Cut Copy and Paste

February 12, 2007


Most students misuse the Net. For them it is a one-stop solution to complete their assignments.

As technology advances, it brings with it its share of perils. Assignments or projects for internal assessment of students are an integral part of any course, and especially so with post graduate courses. Most colleges give a huge number of assignments to get the students acclamatised to the pressures which they may face at jobs, but much to the dismay of the students.

“The problem is that very little time is given to complete and submit the assignments, often leading to chaos,” says Sukriti Mehta, an MBA student. So often, for most students, the solution for this problem is the Net. For all they have to do is type in the keywords of the subject given to them to get loads of information. Students then ‘edit’ the information to present it as their assignment.

But not all students do it, but it becomes a habit for the few who do. And it would not be an exaggeration if we say they are masters at it. “I have done it successfully right from my BBA days. I have never been caught,” says Sudhir Kumar, a post graduation student. But can’t such blatant copying make other students also to do the same? “That’s the catch. I rephrase what I get from the Net, paragraph it differently, add a few inputs on my own. Forget students, even teachers can’t catch that,” claims Sudhir.

When students are given assignments they are expected to go to reference room and library, read books and come with suitable points and then present their projects. But then, most students want the easy way out. However, what they fail to realise is that it is not easy to fool an alert teacher. “You have to only go through the assignments very carefully to catch whether a student has copy pasted the matter from the Net or not. Once, I had a weird experience. The contents of an assignment of six students were identical. Can you believe it?” asks Amrit Dayal, a management faculty.

Dayal makes an emphatic point when he says, “If students are doing this, more than anybody else, they are cheating themselves only.” But for students like Sudhir, Net is the way out. “It’s simple yaar. From the day I learnt about it from my friend, life has been so much easier,” he quips.

Well, Internet is a resource for vast information, and the temptation to copy from it is too great to overcome easily. But then students should realise and use the Net to gain knowledge and not to plagiarise. They should also realise that there are greater issues involved when you are copying matter from the Net. Copyright for example. So the next time you think you can search and complete your assignment. Give a thought. Is it worth it?


Inputs from Times Of India (TGIS 10th feb)