Cheating and Plagiarism in Schools

Cheating and plagiarism, with the introduction of the internet, have become much more commonplace. In fact, 59% of high school students admitted cheating on a test during the last year, and 34% self-reported doing it more than two times. Being caught cheating on a test will most certainly have a bad consequence but the punishments differ from school to school. Plagiarizing on a paper will also come with certain punishments. Different punishments are given depending on the school you go to like NRHS (North Ridgeville High School), LCCC (Lorain County Community College), and OSU (Ohio State University).

Plagiarism can be defined as taking written work from someone and using it as your own. Plagiarism can be seen as stealing words from the real author, using them as your own and then lying about doing so. All the following are examples of plagiarism : “turning in someone else’s work as your own, copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit, failing to, put a quotation in quotation marks, giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation, changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit, and copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not” (Plagiarism: Facts & Stats, 2017). Plagiarism can simply be avoided by giving credit where its due. Plagiarism is a type of cheating and both should be avoided.

High Schools like NRHS, although at a lower level educational level compared to colleges and universities, still have pretty serious consequences. The First offense for cheating/ plagiarism is that “a zero will be given on the assignment [and the] student may make up the assignment for a maximum of 75% credit. A parent contact will be made and a detention may be issued” (Parent/ Student Handbook, 2014). The punishment scales up into the four offense where the punishment is that “[the] student will receive a zero on the assignment with no opportunity to make up the assignment. A student who reaches this level or beyond, ma [sic] be suspended or disciplined in some other manner deemed appropriate by the administration” (Parent/ Student Handbook, 2014). Though these punishments do not deter many students as cheating can still be seen and sometimes is not even punished. Reforms to some of these rules are being made as some teachers are giving students opportunities to completely re-do the assignment or test for full credit .

Despite what some might think, plagiarism is commonly found in colleges too. A study taken in 2002-2005 at Rutgers University of 63700 Undergrad students showed that ; “36% of undergraduates admit to ‘paraphrasing/copying few sentences from [an] Internet source without footnoting it,’ 38% admit to ‘paraphrasing/copying few sentences from written source without footnoting it,’ 14% of students admit to ‘fabricating/falsifying a bibliography,’ 7% self-report copying materials ‘almost word for word from a written source without citation,’ and 7% self-report ‘turning in work done by another'” (Plagiarism: Facts & Stats, 2017).

LCCC, a large step up from NRHS, still have similar punishments for plagiarism. Being caught plagiarizing Ohio State University, a much more prestigious learning establishment, still experiences plagiarism but is much more serious about its punishments. Every case of plagiarism is viewed and judged by a panel and punishment are given accordingly . Each case will receive a punishment custom made for the situation. “Sanctions vary from the relatively light (an informal reprimand) to severe (dismissal from the university) and typically involve both a grade sanction [of] a grade of 0 on the assignment” (The Ohio State University Office of Academic Affairs, 2018). The punishments at OSU are much more severe as dismissal from the university would not only mean that you can no longer graduate but you are also thousands of dollars in debt with no serious job or degree.

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