Felipe, a young student listening to his ipod

You are the Judge: Felipe's Scenario

Felipe has three assignments to submit within the next couple of weeks. He has always taken pride in his ability to produce high quality written assignments in his first language, Spanish. By comparison he finds his command of written English more difficult. He was surfing the web and came across a site that offered him the chance to pay for an assignment that is well written and in a language that he is comfortable with. After purchasing the assignment he makes some changes to the document and submits it.

Do you think Felipe has committed plagiarism? Read the feedback below.


Feedback for Felipe's Scenario

Felipe has been tempted by the many websites that offer an easy way out for students who might be under time pressure, or who are not confident about their language ability or writing style.
However, in purchasing an assignment, he is clearly pretending that the work he has purchased is his own work.

There are several points to make here:

  1. By purchasing the assignment, Felipe is not developing his language skills and does not receive any beneficial, critical feedback regarding his academic and language development.
  2. Felipe has also missed the opportunity to develop time management skills that allow for particular areas of weakness - in his case language. Yet the ability to manage a range of projects simultaneously is also an important learning outcome of university studies, designed to prepare you for your future career.
  3. If Felipe receives a good grade, he will feel under pressure to repeat his behaviour for future assignments, just to maintain his grade profile.
  4. This kind of plagiarism is usually easily spotted by tutors as there is a sudden and remarkable change in a student's ability to write excellent English, even where native speakers are concerned. It will be investigated, and it could prove very damaging for Felipe, probably harming his whole future and career.