Tuesday, May 4, 2010


My English 114 class just finished a simple random survey of 40 San Francisco State University students and found out their motivations for their schooling and their plagiarism. When we looked at our survey numbers we found that exactly half of the students who filled out our questionnaire had plagiarized in some form or another. This seems rather large but really I wasnted shocked. I have known that nearly all of my friends had dipped their hands in the honey pot of plagiarism. I have even dabbled a bit in the dark art of tip toe-ing around my assignments using plagiarism. However we wanted to know why? Why do students plagiarize so much even though we know that if we do it we don't learn anything and if we get caught we go the English hell? We interviewed students and got their answers. And the most intersting fact that I came into contact with was how easily swayed we are to do anything when our hearts aren't in. The students we interviewed knew the consequences of getting caught, they knew that they weren't helping themselves in the long run, they knew that it was the immoral thing to do. But what they also knew was that they didn't want to write the essay. Because the students were not motivated to write this essay they simply did not write it. Who wants to write an essay when you have absolutely no interest in doing it and no motivation to do it with. I can see where they are coming from. These students did not plagiarize because they wanted to rebel or want to see if they could get away with it. They just weren't excited about writing their essay's so they looked for a way out of it.

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