Academic Master


certain concerns about plagiarism and academic dishonesty

With the advancement and rapidly changing education field, the authenticity of learning is becoming doubtful. Students who indulge in various technological devices and have interests other than studies are likelier to find shortcuts to complete their academic tasks. One of the easiest ways is to copy the information from the internet or other sources and turn it into one’s own work. This act is known as plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work intentionally or unintentionally whether published or not without acknowledging or referring to the original source (“Plagiarism,” 2018; Price, 2014). The work can be in any form, whether digital, audio, print or even any project idea.

Several research studies have concluded that plagiarism has increased tremendously among university students and faculty members. According to a study in 2005 among 50,000 university students, 70% of these students admitted that at some point they were involved in one of the forms of cheating that are included in academic misconduct (Smedley, Crawford, & Cloete, 2015). The incidence and cases of academic dishonesty are increasing, and one of the reasons for the rise in percentage is the usage of online and digital media. Students of this age are more used to the internet, and online learning and have access to online test resources which influences their intensity of cheating. However, there are some cases when plagiarism is not intentional, or the cheating is done out of confusion, but still, it is plagiarism and would require an academic penalty. Most universities have strict policies regarding plagiarism; it can have severe academic outcomes if found intentional or unintentional.

Other than academics there are cases of plagiarism in politics and history by renowned political figures. There have been several plagiarism scandals in history, one of which is Obama’s. On 16 February 2008, Barack Obama delivered a speech in response to the allegation from his rival Hilary Clinton. The speech was found to have phrases similar to those of a speech delivered in 2006 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (Bailey, 2008). The internet and especially YouTube was taken by storm when Obama was accused of plagiarizing another politician’s speech. However, Obama took the time to acknowledge that he and Patrick are excellent friends and do have discussions. He also admits that he should have credited the Governor during his speech. However, politics can crash if one wrong step is taken. The same was the case with Barack Obama’s issue of using similar phrases; the result was that his campaign backfired.

The plagiarism issues can destroy the image of any public figure as the issue is taken to the extreme and opposite political parties make it seem like a serious offense. Plagiarism remains a serious concern even though Obama has admitted this honest mistake. According to Bailey, the penalty for politicians and public figures might not be the same as for authors and other researchers (Bailey, 2008). It is well-known that politicians’ speeches are mostly written by speechwriters and image consultants to put the right message positively. However, the consequences of these honest mistakes can impact their political careers and their campaigns to a greater extent.

On the other hand, students can experience serious consequences from plagiarism, which can influence their academic careers in the long term. Most universities and colleges are putting efforts into raising awareness about the definition of plagiarism and what consequences it can result in if carried out (Paterson, Taylor, & Usick, 2003). The policies are devised and presented in the university policies and course syllabus. Cheating is a common phenomenon in colleges and its impact cannot only be academic but can lead to dishonesty in their personal and professional life. It also makes students careless about their work and relies on the wrong means to complete the school work.

Academic integrity is essential in all fields, but most importantly, it is important in the field of nursing. It is often believed that all the learning in nursing colleges is transferred into their professional lives. For example, if any nurse plagiarizes or indulges in academic dishonesty, how can that nurse be expected to learn and perform morally in their professional life? If one nursing student can plagiarize for the sake of getting good grades but can be academically dishonest, they can be dishonest for other professional benefits. Therefore, nursing instructors should set high standards of academic integrity for their students and keep them aware from time to time. There will be cases when students report that plagiarism was incidental but plagiarism is plagiarism whether incidental or planned. A strict zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism should be implemented and encouraged in nursing schools. Students also need proper training to credit the work accurately. Plagiarism awareness and policies are essential for learning in nursing schools to ensure academic integrity and ethical professionals in the future.


Bailey, J. (2008, February 20). The Obama Plagiarism Scandal. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from

Paterson, B., Taylor, L., & Usick, B. (2003). The construction of plagiarism in a school of nursing. Learning in Health and Social Care, 2(3), 147–158.

Plagiarism. (2018). Retrieved February 10, 2018, from

Price, B. (2014). Avoiding plagiarism: guidance for nursing students. Nursing Standard (2014+), 28(26), 45.

Smedley, A., Crawford, T., & Cloete, L. (2015). An intervention aimed at reducing plagiarism in undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(3), 168–173.



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