The causes of plagiarism include; ignorance on the student’s part, laziness and procrastination among the students and the fear of failure. These examples of causes can lead to various effects on the university students. These effects are as follows; first, they could be suspended from the university, have the students work cancelled, and lastly, lowers integrity and respect of students. Plagiarism is becoming common and highly committed. It is a vice that universities are working hard to eradicate. It is therefore important and necessary to understand how plagiarism comes to be and the immediate and serious effects that can be brought about by plagiarized work.
The first cause is ignorance. Most students in the university level are ignorant. This ignorance can be expressed in different ways. First, the students might not understand clearly what their teachers teach on referencing and citations. This will lead them to committing plagiarism without knowing they have committed any wrongful act in their writing. Secondly, international students might have received different teachings on the subject as compared to the teachings taught by the lecturers in the foreign countries they are studying in. The lack of knowledge on how proper writing and research is conducted in their new universities is part of ignorance because they ought to learn how things are done in the foreign country. They as students should compare the knowledge they were taught back in their home country and the new knowledge and techniques offered in the foreign university. There is an illustration of a lecturer who discovered that her Chinese students had come up with similar sources for an assignment they had been given to research and write on. To the students, they believed they had just borrowed the information. Matalene (1985) Ignorance can lastly appear in form of students feeling that they are too busy to write up an assignment that has not been lifted from another source. They thus end up copying work from another writer or lifting information directly from another source without acknowledging the author without further research.
The second cause of plagiarism is a laziness and procrastination element in the students. In some instances, students feel like they are being burdened if asked to work on an assignment. Working on an assignment required intensive research and understanding of the topic at hand. Lecturers require that students give their full attention on their work so that they can understand the topics taught in class and grow their knowledge. Students on the other hand, feel like it is asking too much from them. They want the easy way out which would involve copying assignments. The students also tend to procrastinate tackling their assignments causing them to write them up in a rush at the last minute. In this situation they are prone to lifting from other sources directly and not proof reading their work to ensure they deliver quality assignments.
Lastly, plagiarism is common because of the fear of failure. Students are afraid to fail in a paper because it will reflect badly on their entire grade. They would do anything to ensure that they do not get a poor grade. This, therefore, would not stop them from plagiarism. They do so hoping that their teachers would take no note of the act or they will overlook the act. Failure in a certain paper or the whole level would mean that they would have to repeat the topic or whole level. That looks like a waste of time for students who are looking forward to finishing their education in order to get out into society and be employed or start their own businesses.
Having looked at the causes, the first effect of plagiarism is suspension from the university. All universities d not condone plagiarism and have strict penalties for any student caught doing so. For many universities suspension is an option. This goes to inform the student that plagiarism is a grave act in the university. The university also ensures that this vice is not an option for its students.
In addition to suspension, the particular assignment found bearing plagiarism could be cancelled. This would mean that the student will fail in his coursework and that he has to redo the essay all over again. This also goes to show that it is highly discouraged in the university level. They want to produce students who are good researchers and produce quality work at all times.
Lastly, the integrity and respect of a student caught will be questioned. The student is considered to be less reliable and capable of doing anything just to pass in class. The lectures who expect high levels of honor and respect from the students will tend to disregard those who are involved in the vice. Fellow student will also lose respect for those students who engage in plagiarism because they will term them as lazy and capable of stealing even their work.
In conclusion, plagiarism is not advocated in any levels of learning especially at the university. Those who are ignorant, fear failure, are lazy and have a habit of postponing working on their assignments should be aware that plagiarism will lead them to even bigger trouble. They could get suspended, have their assignment cancelled, and have their integrity and respect questioned. Their morals are most important before anything else and hence they should keep away from the vice.