There are many ways that students fall into the trap of plagiarism.
Some are simply lazy and don’t wish to do the assignment. Some are unaware of the exact rules around citation. And some lack time management skills and find themselves against impossible deadlines.
However, for many students, it comes down to an issue of confidence. They simply don’t believe in themselves and their writing enough to avoid the temptation to cheat or take short cuts in their assignments.
This issue manifests itself in many different ways when students talk about plagiarism. Some describe it as a “Pressure to get a certain grade” while others say that they are “Unable to meet the standards of their teacher(s).”
In either case, it’s because the student is not confident that they are capable of producing work that will get them the grade they want or need.
This, in turn, is why improving your confidence in your writing is so important. While you don’t have to think of yourself as a great author, being confident that you can write well enough to get the grade you desire and deserve is crucial.
That’s because, when you lack that confidence, you not only are at risk of being tempted by plagiarism, but of simply quitting or doing even shoddier work. After all, it’s easy to stop trying if you feel that the outcome is predetermined.
This is why having confidence in you writing not only makes you less likely to plagiarize, but also makes you a better writer. Confidence makes you more willing to put the effort and care into your writing that makes you a good writer.
Writing is a craft. It’s something that has to be honed and worked on and that requires time, attention and care.
However, confidence isn’t something that one just discovers or finds-- it’s something that has to be earned. One earns confidence by writing and getting quality feedback on it.
The more you write, the better you get at it and the more confident you become at that writing. It’s just like any other skill in that regard.
However, this also means that plagiarism can be something of a feedback loop. If you’re faced with a tough assignment and plagiarize to complete it, then not only are you cheating on that assignment but you are cheating yourself of the experience of conquering it.
When you do that, you hurt both your skills as a writer and damage your confidence in your writing. When the next difficult assignment comes along, you’re more likely to turn to plagiarism again.
If you’re struggling with your writing, the best thing you can do is work through it. Work with your instructor, seek out a tutor, and work heavily on the assignment until you create a work that is both original and able to make the grade.
Doing so will do wonders for your confidence on the next assignment and not only make the next assignment easier, but give you the confidence to do well at the task.
Plagiarism, however, has the opposite effect, destroying your confidence and stalling your writing progress.
It’s just another reason that plagiarism is never worth the risk.