Sooooooo…..the last few days on twitter has been very interesting. Linda Ikeji is a “celebrity blogger” who posts stories from other sites and apparently doesn’t always give credit. Please note how I am choosing my words very carefully. I cant shout o! I Anyway its been a trending topic on twitter with many angry folks saying shes “lifting content” from websites without giving credit.
Well – it seems fairly accurate and following a post made this mornin by Ms Ikeji herself, she practically admitted that she does steals content. I mean, who doesn’t? (Well – not me I hope! )
Anyway the gist of this post. How well do we really understand plagarism? First of all, what is it?
Plagiarism occurs when you take someone’s work and pass it off as your own. I think law students are the number one culprits for this. Let me share some examples with you.
I vividly remember during my undergraduate days (final year) we were given a course title for Equity and Trusts Law. I haaaated that subject – till today, I dont know how I got 60 for it.
Anwyay, cut a long story short, a girl in my cohort was kicked off the course. International student at that so she wasn’t paying some small pittance for her degree. Her offence? She had plagarised a large part of her coursework. Now, there was almost 400 of us- There’s no way that they will give you a coursework title and your work won’t be similar. That’s a given. But this lovely young lady had copied judgments and passed them off as her own. I can see how and why she was kicked off.
International students always seem to be the victims of plagarism so I honestly think there is more to the problem than it seems.
A friend of mine who is a lecturer was telling me about someone who plagarised work. Now, not so different from the above example – this particular Nigerian international student plagarised his entire LLM dissertation. I’m not sure there was anything there which was his own words. Ok, apart from his name. That Out of almost 30 pages, at least half was the product of the good old “copy and paste” tool. I can only think that after spending your fathers money on LLM at a good uni (to which you probably will get kicked out of for this offence), he seems to have lost both ways. What would it take you to actually quote where you got the material from and give credit where its due. Error!
Listen. You cannot type a 3000, word coursework with judgements and quotes from articles and then try to pass them off as your own. Look, we have software checking software my darlings – you will get caught.
Advice: There is nothing wrong with including someone’s work in your own. But you HAVE TO GIVE CREDIT. Once we understand this notion, you have nothing to fear.
When a friend of mine was coming for her LLM straight after law school last year, she confessed that her biggest worry was the coursework. In Nigeria she said, they don’t really do coursework – everything is exam. So for this reason, she really wouldn’t know where to start. I’m not sure if they have TurnitIn in Nigeria, but if they don’t, it is defo a good idea to introduce it. It will improve the quality of work and ensure that people who plagarise get CAUGHT!
So to sum up. Don’t plagarise. You will get caught. Looking at my stats for my blog, i know that some of my readers read from Nigeria and some are probably currently at NLS. If you’re thinking of coming over for any type of postgraduate study, take it from me. PLAGARISM will get found out. Don’t do it! Referencing and giving credit to work is important – if not for anything, for your intellectual integrity!!
I’m now going to finish up the other post I promised yesterday lollll