Plagiarism and the fraud triangle

Plagiarism comprises a major academic fraud. It dwarfs the validity of academic effort and further impedes the quality of academic research. Many academic institutions decry the proliferation of the vice among students. To oversee the initiative, such institutions align themselves to stringent guidelines, which define the parameters of plagiarism, and the interventions that will engage upon the discovery of the vice. Plagiarism has several definitions, which are predicated on the ideologies that negate the assumption of academic content that is not original. Additionally, there are several reasons behind the tough stances that are assumed by institutions to mitigate plagiarism.

Principally, plagiarism is the act of assuming another individual’s idea and engaging in the drafting of one’s article or research without acknowledging the authentic author. In the development of a research draft, information is often solicited from Internet sources, journal articles and books. Such information should be enmeshed in the final draft that is submitted by the researcher. However, it is pivotal that the integration of the subject information acknowledges the true identity of the original author. The academic vice occurs when there is a direct quotation derived from a primary source without an allusion to the primary document. Alternatively, the quotation may be paraphrased however the act will still constitute an act of plagiarism. Lastly, it may entail the translation of the primary text into another language. Plagiarism has several negative implications on the learning process. Thus, there are several reasons, which account for the stringent measures that are engaged in learning institutions to discourage the manifestation of the academic vice among both the students and the teaching staff.

The Importance of Minimizing Plagiarism

The significance of minimizing plagiarism can be divided into three segments. Principally, the initiative is aimed at mitigating adverse implications on the individual, the subject institution and the society at large. At the individual level, the discouragement of plagiarism is intended to encourage the versatility, initiative and virtue. Student’s knowledge and integrity can only be reinforced if and when they are encouraged to undertake their own research initiatives. Furthermore, minimizing instances of plagiarism among students inspires creativity and innovation. If students were allowed the freedoms borrow and use information acquired from primary sources indiscriminately, they stand to experience a redundancy in their thought processes. Student ingenuity provides one of the critical goals of the learning process. Thus, minimizing instances of plagiarism promotes the continuity of intellect and virtue among students.

Alternatively, minimizing plagiarism serves as an accelerant of the reputation of a given institution as well as a mark of the commitment that the subject institution has with regards to student empowerment and alignment to quality. An institution that decries plagiarism publicly has the potential to receive the larger batch of students during the admissions phase. The increased admission is thus a result of enhanced student and community trust with regards to the quality of education, which is being offered in the subject setting. Lastly, an institution that discourages plagiarism promotes the sovereign laws of a given country. Most countries are aligned against dishonesty in the service sectors. Promotion of policies that negate the occurrences of plagiarism is a reflection of the institution’s willingness to abide by the laws of the subject country.

Lastly, the act of minimizing plagiarism is a reflection of community empowerment and initiative. The society benefits greatly when driven and value-inclined students are released into the community to undertake different duties, which aim for the promotion of community welfare. A community that is inclined towards the virtues of honesty and diligence experiences rapid social and economic growth.

Similarities Between Fraud and Plagiarism

There are several similarities between fraud and plagiarism. To begin with, both constitute a breach of honesty. Honesty demands commitment to a priori truth. Fraud and plagiarism both aim to deceive. Essentially, plagiarism seeks to inspire deception that is predicated on the desire to mislead the instructor or lecturer. It seeks to create the impression that the subject student is diligent, accomplished and intelligent. By copying content from a primary source without an acknowledgement of the same, the student deceives the teacher, their fellow students and the institution, which has developed policies to safeguard against occurrences of academic dishonesty. Similarly, fraud is deception. It is intended to deceive the victim of the fraudulent activity. When commits fraud, he essentially seeks to shield the truth from the intended victim. The perpetrator extends information that is false in order to lead the victim in the wrong direction.

Alternatively, both fraud and plagiarism are exploitative initiatives. They aim to manipulate the original owner by using their content without their permission. When one commits fraud, he determines an ingenious way to acquire another property by posing as a benefactor. He identifies the weakness of the potential victim by affecting friendship and rids the victim of their property or content. Thus, the permission of the original owner is not solicited but the perpetrator manages to acquire the object of interest. In fraud, there is no compensation of the object is offered to its initial owner. Similarly, plagiarism is a manipulation of the original author of the plagiarized text. It aims to benefit from the rewards of the texts without involving the author who developed the content. Recognition provides the reward that is given to authors. Without acknowledging their efforts, they rendered inconsequential in the academic field. It is important that one avoids plagiarism to further the quality of the content they drafting and further augment the quality of their analyses.

