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Running head: pressured to be the best

The Pressure is on to be the BEST

Lilia Pea
University of St. Thomas
EDUC 6326
Educational Research and Scholarly Writing

Professor Dr. Tara Tuchaai


March 4, 2015

Running head: pressured to be the best


Abstract
According to Schroth, plagiarism in university education is becoming more and wider spread.
Plagiarism is not only being committed by students, but by popular historians and head
University Coaches. He provides evidence from various sources that prove the many risks
students take such as plagiarism in order to get ahead in school. University educators question
why students violate the school code of conduct if they are fully aware of how unethical
plagiarism is. There are many contributing factors that may lead to plagiarism, factors such as
stress to be better than peers, pressure from society to be the best, and the availability of digital
technology that makes everything more accessible for people to plagiarize. Educators must
continue to encourage students to think critically and provide many learning opportunities to
prevent plagiarism. Students can avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing, using quotation marks,
citing sources, and allowing plenty of time to write a paper (Panse, 2008). No matter what
society encompasses on an individual, copying someone elses work is unethical because
plagiarism steals others hard work. (Schroth, 2012).

Running head: pressured to be the best

The Pressure is on to be the BEST


Plagiarism is cheating and it is very unethical. Professionals in teaching roles need to
build more awareness in our schools about academic integrity and the consequences of
plagiarism. As a teacher with almost 13 years of experience in Texas classrooms, it is essential
to create a rich and safe environment where students feel comfortable to ask for help, students in
this environment will be less inclined to cheat. Educators as well as parents need to provide
learning opportunities for students to identify the difference between right and wrong. There are
many contributing factors that may lead to plagiarism, factors such as stress to be better than
peers, pressure from society to be the best, and the availability of digital technology that makes
everything more accessible for people to plagiarize. Individuals may be pressured to go out with
friends, take family vacations, and forget the importance of producing authentic work. College
students may be overwhelmed with research papers, short on time and make the horrible mistake
of copying an authors work without properly referencing the cite. As Schroth states, it is a
mistake to cheat, that was the very thing that his student and even his journalism ethics students
engaged in (Schroth, 2012). No matter what society encompasses on an individual, copying
someone elses work is unethical because plagiarism steals others hard work.
Pressure from society led Time magazine and CNN Indian-American journalist and
author, Fareed Zakaria to plagiarize parts of an article he wrote regarding gun control for Time
Magazine. He was suspended after he admitted to plagiarizing. He publicly apologized stating
he made a terrible mistake (The Time of India, 2012). Technology makes everything easily
available that students do not feel it is necessary to produce original work because he or she can

Running head: pressured to be the best


access it quicker online, no challenging work is required. Instead students copy and paste
writers work from online sources and use them as their very own, not caring about the negative
consequences (Schroth, 2012).
Writing is a challenging task for many individuals especially for students who need to
write in their second language. Writing challenges a person to think analytically and to bring
others perspectives into his or her writing. As Panse states, if you take the time to ponder over a
given issue on your own and take the trouble to write what you think about it in your own words,
there is little chance of your being guilty of plagiarism (Panse, 2008). It is a difficult task,
however, we must give credit to the authors and illustrators for the time they dedicated to
produce their work. There are challenges even seven year olds face daily in writing essays in
their second language at Pine Shadows Elementary School. Parents pressure their children to
learn another language when they are not interested. In some cases students attempt to copy
other students classroom work because they want to make higher grades and not disappoint their
parents. These students have learned that if they continue to work hard, with parental
involvement and their teachers support they can overcome challenges.
No matter how hard things may seem, it is possible with dedication, discipline, and
support from family, friends, and professors to overcome challenges such as the complexity of
writing and researching. It is important to be originals and not be someone that we are not.
Educators must continue to encourage students to think critically and provide many learning
opportunities to prevent plagiarism. Students can avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing, using
quotation marks, citing sources, and allowing plenty of time to write a paper (Panse, 2008). As
an Elementary school teacher it is critical to create an environment where students feel safe to

Running head: pressured to be the best


ask for help and not be compelled to cheat. Educators need to continue to educate and promote
Academic Integrity from early education to graduate school.

Running head: pressured to be the best

References

Schroth, R. A. (2012). The Plagiarism Plague. America, 206(16), 12-16.


(2012, August 11). Time magazine suspend Fareed Zakaria for plagiarism. The Times of India.
Retrieved from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/CNN-Time-magazinesuspend-Fareed-Zakaria-for-plagiarism/articleshow/15444925.cms
Panse, S. (2008). Ways to Avoid Plagiarism. Buzzle. Retrieved from
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/ways-to-avoid-plagiarism.html