Increased occurances of unfair practice


Access to the internet had made life easy for many people in doing their daily routine work and it helps doing business or work from home and the same way it had helped students in many ways like if you need any kind of information it is available on the internet in many websites.

Students need not really worry about carrying physical text books any more whatever information they need they can just Google it and they have lot of information to choose from and which is refined in many ways, online libraries are helping them to check or verify the older editions and also the newer editions of different academic and non academic books which is really boon for the students of this generation.

But as a coin has two sides the same is with the internet after its introduction many students started misusing it for doing their academic course works which is a very worrying factor. Any student not being honest towards their academic course work and copying other people's ideas or writings and just stating them as their own will not help in any case because the reason behind any assignment or course helps the student to think critically and develop his own thought process and broaden his scope of knowledge he has in a particular subject or discipline.

Most of the students are finding it difficult to do it in the correct process they are choosing the wrong path and committing academic offences which is also called as academic dishonesty or unfair practices the trend is increasing day by day even though there is lot of awareness spread not to commit it.


"It is an unfair practice to commit any act whereby a person may obtain, for himself/herself or for another, an unpermitted advantage. This shall apply whether the candidate acts alone or in conjunction with another/others. Any action or actions shall be deemed to fall within this definition, whether occurring during, or in relation to, a formal examination, a piece of coursework, or any form of assessment undertaken in pursuit of a University qualification." (Accessed on 08 December 2009,

Unfair practices are defined as copying or using other people ideas or works like poems, speech, any material for the sake of their own and not acknowledging the authors or telling it as their own ideas is a violation of the intellectual property rights if this is done in education or in academic writing then it is called as unfair practice.

These unfair practices are divided into three types:



"Plagiarism comes from the Latin word "plagiarus" which means "kidnapper" or "abductor" (Williams, 2002). It can be considered cheating or stealing of other people's ideas and form them as your own. Thus it is morally and ethically wrong.

To define the concept of plagiarism on a universal context, Howard (2000) concluded that there is no standard definition of plagiarism that could be applied. Various definitions of plagiarism are stated below: "using the ideas or words of another person, without giving appropriate credit" (Hu, 2001 and Myers, 1998 cited by American National Academy of Sciences.)

"Having selected, ordered and uttered some written document that can be checked and cited by others" (Dillon 1988, in Evans and Youmans, 2000)

On the surface, the meanings seem similar. In practice, the meanings are rigorously subject to debates. Western critiques have constantly attacked the lack of consistency in defining plagiarism and demand that "the standard are comprehensible" (McDonnell, 2003)." (Accessed on 10th December 2009,

From the above definition we can make out that plagiarism cannot be defined in a very perfect way it has its own limitations but still it gives the final meaning that using some ones writings or diagrams in simpler terms his intellectual property and not acknowledging it is called as plagiarism.

And plagiarism is a serious academic offence, in plagiarism there are types and they are as follows:

  • Copy and paste plagiarism: If anyone is lifts significant sentence and pasting directly without modifying anything to the sentence, uses it then it has to put in quotations marks if not then it is called copy and paste plagiarism. (accessed on 12th December 2009 from , Barnbaum ,2002 )
  • Word switch plagiarism: If you are taking a sentence or paragraph from a source and you modify few words around and if you don't refer the author name and the source of the article also then it is called word switch plagiarism. ( accessed on 12th December 2009 from , Barnbaum ,2002 )
  • IDEA PLAGARIASM: If a person comes with a solution to a problem or an innovative idea then the idea should be attributed to the person only. (Accessed on 12th December 2009 from , Barnbaum, 2002 )

COLLUSION: "This is when one student produces work and allows another student to copy it. If both students submit the work, BOTH students will be deemed to have colluded. Collusion falls under academic misconduct and can result in the piece of work being failed, a percentage reduction in the overall course mark OR an overall failure of the course."(accessed on 12th December 2009,

Most of the students get confused when they are asked to work in a group and submit different proposals for each one and here the problem arises as most of the research time they could have shared common information and ideas which will lead to collusion with the knowledge of the other student or not.

SELF PLAGIARISM: self plagiarism is done when you are submitting the same assignment for more than once is called self plagiarism. Self plagiarism is normally done when a student submit his one assignment for different modules.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence, students who commit this mistake is being punished severely but still the problem is so persistent that many students from U.K and USA universities get caught and fail in their academics it's a serious problem there are few stastics which will give you good idea how plagiarism is affecting the careers of students.

There was a study conducted in a medium sized university in southeast London regarding their attitude, behaviours towards learning more than half percentage (52.8) of them said they have never committed any academic dishonesty but the rest they have committed in one or the other way during their higher studies (

The basic reasons behind any kind of academic dishonesty are

  1. Firstly the background they come from that is if students come from non English back ground they find it difficult to write the assignments and they try to commit one or the other form of dishonesty.
  2. Students who are lazy and don't have a good academic track record don't have a sound knowledge they try to outsource their assignments to others who can do it for them on paying some money.
  3. Financial status of the student also plays a major role in committing to the academic dishonesty because they would be busy with the part time jobs to earn to survive in the host country.
  4. The other main problem with plagiarism is most of the international students misunderstand the concept of referencing and could not properly understand the rules of the university.

How to avoid Plagiarism in academic writing:

The first thing that comes to my mind to prevent plagiarism is penalising the student who commits, do penalising really help in preventing students from academic dishonesty then the answer would be a yes and no. If yes then today no student would be daring to commit such mistake again but that is not the case still the cases are increasing a year on year and the next suggestion would be making students aware of the plagiarism in early stages and asking them to develop their written skills with the course, find alternative ways of assessing students so that they can think they cannot escape anymore.

The course works or assignments which are given should be more of application basis rather than accumulation of words and in this way, students become more participative in the course work.

