Plagiarism is the practice of passing off other people’s work as your own without giving proper credit. The problem with plagiarism in Korea used to be scandalous mostly in the literary and artistic productions, but now the definition and the category of plagiarism seem to have become more comprehensive as lots of instances of plagiarism reported in academic areas illustrate.
Government officials seeking for higher positions are more often than not found to be guilty of plagiarism for their thesis or dissertation. This disgraceful behavior got its particularly notorious momentum during the last parliamentary elections. For, a candidate’s was annulled, and several papers those candidates of academic background had published were stigmatized as plagiarized works. Even at SSU, the same problem has recently been discovered in a MA student’s thesis. Shortly after the incident, the graduate school has hurriedly secured a plagiarism checker program and distributed it to those who were currently working on their theses. Undoubtedly, it was a most appropriate measure they could ever take. Yet, what counts more than this “belated” measure is the inculcation of students’ academic ethics.
Plagiarism is an awful academic crime. What happens, however, is that few students take serious the unauthorized use or imitation of another’s work, whether in the form of quotations, phrases, or ideas. In fact, many students even don’t feel bad about it because such an act is so commonly practiced across classes without being checked and corrected by teachers.
What can be done to put a curb on this rampant practice? Professors and instructors are most responsible for this undignified behavior, and as such they should make students from their first year in college be aware of the importance of academic honesty. Along with this, they should read and evaluate students’ papers and other assignments with a mind caring for their future. Once the notion that plagiarism is a crime is firmly established in young minds, those wretched cases of plagiarism will be a thing of the past in our society. Plagiarism is a matter of ethics and education.