Saturday, June 5, 2010

Plagiarism and Human Nature

Why do people cheat? Some do it because it raises the adrenalin level to sky-high marks. Some don't have time to prepare properly. Some cheat as a way of life, i.e. that's how they are. In my many years of academic studies I came across all sorts of cheaters and ways to cheat. I recall how students would go to exams with "bombs". That is when you have the answer already written on a regular sized sheet of paper, secreted somewhere on your body. Can you believe their exasperation when a teacher would pass through the isles and put a signature on each blank sheet of paper before the exam starts? Others would hide cheat sheets (or entire text books) under the desk. Well, for those smartie pants the professors used to assign seating and change exam rooms all of a sudden.

Nowadays, those fun days are gone (at least in Europe and in the States). I am sure that in my old university such practices are still thriving. I mean it is a way of survival, those who can cheat in harsh conditions like those deserve a university diploma straight away. Internet has brought about immense opportunities for cheating and at the same time grave risks and troubles. If earlier you could just copy something from a book and put it into your paper, now teachers use such monsters like Turn It In (, which pick up not cited strings of text and you are busted. **sigh**

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