May 31st 2012

How to write an essay on plagiarism

Plagiarism is a popular topic these days, and many colleges are now encouraging students to understand more about it by setting assignments on plagiarism. When you write an essay on plagiarism, the subject naturally becomes clearer to you which has the added benefit of helping you to avoid it in the future.

An essay on plagiarism needs to be based on a specific aspect of plagiarism that is interesting to discuss or could be easily contested. There are many aspects of plagiarism which could be approached, for example:

  • 1. Plagiarism checking software and its limitations - There is always room for improvement with plagiarism checking software, and there have been many claims that there are ways to cheat the system. Not all plagiarism software can have a complete success rate, but where can improvements be made? There are a number of issues with TurnItIn for example which can be studied.

  • 2. Social and legal issues - The internet is making it easier to plagiarize, and because of this there is definite need for plagiarism checking software to be used extensively in colleges. However, the legality surrounding the software is not very clear, and many students have contested the obligation to hand in their work for it to be checked for plagiarism. Is plagiarism checking justified, or is it unfair and in some way an invasion of privacy in some situations?

  • 3. Responding to plagiarism - Plagiarizing from books and online sources is an example when it is easy to find out who is in the wrong, but with student-student plagiarism it is much more difficult to do so. Not all cases of academic plagiarism are have a clear perpetrator, and sometimes innocent people can be incriminated. How should academic institutions address this problem, and make the process more fair for students who are innocent but become involved in cases of plagiarism?

Most essays on the topic of plagiarism will argue both sides of an argument like the ones hinted at above, though a scientific essay could also be created to explain how plagiarism checking software scans the internet and checks between student submissions.

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