one of our customers and strive to provide a personal service. Our dedicated team of technical specialists are experts in the field and always at hand to answer your queries.

Additionally, having an accurate and established system that detects cheating at your institution demonstrates you take academic integrity seriously, while promoting original thinking and development among students. Moreover, it safeguards your reputation and assures others of the quality of your degrees and effectiveness.

In conclusion, it is important for teachers to understand the growing threat that plagiarism poses to the future of their students. To help with that, academic institutions should equip their teachers with the best possible tools that can help them detect cheating while not taking them away from their primary responsibility of teaching. And finally, students should be made aware of the pitfalls of plagiarizing and should be trained on how to research and cite properly.

If you would like to know more about plagiarism prevention and how we can help you tackle it, please contact us or visit our website.

You could also check out our Plagiarism Handbook for tips & tricks on how to prevent it.

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