Plagiarism is a topic that I am very familiar with; it is referenced in nearly every syllabus I’ve received in both high school and college. In my high school, plagiarism was taken very seriously. We were constantly instructed to “play it safe” and cite every sentence that could be seen as taken from a source. When writing papers, I was apprehensive to write freely because I was always concerned that somebody else might have written my thoughts previously and I did not want to be accused of plagiarizing somebody else’s work. A majority of my assignments were required to be turned in to, which was a stressful process. Even though I knew that I never plagiarized, that website can be very inaccurate and highlight a few words and consider it plagiarism. Since freshman year of college, I have never been required to use; however, plagiarism is a topic that is stressed in every single class, whether it is calculus or a writing course. I found it interesting to hear everybody’s experiences with plagiarism; it was shocking to hear how many of us have been directly affected by plagiarism or have friends who have been affected by plagiarism. In high school, a friend of mine was accused of plagiarism and was not allowed to attend graduation. Instead, she had to take a summer class and graduated in August as opposed to June. The article “Forgetting About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach.” by Rebecca Moore Howard brought up some very interesting points about plagiarism in the classroom. She explains that perhaps there is a cultural component to plagiarism, as students are no longer immersing themselves in one area of study. Instead, they are simply earning “credentials for an array of jobs” (Howard 3). Therefore, students are less interested in their course load and consequently, cheating has become much more common. Another point that Rebecca Moore Howard discussed is that students often do not receive a lot of feedback on their work, which causes them to cheat more. Many times, students are assigned writing assignments that are due at the end of the semester. Therefore, the students write the paper and never receive any type of feedback other than their grade. It is important to analyze a student’s work and provide commentary so that students are more motivated to work hard and not cheat on their assignments. Overall, plagiarism is a topic that is very prevalent in the classroom and will hopefully decline in the future.


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