Circumstances That Promote Plagiarism at Schools

Plagiarism is an ethical and academic issue that persists across various levels of educational systems worldwide. Despite academic policies and technology designed to detect and deter plagiarism, the practice still occurs frequently. This article aims to shed light on some of the circumstances that contribute to the prevalence of plagiarism in schools.

Circumstances That Promote Plagiarism at Schools

Circumstances that promote plagiarism at schools are:

  • Academic Pressure: The need to achieve high grades encourages shortcuts like plagiarism.
  • Lack of Education on Plagiarism: Students may not fully understand what constitutes plagiarism.
  • Tight Deadlines and Procrastination: Limited time makes copy-pasting tempting.
  • Curriculum Gaps: Inadequate instruction on proper research and citation methods.
  • Easy Internet Access: Online information is readily available and easy to copy.
  • Peer Behavior: Observing peers plagiarize without facing consequences can normalize the act.

Academic Pressure

The increasingly competitive nature of education puts students under immense pressure to perform well. When the focus is solely on grades rather than learning and understanding, students may resort to plagiarism as a shortcut to achieving high marks. In some cases, the pressure may also come from parents who are anxious about their children’s academic performance.

Lack of Understanding and Awareness

Many students plagiarize unintentionally because they do not understand what constitutes plagiarism. Schools sometimes assume that students already know the intricacies of citing sources, paraphrasing, and the importance of original work. In the absence of proper education on this issue, students may unknowingly commit plagiarism.

Tight Deadlines and Procrastination

Procrastination and tight deadlines can act as catalysts for plagiarism. When students put off assignments until the last minute, they may resort to copy-pasting material from the internet to meet the submission deadline. Time pressure thus encourages unethical academic conduct.

Curriculum Gaps

Some educational systems have a curriculum that is overloaded with content but lacks depth in teaching research and writing skills. Such gaps in the curriculum can lead students to plagiarize since they have not been adequately trained to research, cite, and write papers on their own.

Ease of Access to Information

The internet has made information readily available at our fingertips. While this has many benefits, it has also made it much easier for students to plagiarize. Copying and pasting a paragraph or even an entire paper takes only a matter of seconds, making it a tempting option for students.

Peer Influence

Peer pressure and the normalization of cheating behaviors can also contribute to plagiarism. When students see their classmates plagiarizing without facing any serious consequences, it can encourage them to do the same.


Addressing the issue of plagiarism in schools is not just about punitive measures; it is about creating an educational environment that discourages academic dishonesty. Understanding the circumstances that promote plagiarism can help educators devise effective strategies to combat it, including better education on academic ethics, training on research and writing skills, and the use of anti-plagiarism software. Only through a comprehensive approach can schools hope to significantly reduce plagiarism.

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