Plagiarism: Adjusting The Consequence Essay

1077 words - 4 pages

1 Most universities believe students should be expelled immediately due to the acts of plagiarism. But is it really safe to jump to such an extreme conclusion for an action that in most cases, require some sort of investigation or trial? For many years, universities have battled students on this particular subject. Plagiarism has levels that should be dealt with by first locating the cause, examining the evidence, and determining whether it was purposely planned or not. Students, just like their professors, sometimes make simple mistakes and no student should be immediately expelled for unobvious plagiarism. Immediate expulsion is unruly and unfair to students who actually work hard, but may lack the necessary knowledge to detect plagiarism.

2 The problem with an immediate expulsion and why it is unfair to students is because it can overlook the truth too soon and cause permanent damage to one’s future without an explanation. It would be unfair to penalize students in such a way who have no history in plagiarizing and may even have straight A’s in their current classes. Some universities do not focus on bringing awareness to students on preventing plagiarism, so why should innocent students be forced to fail the entire class? According to writer Zinie Chen Sampson at Pilot Online News, Allison Routman, an Ohio University senior who attended an off-grounds program for the University of Virginia said she was shocked when a professor accused her of plagiarizing from an online synopsis of a movie. The University of Virginia has a single-sanction honor code, meaning students face expulsion after one violation. The professor had suspected plagiarism in a number of students for the assignment given and allowed them to come forth with the truth so that they would not receive expulsion as a punishment. Allison never came forth; because she did not think she had done anything wrong (Sampson). She said "No one had ever defined paraphrasing for me," Because of an immediate expulsion a student who probably had no record of plagiarism now has a tainted permanent record. Routman clearly states “Had I thought I had done anything wrong, I, of course, would come forward.” Failing the assignment or points off would have been a much more acceptable punishment for her if she knew she was going to be expelled immediately. Her father, Brent Routman says, “If you're going to have a death-penalty sanction, then you've got to build in safeguards for kids that are lost in the shuffle.” Creating “safeguards” for students will probably build confidence in students to ask the necessary questions to prevent future plagiarism cases.

3 The immediate expulsion of an innocent student unknowledgeable about his or her actions may even cause emotional hardships which may lead to an unexpected case of violence among peers. In The Hartford Courant, Loretta Waldman shares reports on a case that could have caused unnecessary violence because of an immediate expulsion...

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