Fraud Triangle Summary

Fraud constitutes a criminal act. Thus the Cressey’s Fraud Triangle is a culmination of three converged factors. The three factors include perceived pressure, perceived opportunity and rationalization.

1) Perceived Pressure:

Perceived pressure is perceived since it may affect one individual among many. In most instances of fraud, financial need constitutes the perceived pressure. When individuals are in financial crisis, they develop an urgent need to acquire the finances that they perceive will mitigate the pressure they feel. The pressures can be divided into four segments. The categories include financial, work, vices and other pressures. The financial pressures that inspire fraud occur when there is a desire by the perpetrator to live beyond their means. Such pressure may be gradual or immediate. Secondly, vice pressures are manifested as a result of socially shunned activities such as gambling and adulterous activities. In the circumstances, the subject individual may not be keen on sharing the impediments given the social anathema that is extended towards the given activities. Work related pressures provide the next category of perceived pressure. For instance, when an employee is overlooked for promotion, they may choose to commit fraud in order to get back at their employers. Similarly, underpayment provides the next inspiration behind work related pressures. Additionally, strained relationships in the work setting may also inspire work related pressure. Other pressures that may inspire perceived pressure include bad decisions, demanding spouses and jealousy. They converge to encourage vice.

2) Perceived Opportunity:

Perceived opportunity comprises the third category of the Cressey’s Fraud Triangle. It refers to the niche within an institution that enables or allows one individual to commit fraud. Without the opening, the potential fraudster may be denied the opportunity to commit an act of fraud. There are several elements, which make up an opportunity. They include a perceived opportunity, the ability to conceal the fraud, the avoidance of it being discovered and lastly, the avoidance of it being punished. There are several factors that inspire fraud opportunities. The six most common factors include the failure to establish and impose disciplinary actions against fraudsters, the inability to assess quality performances, unavailability of controls to determine instances of fraudulent activity, information acquisition barriers and lastly, the absence of empathy and audit trails.

3) Rationalization:

Rationalization occurs when the fraudsters seeks to justify their actions. For instance, when an individual pilfers from the coffers of an organization, they may predicate their actions on the fact that they were overlooked during promotions. It entails the creation of excuses that justify one’s fraudulent actions and seeks to shift the blame to the victim rather than the perpetrator of the vice.

Similarities Between Fraud and Academic Dishonesty Based on the Fraud Triangle

The elements of Cressey’s Fraud Triangle can be used to determine the similarities between fraud and academic dishonesty. To begin with, both of them are subject to perceived opportunity. Essentially, academic dishonesty, like fraud, occurs when the student discerns an opportunity to deceive the teacher. For instance, when a student discerns that their teacher does not have anti-plagiarism software, they may choose to plagiarize work. Additionally, when a student is allowed the opportunity to draft an article in the absence of the teacher, they may use the opportunity to pursue plagiarism. Fraud is also subject to perceived opportunity.

Secondly, academic dishonesty is subject to perceived pressure. Like fraud, the student may feel pressure to achieve certain goals that inspire fraud. The pressure to pass one’s exams may inspire academic dishonesty. An individual may engage dishonest practices to ensure that their performances do not stagnate and to ensure that they are allowed into the next educational level. Similarly, Academic dishonesty may be a culmination of time perceived pressures. Some students work while they are studying and this factor may encourage them to engage plagiarism. Fraud is also subject to perceived pressure given that the fraudster feels the urge to answer to certain urges, demands or needs.

Conclusively, both fraud and academic dishonesty involve rationalization. The fraudster may commit a crime and justify it by assuring him or herself that the victim will not miss the stolen material. Similarly, a student rationalizes academic dishonesty by predicating on the fact that the teacher may not find out in the long run.

This essay was donated by a student on 29.6.2017 in exchange for a free plagiarism scan.

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