Why do students plagiarize?

Short Report:

Put an End to Plagiarism

In 2002, a high school teacher in Piper, Kansas, resigned after the local school board ordered her to raise the grades of 28 students who had failed her course after being caught plagiarizing on a semester-long research project (Hartman 55). According to the teacher, the students had been warned about the consequences of plagiarizing and deserved their failing grades (Hartman 56). Many parents felt differently, however (Hartman 57). They said their children didn’t realize that copying information from the internet was plagiarizing, and that the penalty for their ignorance was too harsh (Hartman 58).

Whatever the facts, the case dramatically illustrates a problem that has become increasingly common with the growing use of the internet in our nation’s classrooms. According to Plagiarism.org, studies indicate that approximately “74 percent of [high school] students admit plagiarizing at least once during the past school year” (Plagiarism.org). In addition, a study conducted by Rutgers University researcher Donald McCabe found that more than half the high school students surveyed had used material copied from the Internet in research papers (McCabe qtd. Hartman 48). Fifteen percent said they had turned in reports copied entirely off the Internet – or purchased on the Internet (McCabe qtd. Hartman 49).

Why do students plagiarize? According to Robert Harris, the author of Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers , students plagiarize because they want to finish the work in the least possible amount of time, because the work is not a priority for them, because they procrastinate, because they have poor time and work management skills, and because they have no confidence in their own writing abilities. Some students, of course, plagiarize because they can, and others really don’t know they are plagiarizing.

Works Cited

Harris, Robert. Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers. Houston: Random House, 2010.


Hartman, Patricia. “Student Confusion on Plagiarism.” Academic Strategies Revised. New York:

Palgrave, 2012. 48-60. EBook.

Plagiarism.org. “The Plagiarizer’s Mindset.” Plagiarism.org. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.


1. What is plagiarism?

2. What does it mean to recycle writing assignments?

3. Go to the course syllabus. Explain the policy on plagiarism & recycling.

4. Find the sentence that is plagiarized in the passage. In other words, find the sentence that needs an in-text citation. Provide a possible in-text citation for the sentence that is plagiarized.

5. Choose a sentence in the passage. Rewrite the sentence & and intentionally plagiarize it. Explain how you plagiarized the sentence. Explain why it is a plagiarized sentence.

Thesis & Reasons Exercise

Reminder: This writing assignment, like all others, is subject to SafeAssign. Plagiarism will not be tolerated; “I didn’t know” is not an excuse. For more on plagiarism, please see the course syllabus and your RLC Student Handbook.

Note: Use your critical thinking skills. The answer should be your OWN answer and not a regurgitation of something you found on the internet. You should know how to answer these questions after you review and take notes on the required course materials.

Thesis Statements From Questions

Turn the following questions into thesis statements (hint: use a “should” or a “since” type statement).

Why is America the most obese country in the world?


How is social media a negative form of communication?


Why is second hand smoke dangerous?


Thesis Statements From A Statement of Fact

Change the following statement of fact into a thesis statement (hint: use a “should” or a “since” type statement):

Drinking alcohol diminishes driving ability.


Thesis Statement From An Announcement

Turn this announcement into a correct thesis statement (hint: make an argument about the topic by using a “should” or a “since” type statement:

This essay will discuss how certain social attitudes influence racism.


Thesis & Reasons: Video Ad

Review & analyze the following video ad about Budweiser Beer.

http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=773AftoFylo

What is the thesis statement (or overall argument) the video ad makes?


What are 3 reasons that the ad makes to support the thesis statement?



Write three reasons to support the following thesis statement:

Schools should not be held responsible for teaching students sex education.


Your Thesis & Reasons

Choose your own topic. Write a thesis statement and three reasons to support your thesis statement.