Mehedi Hasan studies English Literature in a reputed private university located in the capital. As a final year student, just before his last semester he was asked to meet a supervisor and fix a topic to complete his thesis following a research. After an initial discussion with the supervisor when he finalised the topic of his thesis his supervisor provided him with a pile of old thesis papers and told him to go through them for understanding the organisation process. But when Mehedi began reading some of the given papers, he was stunned. According to him, “While flipping the pages, it seemed to me that I had read the lines before. I searched for the lines on the internet and found they were copied from a renowned researcher’s paper. It made me curious to see further and I searched for many other lines. Surprisingly I found most of the lines, even in some cases a total paragraph, have been copied from that paper and some other papers without mentioning the source of the original research. I couldn’t understand that how a final-year student can use ‘copy-paste’ method in preparing the most important paper of his graduation life! And I was shocked to think that how the department and the respective supervisors could approve such a plagiarised copy as thesis paper and reward the student with one of his most important certificates.”
This is not a lone example rather such activities have become a phenomenon nowadays all over the country. Most of the university students depend on internet to compile different parts of others’ works instead of completing their thesis by a true research. Many students directly copy the paragraphs from different articles for their paper. Sometimes they even don’t feel the necessity to read them before copying. Besides, there is another group of students who do their thesis with the help of their seniors. They either hire the students of private or public universities or buy their thesis papers. Some students go straight to Nilkhet (the famous book market of Dhaka) and buy ready-made research papers. Such illegal practice is not only demolishing the analytical ability of young students but also destroying their moral strength.There are some reasons behind this unexpected situation. The first reason for plagiarism is laziness. As from the very beginning of their school life students are trained to be a sincere and hardworking individual, university life is considered as the best time to showcase their academic abilities and reach the touchstone of excellence. But attitude of most of the students prove that they are ready to do their task by hook or by crook. Most of the time, they start their job in the last moment and find it almost impossible to complete their thesis in time. Consequently they copy from the internet and merge them with different ideas. Thus instead of focusing on writing a quality paper students in distress often follow the ways to complete the paper by any means just for the sake of submission.
Another reason of plagiarism is lack of moral values. Most of the students do not care about ethics. Thus they only think about completing their job anyway. There are absence of work recognition and regular feedback from the teachers which also encourage students to plagiarise. Such indifferent evaluation disappoints the students who complete their thesis with utmost honesty and hard work. Quality research needs time as researchers need to study a lot to collect authentic information. But, some teachers have the habit of giving good grades only to the students who are good in language without considering the development of idea in the paper. However, if students somehow realise that the teacher would not read their whole paper, their willingness of doing creative and unique research just fades away. Consequently, they collect papers from the peers who have done the course earlier and also copy paragraphs from different research papers available on the internet to avoid linguistic mistakes. And thus plagiarism goes on. In contrast, proper appraisal by teachers motivates them to work honestly. For this reason, most of the foreign universities publish their students’ quality research work or thesis paper in the journal with a view to encouraging them.
Meanwhile most of the teachers prefer to give assignments that are enormously boring and easily available on the internet. Sometimes they offer the same type of assignments every year repeatedly. In that case, students either collect the assignment from their seniors or copy directly from the internet. Most of the teachers do not prioritize topics relevant to the context of Bangladesh. Some teachers even recommend students to mention different journals’ sites as secondary source. As a result students prefer the topics which are easily available and do not need to research further.
Let us get to the aftermath of plagiarism. The consequences of plagiarism can be personal, professional, ethical, and legal. With plagiarism detection software so readily available and in use, plagiarists are being caught at an alarming rate. Once accused of plagiarism, a person will most likely always be regarded with suspicion. A further important point of plagiarism which is often overlooked is that it can have considerably adverse effects on the institutes. This is because if students plagiarise, it therefore reflects the very poor value of their degree. Thus, the academic reputation of the college or university is put in jeopardy.
Plagiarism is a cruel satire on our whole educational system as many young students are graduating with good grades even after submitting a plagiarised thesis paper. To get rid of plagiarism, teachers can play an important role by checking the scripts strictly on the basis of quality and rewarding students for originality and efforts. It is an absolute waste of youths’ potential if they don’t learn how to conduct research and do their own work honestly even after completing related courses.