Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A copyright matter

I was editing the group assignment till late last night. To be precise morning, as I discovered that the whole document was raw.

I think the University needs to set up a report writing course for students, seriously. I realize that not many students know how to write a proper report. After being more than one semester in University, I’m quite disappointed with the progress in writing an effective report for my course. What most students do will be searching up in the net, cut and paste and if slightly better, they’ll just change the sentence structure. The better ones will make an effort to look up in books and quote a few relevant phrases (which is being encouraged by lecturers).

Undeniably, this cut and paste and restructuring habit does much convenience for last minute work and is definitely a necessity among lazy students (including me). However, this is plagiarism and we can be failed by doing so. And according to one of lecturers, some Western universities do develop very advance softwares to trace plagiarism. I believe this software does exist (as oppose to some students who didn’t want to accept the truth) so we better be more respectful to the other academicians. It’s a violation of their work.

In my opinion, an academic report should be something which is written base on our understanding of the topic we are studying. Even though the language we use may make us sound like pre-U students but as least we have to learn it through the hard way instead of just copying sophisticated work from the veterans. It is quite easy to detect whether students copy from other resources by taking note of the language used alone. I don't think our vocabulary is so wide that we are able to use 10 bombastic words in one sentence. It is either the lecturers have too high expectations on their students or they are just too lenient.

I presume lecturers here don’t really use that “tracing-plagiarism” software because they do give higher marks to those who did a “sophisticated” job compared to my crude “homemade” assignment which is genuinely based on my shallow understanding of the topic. I must admit it is not easy to write a very good report because we need an extensive and elaborated research to achieve that. A last minute person can get only at most a B for this. But I rather do that than getting an A out of other people’s work. At least the learning process takes place.


At 8:29 PM, Blogger Sze Jia said...

the software exists and in most the uk universities they are using it. i think some uni in malaysia too.

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous job said...

most students do their reports,assignments etc at the last minute,when the due date is tomorrow..then just cut and paste lorr..

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Shan said...

sze jia:i believe so and it's really dangerous to cut and paste especially fm websites, no need software, just google only...

job: i must say i'm one of the students you mention haha...but at least make an effort to restructure the sentence and paragraph. one thing, never use sophisticated words la, too obvious

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Adrian said...

there really are those plagiarism detector programs and there are online versions as well. hehe

and happy belated birthday! :D


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