English 100 Tipsheet #3

Essay #3: A Cause of Plagiarism

Begin by reading:

The writing assignment:

Athletes are not the only ones who are tempted to cheat, so in this essay you will examine another set of causes and effects. For this third essay, select and explain another reason or closely related set of reasons that might cause a student to cheat.


In the real world, the cause/effect relationship is often complex. It is rarely as simple as "the tire went flat because I hammered a nail into it." Young's discussion of Highsmith's plagiarism lists several causes, which all contributed:

Related to this last point, the reference to Julius Peppers and Michael McAdoo goes back to yet another UNC scandal, in which football players (along with a lot of other students) were enrolled in classes that didn't actually meet or require any work—thus giving them artificially high GPAs and keeping them eligible to play. Technically speaking, it wasn't plagiarism because the students were doing exactly what they were told by the coaches and the university, but it counts as academic misconduct—and one result was that some students graduated without doing nearly as much work or learning nearly as much as they were supposed to.

Ashland University

You should be aware of Ashland University's Academic Integrity Policy, and you should know that across the board both the coaches and the academic instructors support this policy.

Hints for Success:

Reread the assignment above. This paper is not supposed to be an argument for or against football, nor is it supposed to be a defense of or attack on African-American students. Neither one of those is your topic. The assignment asks for a discussion of "another reason or closely related set of reasons that might cause a student to cheat."

This is a cause/effect paper, so you will need to think very clearly.

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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.

Revised 7/16/21 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: callen@ashland.edu.