If you think that being trendy is limited to the world
of fashion, then think again. Plagiarism also involves
trends, and keeping up with them is crucial if we are to
effectively manage this menace. This article attempts to trace
trends in plagiarism with reference to some international
A survey of high school students in the United States of
America conducted by Donald McCabe and others suggests
that most students entering college arrive with some kind
of cheating experience during their high school years. This
study reveals that although students entering college expect
something different from their high school experience, the
reality of plagiarism at college level reveals a different
picture. Widespread cheating among the senior students
convinces the junior students that nothing much has changed
between high school and college.
Jam Bamford and Katerina Sergiou conducted a study which
involved students from 35 different countries. The majority
of respondents confi rmed that they had started plagiarising
at the university they were attending and most admitted
copying direct from books. As the study indicates that
plagiarism is prevalent among international students, this
also implies that most of them were unaware of plagiarism
before they enrolled in their international universities.
The trend has since changed from copying direct from books
to “copying and pasting” direct from the Net. The internet’s
popularity has continued to grow, allowing easy access
to ideas and knowledge for anyone, anywhere, anytime.
However, this wealth of information can also be abused
by unethical learners. In times of trouble, the Net becomes a “saviour” to learners in desperate need of information.
This makes plagiarism more complicated and diffi cult to
As cheating trends in the academic world become more
and more advanced, it is fi tting that technology should be
utilised to deal with plagiarism on the Net through plagiarism
detection systems and similarity checkers. Whether
committed digitally or otherwise, plagiarism should not be
tolerated and should be condemned internationally. Those
who are found guilty of plagiarism should be duly penalised
to safeguard the integrity of the academic tradition.