student life

Plagiarism: Is it worth the risk?

Don't Cheat, Hannah Parry, plagiarism, Kettle Mag
Written by HannahWrites

Plagiarism. The one word that absolutely every single student dreads to hear. So why is it that so many of us are willing to jeopardize our entire academic career in order to get ahead by cheating? 
In my first year at university, there was nothing that was drilled into our new fresh mindset than the fear and danger of plagiarising someone else’s work. Every module handbook that I opened was full of terrifying ordeals and scenarios that could happen if I ever decided to take the easy way out and steal work that wasn’t mine. However, it seems that the fear that was instilled into me has long gone with today’s students, as more and more of us are turning to plagiarism throughout universities in the UK. 

What is Plagiarism? 

Plagiarism is defined as taking someone else’s work and attempting to pass it off as your own. This can be as big as stealing an entire essay off the Internet, or as small as forgetting to put quotation marks around a quote. While this sounds like something a student would obviously never want to be involved in, the pressures of university life and the work that we do is proving to be too demanding for some; and students are taking drastic measures in order to get the grades that they feel they deserve. 

What are the consequences?

The consequences for plagiarism vary at each institution around the United Kingdom. At certain universities, depending on the level of plagiarism you commit you could face being capped at 40% (a minimum pass) for that piece of work or even for the whole module. While this doesn’t seem like much of a devastating consequence, it does get much harsher. When you combine a student’s intention with the amount of work that is plagiarised and their year of study, you could face failing your module, having your degree classification lowered or even not being allowed to graduate at all. 

Risky Business

It is now becoming increasingly normalized to see websites that offer Ghostwriters to write dissertations for stressed out students. These ghostwriters ask for a fee of anything up to £1700.00, which works out at roughly £80.00 per page. It is currently illegal to approach one of these ghostwriters and request a dissertation, however placing orders for an essay of a specific length and topic is perfectly acceptable in the eyes of the law. 

However, don’t fall for these tricks, while you may be assured that this deal is 100% legitimate your university will more than likely class this work as plagiarism. The stresses of university life are intense these days, with more and more competition in the economy for recent graduates, the pressure to do well and score high is at an all time extreme. 

Would you?

But would you really be happy showing your potential future employers a grade that you haven’t really earnt? Do you really want to score a job with a qualification that you can’t actually back up? And most of all, could you really stand with your head held high on the stage at graduation, knowing full well that you cheated to get where you are now? I know for certain that I’d rather go through the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to struggle my way to the top of my degree, than stand proud with a certificate that I don’t deserve. 

Do the stresses of university invite the use of plagiarism? Is it inevitable or avoidable?  Let us know how you feel in the comments below!