Chambliss Et Al

.1 Background

Over the years, there has been an extensive amount of literature on different disciplines revolving around the issue of plagiarism. The reason for this prevailing cancer was not to identify plagiarism and impose repercussions on students but rather to take the necessary measures to keep building the trust and advance the scientific body of knowledge (Chambliss et al., 2010).It is for thus a precautionary measure to protect the integrity authors, publication bodies and those individuals directly affected. In light of contributing to the body of knowledge, different levels of plagiarism are committed by students either knowingly or unknowingly. It all depends on the information presented to bring awareness to students, pressure to succeed and poor writing skills amongst other things that contribute to stealing ideas (Maina, Maina, & Jauro, 2014; Wilkinson, 2009). This dishonest act did not go unpunished and had serious consequences to students who fell victim of this crime. This study was designed to determine the relationship between the different levels of plagiarism and the seriousness of penalties that could be faced in a research methodology module.

1.1.1 Introduction

In the past it was not very easy to detect plagiarism due to limited available resources. The internet and technology has played a huge role in helping lecturers to detect plagiarism through the use of sophisticated software technology like Turnitin (Walker, 2010). The many forms of plagiarism would take decades to discover seeing that a submission on one of the software programs can give results in an instant. The internet is the biggest source of plagiarism according to (Maina et al., 2014) allowing students to draw from the vast resources available at their fingertips. It is also the most potent form of information to identify the different types of plagiarism at our disposal. So how is plagiarism being dealt with? Is there a prescriptive punishment to the severity of the offences or are all forms of plagiarism considered in equal measure?

1.1.2 Levels of plagiarism

Intentional Plagiarism: This form of plagiarism is known amongst students who deliberately and knowingly copy ideas and information without giving recognition to the authors of the original work (Cheema, Mahmood, Mahmood & Shah, 2011). Students engage in such behaviour because of peer pressure amongst family and friends to perform well but are not limited to the aforementioned (Sentleng & King, 2012) What is important to remember from this type of plagiarism is the willful intent engaged.

Unintentional plagiarism: Students fail to quote the source of information because they forget or they do not have the knowledge to properly cite or give reference to authors (Sentleng & King, 2012). The research module may be a new experience and although universities preach plagiarism in extensive measures, the students take longer to grasp the concepts and framework behind referencing sources.

Patch Writing: This form of plagiarism involves taking pieces of information and patching them to flow into a constructive sentence without citation but the structure and grammar remains relatively the same (Sentleng & King, 2012; Chambliss et al., 2010).

Non-attribution of sources: The submission of papers as one’s own work with copied passages from published or unpublished sources without proper accreditation to the source of information (Sentleng & King, 2012; Wilkinson, 2009).

Paraphrasing without acknowledging the source: While students are asked to interpret the ideas and give their own meaning on a subject, they fail to give an interpretation of the original idea as well as cite where the statement or idea originated (Chambliss et al., 2010). Paraphrasing provides a form of deeper insight but when students cannot interpret articles they show lack of understanding.

Self-plagiarism: Even though authors, students and researchers submit the published work, failing to reference or cite their own work when working on new papers are considered illegal and as self-plagiarism (Chambliss et al., 2010). This takes the form of assignments being resubmitted as new work and taking ideas without citation.

Sham: This type of plagiarism is when students copy word for word without the use of quotation marks and then presenting it as a paraphrased sentence (Walker, 2010). It gives rise to the idea that students can interpret information and show understanding whereas they were actually cheating and deceiving themselves.

Verbatim: Students deliberately copy word for word text from the original source and submitting the work as their own (Walker, 2010). Either they are unaware of the power of plagiarism software or they think that that information the copy from is not referenced elsewhere. The only downfall of plagiarism is that it can only match plagiarized papers with work that exist and has been preloaded on the internet (Walker, 2010).

Purloin: This form of plagiarism may seem to be harmless but the implication of it can have dire effects. The use of another student’s work without their knowledge even if it is a substantial amount of written work or ideas constitutes plagiarism (Walker, 2010). Research showed that there seemed to be conflict of interest between staff and students about moral and ethical beliefs (Wilkinson, 2009).

It is through extensive research that allows us to better understand the different forms of plagiarism that exist. One can then suggest that shamming deserves a less stringent penalty than verbatim plagiarism because after all, it is directly copying every word and writing it as the student’s own work. Lecturers should decide on the extent of the plagiarism and which portion of the work is innocuous (Walker, 2010).

1.1.3 Severity of penalties

It is evident that all institutions do not adopt the same rules when it comes to penalties and the way institutions deal with plagiarism differs. In the Higher education commission of Pakistan, plagiarism ranges from a minor to a more severe form of punishment (Cheema et al., 2011). The different forms of punishment seemed dependent on the severity of the offence. According to (Elander, Pittam, Lusher, Fox, & Payne, 2010).