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One way to judge how plagiarism hurts students who do not plagiarize is to look first at students who do not plagiarize. Students who do NOT plagiarize learn:

  • to think for themselves
  • to value the thinking of others
  • to differentiate between their own thinking and the thoughts of others
  • to critically evaluate what read reads
  • to question what they read
  • to 'argue against' points they disagree with, even if the writer is better educated or a professional
  • to find written statements that support their own thoughts
  • to read with a critical eye even when the subject is controversial and maintain their own point of view (POV); for example: abortion rights
  • to support their own views with strong and original statements, even when it feels like another person has said it better
  • to be writers rather than just passive readers
  • to think rather than just absorb what others say
  • to lead rather than to just follow what everyone else says or thinks
  • to use a creative mind to make their own works, and make their own words shine
  • to flesh out the most important points, even when the words are surrounded by wordiness
  • to spot wordiness in other people's writing, and therefore, begin to eliminate wordiness in their own writing
  • to take the points that others make, and build upon them; by building upon other people's work, the field of study enlarges.

Students who do plagiarize do not learn any of the points listed above. Their goal is only to get the paper written, as fast as possible. They "stretch" the length by inserting long pieces of text that could be paraphrased, or could be shortened to one or two key points. These students prefer, at least at the time, to skate through their education, rather than to learn.

One of the biggest ways that students who do not plagiarize are hurt by students who do is that teachers must spend countless hours repeating the accepted practices for quoting other people's words. This leaves the students who DO follow the accepted practices to wait while other students learn those rules. Students who follow the accepted rules could be going forward to learn more, but they must wait while others learn these points.

Ironically, by trying to "stretch" a paper by using plagiarism in order to avoid the work or to save time, the students who do plagiarize end up spending more weeks than necessary on the same topic. They may even push the teacher to assign another term paper to the whole class, simply because some students don't follow the rules. The bottom line is, students who plagiarize hurt their own education and waste time that could be spent learning something new.

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14y ago
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11y ago

It can affect school for sure. It's like someone cheating on a test. People who plagiarise can get into huge trouble, its like counterfeiting money or forging people's signature.. Plagiarism is stealing. +++++ (The paragraphing has failed!) +++++ I suspect there are people using this web-site to plagiarise, in order to avoid work they were set. This is particularly noticeable in the Maths section, with questions wanting direct answers to calculations. If the question was originally a homework problem, then asking others to do it for you is cheating and lazy, for the point is to practice the technique. If I see a question like "What is one-quarter of one half?", rather than the underlying "How do I multiply fractions?", I tend to ignore it or answer by outlining the method.

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Q: How does plagiarism affect the workplace and school?
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