If needed provide English education to those students who don't have a sound knowledge of the language.



In 1982 a student named N******* she was in his senior year at *********** university and she has submitted a term paper report in Spanish and she has copied some 12 pages of her assignment from the library book which she has managed to paraphrase them but did not include the verbatim and she did not even provided any citations of the report where she has taken from. The professor who was dealing with the subject was well aware of that book and easily found out that she has paraphrased the words. She was then found guilty for the plagiarism and the university has penalised her with a one year delay in degree.

She has sued the university in the court and after several hearings from both parties the court has reduced the penalty on human grounds. In this specific case the trial judge thought the penalty for her is severe and reduced the punishment.

The amount of stress she was having on her due to the injuries she had and the financial position might have led her to commit such an academic offense.

In this manner she has escaped the worst situation but her case is a lesson too many students who think that they can deceive or cheat their examiners or professors is a good lesson to them. In the worst case many students were also expelled from the universities. (Accessed on 12th December 2009,

Anthony (name changed) a student joined his LL.M course in ********university during 1970-71. And he has submitted a thesis in 1977 that was rejected because it was not up to the university standards and in 1978 again he has resubmitted a 93 page thesis of which 47 pages were copied and pasted ("substantially verbatim") from two sources which he did not cite. His professors however detected the plagiarism in June 1979. He thought of resigning from the university but the university authorities had expelled him from the course then reported him to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

In an attorney disciplinary proceeding the case of Anthony came to Hearing Board and they found it that he had "knowingly plagiarised" the two published works and this had led to "conduct of dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation". "Violating the Illinois Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-102(A) (4) (Illinois State Bar Association 1977)." And the student was suspended for six months after hearing the case totally. (Accessed on 12th December 2009,


Plagiarism is such a thing which as a student wants to know as much about it and be sure that I may not be a victim of the plagiarism so it's same with the other s too as they should make themselves more educated about the plagiarism concept and on the part of staff they have to motivate students to be more ethical towards their education as it is only way they can get good knowledge of the subject and gain confidence in themselves and can have bright careers.

Even stricter laws like expulsion from courses should be stopped because should be stopped because it's not gone help students any way so instead failing them in that particular module and asking them to re attempt the module and continue with the studies.

Finally I would like to conclude by saying that awareness is the only way that plagiarism can be stopped and if student who lacks necessary skills in writing English should be taken special attention help them in completing their course works.


"Anyone who lives in the city Honolulu, HI also lives on the island of Oahu.
Kanoe lives on the island of Oahu.
Therefore, Kanoe lives in the city Honolulu, HI."
(Accessed on 12th December 2009,

The above argument is not a valid argument because the premises don't support the conclusion and if it has to become a valid argument then it has to be rewritten in this format

Anyone who lives in the city of Honolulu also lives on the island of Oahu, HI lives in the city of Honolulu.

Kanoe lives on the island of Oahu.

Therefore, Kanoe also lives in the city Honolulu, HI.

All dogs have eight legs.
The President is a dog.
Therefore, the President has eight legs.

The above argument is a valid argument and the conclusion need not be true in the real world but in the imagination if the president were a dog then he would have 8 legs.

Five examples of different fallacies

  1. Circular fallacy:
  2. If a is b therefore b is a

    In the above argument the premise is claiming the truth of the conclusion in a direct way so it is a circular fallacy.

  3. Appeal to majority:
  4. "In a survey, 8 out of 10 doctors agreed that this drug is dangerous".

    The above statement is a fallacy because if majority people vote against something or believe something then it is stated as a fact with no evidence so the above argument is a fallacy of appeal to majority.(accessed on 12th December,

  5. Appeal to ignorance:
  6. "If one argues that God or telepathy, ghosts, or UFO's do not exist because their existence has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, then this fallacy occurs". (

    "On the other hand, if one argues that God, telepathy, and so on do exist because their non-existence has not been proved, then one argues fallaciously as well".( Accessed on 12th December 2009,

    The two arguments on the above are fallacious and fall under the category of Appeal to ignorance because both of the above arguments were not proved as it is false or it is not proved as true.

  7. Appeal to force:
  8. "Little Ricky to his smaller brother: Power Rangers is the best show on TV, and if you don't think so, I'll beat the crap out of you". (Accessed on 12th December 2009,

    The above argument gives us an idea how the other person is being threatened if he doesn't agree with him this could be majorly the physical harm.

  9. Irrelevant conclusion:
  10. "You should support the new housing bill. We can't continue to see people living in the streets; we must have cheaper housing. (We may agree that housing s important even though we disagree with the housing bill.)"

    The above argument is an irrelevant fallacy because the conclusion is no way related to the premises of the argument.

"People from Govaria can no longer be trusted. This conclusion stems from the fact that two tourists from that country were recently convicted of murder while visiting this country. Also, the Prime Minister of Govaria has declared that he will search any fishing boats from our country if his police suspect them of carrying illegal drugs, which is obviously a ridiculous accusation. Any country that does that, clearly does not respect our national sovereignty".

Conclusion: People of Govaria can no longer be trusted.

PREMISES: This conclusion stems from the fact that two tourists from that country were recently convicted of murder while visiting this country.

The prime minister of Govaria has declared that he will search any fishing boats from our country if his police suspect them of carrying illegal drugs.

Weak argument because from the premises we conclude bout a whole country.

Living costs are also increasing in the areas of housing affordability. In a recent survey, 68% of people said that they found it more difficult to pay their rent or housing loan than last year.

Conclusion: Living costs are also increasing in the areas of housing affordability

Premises: In a recent survey, 68% of people said that they found it more difficult to pay their rent or housing loan than last year.

It is a strong argument because the premises are supporting the conclusion in a strong way.


  10. www.mind.uscd.ed

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