Plagiarism should be greater concern - Purdue Exponent: Opinions

Plagiarism should be greater concern

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Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 10:00 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Mon Mar 18, 2013.

After Penn State rejected applications containing plagiarism this year, Purdue should be taking more steps to ensure this problem does not happen here.

It is a privilege to attend institutions of higher learning such as Purdue. Accompanying such an opportunity, applicants should take the time to properly construct their applications to make them as impressive as they can and with the utmost honesty and professionalism.

However, this does not always take place.

As The Exponent reported in an article on Feb. 28, Penn State’s Smeal College of Business rejected 48 applicants this year, citing plagiarism on the applications. Penn State was able to catch these fraudulent applications by using the Turnitin online system to scan for plagiarism.

When asked, the Krannert School of Management said they do not have the budget to utilize such a system. The Krannert review team says plagiarism has not been a serious concern.

The team feels confident about this because they ask potential students questions during the interview process. They then compare the applicants’ speaking ability to the writing style on their applications as a method of checking authenticity.

This is not to say the Krannert team is doing a less-than-satisfactory job in the applications process; however, it is important to take every possible protection to ensure the right applicants are admitted. Having the wrong people in the program can hurt rankings and have an effect on school reputation.

With more than 15,000 applications pouring in for Krannert’s MBA and master’s programs each year alone, one can imagine there is plenty of room for error here and among the University’s other colleges.

One possible solution for the problem of plagiarism on applications would be to use SafeAssign. SafeAssign, similar to Turnitin, scans documents for plagiarism. This would be one more added safeguard to aid the review team in catching any fraudulent applications that might get overlooked in the review process.

As an added incentive, because the University is already using Blackboard, SafeAssign would be a free service to be utilized in place of programs like Turnitin. With the current budget they have in place, SafeAssign is an affordable and cost-effective alternative.

Krannert and the rest of the colleges at Purdue have been doing a satisfactory job with their application process so far, but why not employ every available option to stop those who don’t put in the proper amount of work? Doing so will benefit not only the University, but also reward those applicants who take the time to do the job right.

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