There are two things that pull the western education future backward. First is the widespread idea that each student dissertation must always obey the rule of minimum word requirement and the second is the fact that academic gets too much attached to the idea of avoiding plagiarism in written academic researches.
Minimum word requirements
Nowadays graduate students are required to write approximately 3,000 – 15,000 word long researches. John Nash’s Game Theory dissertation, which is 28 pages long, makes him the Nobel winner in economics in 1994. Humanity prefers short but meaningful researches to rubbish that are 400 pages long. In addition, do professors who grade students really, in fact, read every page of their student works? It can be seen that all western universities handle an increasing number of cases of plagiarism by heavily using the plagiarism detection website.
According to Ian Boyko, national chairman of the CFS, 20 universities in Canada made use of plagiarism detection website without consultation with students , representing disregard for the rights of students (as cited in Grinberg, 2004).
No one will ever read the student works submitted to such website (JOANNE, 2004).
Once professors send students homework to the website, the program does the rest.
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Jesse Rosenfeld, who had been grade F for deny sending his essays to the plagiarism detection website, later appealed and won the plagiarism case over his professor (Grinberg, 2004).
“I was having to prove I didn’t plagiarize even before my paper was looked at by my professor,” Rosenfeld said, according to the Globe and Mail.” (as cited in Grinberg, 2004).
“Rosenfeld filed an appeal with the university senate committee. Afterward, his professor “reluctantly” agreed to grade his papers without submitting them through the online plagiarism-detection program — giving him Bs and Cs for his work.”(Grinberg,2004).
It is unlikely that one can write a 400 pages research without writing many pages of literature reviews. Since direct quotation is not accounted for student’s words in word requirement, they must paraphrase to make those words count.
It is undeniable that the more paraphrasing students do, the less readable their research become. Most academic journals today consist of long and complicated sentences, specific words. Students have to avoid plagiarism, looking for synonyms in thesaurus. Those sentences must be paraphrased again and again to the point that their work consists of awkward vocabulary and sentences.
Is the fact that students give credit to their source of information by writing down the reference list not enough to show that they are innocent and have no intention of stealing those ideas at all?
The punishment of unintentional plagiarism is also very severe and almost not available to appeal in practice. Should we condemn all students who just cannot write well enough and treat them like academic criminals or idea stealers?
In conclusion, minimum word requirement and harsh punishment to unintentional plagiarism make students too much worried about the way of writing research instead of allowing them to focus on their own experiment, analysis and discovery.
Emanuella Grinberg, 2004, Student wins battle against plagiarism-detection requirement ,Court TV, www.cnn.com , 2/3/2013.
One of the basic competencies of English taught to the grade VIII of Junior High School based on Competence Based Curriculum 2004 is to express idea in written texts in the form of narrative, descriptive, and recount. This competency requires mastery of language components such as grammatical feature, vocabulary and ability to arrange text cohesively. Producing text using certain genre seems ...
Joanne Jacobs, 2004, He didn’t turn it in, www.joannejacobs.com/2004/01/he-didnt-turn-it-in/, 2/3/2013.