An Assessment Strategy to Help Forestall Plagiarism Problems


Plagiarism is one of the focal points in all areas of education. The struggle to establish reasons why it is widespread and the causes of its existence has led to many academics, teachers and students searching for ways to overcome the problem. From an educator's perspective, many factors like poorly structured assessment criteria form the basis of the lacklustre attitude of some students. Most students have an aspiration to perform to the highest standards that they are capable of; however, factors like family pressures, poor time management practices, unexpected events and heavy workloads occurring in conjunction with over-assessed courses and coinciding assignment due dates are catalysts for plagiarism. It is apparent that those involved in education and research, no matter how young, need to be educated in how plagiarism can be avoided. This paper identifies the problems that underpin plagiarism, and suggests strategies by which we can assist students both to understand academic integrity more readily and to manage their research ethically. Teaching and reinforcing good practice at an early stage in the student's learning career are imperative to knowing what plagiarism is all about.

This article was published in the journal Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, November 2004.

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