I resumed my university education again in 2008 and thus came across some burning issues of the students of today. I still remember how teachers used to condemn ‘copy paste’ assignments and leave no loop holes for students to come up with plagiarized work. Still, some students didn’t resist copy paste materials. Since then, my mind had always been buzzing with a question, WHY?
Gradually, with experience, I came to some conclusions based on my observations.
Students Shy of Hard Work
In the beginning I used to think that students, who stayed on campus full time while chatting, playing, dinning, dating and being busy with all sorts of activities, didn’t want to spend time with studies. Later, I learnt I was right to some extent; it was one of the reasons, but not the major cause.
After all, they attended all their classes, attempted the quizzes, studied for their exams, but when it came to assignments, why couldn’t they make them genuinely. I got stuck with this WHY, WHY?
Too Occupied to Study Students
I found some students working. They had jobs or internships to be occupied with, their family businesses to look after, their start-ups to build or their personal interests to purse. Some of them were already married with kids and were on full time jobs. All sorts of people had been managing their further education somehow which was amazing. However, it wasn’t humanly possible to perform equally good in all areas simultaneously. So, I thought they might not have had enough time to spend on desired research and writing.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t the real failing factor either. There was more behind ‘copy paste assignments and presentations’.
Students Lack Writing Skills
“Oh, this is the actual point!” I solved the puzzle. My answer was applied to both shy of hard work and working students too.
Thanks to semester system, which allowed students to think critically and use their analytical abilities while studying. They were introduced to a new educational culture where they were encouraged to question, reflect and argue in the process of independent learning. But when they came to put their critical mind on the paper, most of them got numbed. They didn’t know how to transform their thoughts into sentences, how to weave sentences into paragraphs and how to arrange paragraph to speak their minds clearly. Which language and format should be used to make their work look academic? It was so, because their rote learning schooling never allowed them to learn and experience the art of composing. They were never permitted to think and write differently than what was the part of their books or notes given by teachers or key-books.
Therefore, when they entered their colleges, it was a new scenario where they not only had to think independently but also supposed to express genuinely. Naturally, they found writing boring, scary and too challenging, except for those who came from expansive private schools or had natural flairs and passions for writing. Thus, generally, they lacked skill, courage, enthusiasm, energy, time and professional guidance on how to compose their assignments. So, they were left with the only and/or easy way out that was Copy & Paste. At least, this way, they were able to submit their course projects on time.
Unfortunately, even at college level, they didn’t have any programs to help them learn the art of composition; whereas, in fact, our undergraduates desired workshops that took them from correct grammar to the use of Microsoft Word, general composition, critical reviews and research papers writing. I would recommend these workshops semester wise.
Similarly, there should be Professional Creative Writing Programs in various genres of Fiction and Non-Fiction as part of our Mass Communication and Literature degrees respectively. It would help students to trust themselves with their skills and professional approach towards their work.
Are there some other reasons to Copy-Paste Work as well? Please comment and contribute to the discussion.