The “Plague of Plagiarism” Solution

While reading “Forget About Policing Plagiarism. Just Teach.” by Rebecca Howard and hearing my classmates’ thoughts, I discovered a new perspective on plagiarism and cheating that I had never thought of before. I learned that classmates are not the only perpetrators of plagiarism- some teachers play a role in encouraging this type of behavior as well. It is unfair for teachers to constantly expect new, creative, and individualistic work when they do not give this kind of work themselves. The article states that teachers even gloat about how easy it has become to spot plagiarism because of technology advancements. If they feel and share such excitement about how easy it is to catch cheaters that they gloat about it, I question why they would not understand their students’ excitement over how easy technology has made it to do the actual cheating. Building upon that, if they could understand how easy it is to cheat nowadays, why do many teachers assist this process by recycling their same work and assignments year after year? Instead of assigning tasks and activities that make their students think for themselves and express creativity and interest, the same untailored, basic questions are brought about for multiple years in a row, no matter who the students are, how they learn, or how society grows. As the article states, “We expect authentic writing from our students, yet do not write authentic assignments for them”. I believe this is where the entire “plague” sprouted. If teachers, being the role models of the classroom, put in more effort and interest into the class work, students will reciprocate by giving back that same kind of respect, attention, and original effort. As a result, the teacher-student bond will be more beneficial for both sides of the relationship due to the heavier challenges and richer accomplishments involved.

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