Is it very hard to write something original? Is it hard to express your arguments in writing and support them with reasonably good reasonings?

Plagiarism among Students

I was in a student’s house, and by chance I saw her Form 4 Sastera Project Work – Konserto Terakhir. It was nicely bound with a ring binder about 2 cm thick. I asked her how was the story… was it interesting since I had not read the book.

Her answer surprised me – “I don’t know cos I haven’t read the book.”

Then how did she produce a 2 cm-thick printout as a project on that novel?

Answer : ” copy from the internet”.

Unbelievable? Believe it. This is now the trend among students in Malaysia. Not just college kids, but secondary school kids. So what’s the purpose of giving them project work? So that they learn how to copy and paste, printout and bind nice 2-3 cm-thick books?

So – plagiarism from students are perfectly normal. They are teenagers after all. They tend to take shortcuts and they try to avoid squeezing their brains on boring stuff like school projects :)

Plagiarism among adults? (Tutors)

What about plagiarism from teachers? Tutors? I was surfing through some hometuition websites, and just for the fun of it, was looking through some tutors’ profiles. Guess what I found? 

Yup – similar write-ups by the tutors about themselves, in their own profile.

This is so disappointing. That as teachers, we’re not even bothered to write something original and true about ourselves, using our own sentences and words, that we have to copy them from another tutor’s profile? (I don’t know who copied who.. just observed the similarities)

How do we expect to teach our students to do otherwise?

This does not mean that the tutors are not good teachers. They may be good.

But this goes very far in illustrating the fact that many people, be it adults or teenagers are lazy to think for themselves. Hence, the trend of plagiarising other people’s work.