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Ethics of Plagiarism

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Are You Buying a Term Paper or Selling Your Soul?

DeVry University

The Ethics of Plagiarism

There is much debate about the practice of students buying term papers and essays. Some students do not feel wrong in doing so. But more than just the easy payoff for not doing the work involved for the course, students not only cheat themselves out of the learning experience but they also cheat the author of the work. Ruggiero (p.19) states, “Once ideas are put into words and published, they become intellectual property”. Plagiarism is a form of theft and is a fraudulent in that it “is passing off other people’s ideas or words as one’s own’ (Ruggiero, pg.19). Plagiarism deceives the reader by allowing them to believe that the paper is a work of original thought.
The dilemma of whether to buy a term paper or not would depend on how the person contemplating the action felt morally about it.
Rules Based Approach
For a fellow student who wanted to buy a term paper I would use a Rules based approach. I would appeal to them that cheating is wrong period. Rules about plagiarism are put in place for a reason, not just to protect “intellectual property “ (Ruggiero, p. 19), but to help students from the pitfalls of failing the class or the “dishonor and disgrace” (Ruggiero, pg.19) that would follow. I would implore them to decide to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. The ability to follow the rules does not just apply to academics. When an employer sees that a person cannot or will not follow the rules, they may not have a job very long. I would discourage the fellow student from buying a term paper because it is morally wrong. The ‘good’ would not outweigh the decision to cheat and the action could do irreversible damage to their integrity and credibility.
Care Based Approach
Another solution for the student would be a Care based approach...

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