Top 5 Reasons Why Students Submit Plagiarized Assignments

Created by Mark Davis in Smart Assessment 17 Sep 2023

The first step to prevent plagiarism assignment is to understand why your students plagiarize. This will help you gain a better understanding of your students’ psyche and effectively facilitate checking assignment for plagiarism. Here, we have shared some reasons why students tend to submit plagiarised assignments.

They are not motivated enough

Teachers have several stories about students who have been caught with homework plagiarism. This is mainly because most students are not motivated enough to come up with something on their own. In other words, they are not willing to put in the required effort. Students who are looking for an easy and less time-consuming way out of their assignments, plagiarise. You can prevent this by educating your students about the consequences of plagiarism.

They lack confidence

Another major reason why students plagiarize is that they lack confidence. They can be tempted to borrow someone else’s ideas because they don’t believe in their ideas. These students might be unable to express their ideas in words or may lack the confidence to support their arguments. An interesting plagiarism assignment for students would be to make them believe in their words. Teachers can foster conviction in their students by supporting their arguments and helping them to improve.

They don’t know how to cite

If your student is submitting plagiarism assignments, it can be because they simply don’t know how to cite or reference their sources. In some cases, they might not even know the importance of citing. They may just assume that they can reproduce the author’s ideas without giving them credit.

This is a preventable cause. Teachers have to teach their students the importance of citations and how to cite papers correctly. Dedicate classes where you explore different forms of citation, teach them how to paraphrase, and introduce your students to software that makes it easy to reference other academic papers.

They didn’t understand the assignment

If your students don’t understand the assignment or think its’ too difficult, they will be tempted to plagiarize it. If you’re checking assignment for plagiarism, and you find that majority of your students have plagiarized, possibly they found the topic too hard. To prevent homework plagiarism, make sure your students have understood the topic. Hold discussions about the topic and if they find it too hard, try to simplify it. You can also help your students organize their notes so they are ready to work on the paper.

They are still learning

Academic writing is a process and students are constantly learning. Therefore, if they have submitted a plagiarized paper, it can be because they aren’t there yet. Learning how to paraphrase can be a process and students may take time getting used to it. You can help your students learn better by giving them summarizing and paraphrasing assignments.

These were some of the reasons why students plagiarize assignments. An effective way to educate students about plagiarism would be to make them submit rough drafts and identify cheating in the earlier stages. Another way to prevent plagiarism is by using different sets of questions for different students. This is easier on SuperTeacher teaching app where you can assign both graded and ungraded tests in a matter of minutes.


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