Reasons Students Plagiarize or Cheat


This site was a collaborative one-time project completed in 2017. Content was last updated in 2018 and many of the original content creators are no longer at RIT. For up to date support reach out to the appropriate department for your specific need: Academic Success Center, Center for Teaching & Learning, Faculty Career Development Team, RIT Libraries, University Writing Program.

There are many reasons students choose to plagiarize or cheat.  Reasons range from the more genuine lack of knowledge to outright dishonorable intentions.  Collectively, the most frequently stated reasons students choose to plagiarize or cheat include:

  • Desire to get a good grade
  • Fear of failing
  • Procrastination or poor time management
  • Disinterest in the assignment
  • Belief they will not get caught
  • Confusion about what constitutes plagiarism or current university policies

None of these instances are acceptable reasons to plagiarize, cheat, or commit other acts of academic dishonesty.  Students who choose to plagiarize or cheat give themselves an unfair advantage on assignments and disrespect the hard work of others in the class.  It is important that students understand that while there are reasons one might choose to plagiarize or cheat, professors are interested in evaluating each student's own, original work, not in evaluating the work done by others.

Further Reading