Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

Plagiarism in University: Will You?

Written assignment in form of essay is one common type of assignments in university. Essay can be used for coursework or examination purposes (Smith, 2000, p. 13-16). Through making an essay, students are guided to develop their analysis ability and witting skill. It also helps students to be independent, because it emphasizes students to gather the information, to elaborate ideas, and to compose the whole things together on their own. More over, making essay leads students to train themselves in making intellectual and academic products, as well as prepare them to deal with their research paper that will be required for their graduation. Thus, essay assignment is actually covers all aspects that university students need to learn about (Meyers, 2005, p. 9).

Day by day, as the rise of SCL method—in which students are forced to be actively involved in teaching-learning process, essay assignment becomes more frequently used in university. Unfortunately, all the advantages that an essay may bring are often lost, slip out of the students’ hands, simply because they are not willing to undergo the long-exhausting-process of making it. Many students tend to plagiarize rather than to make their own. Many students prefer to copy others’ works or borrow someone else’s original ideas and pretend as if they are theirs.

The word ‘to plagiarize’, according to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, can be translated as: “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own; to use (another's production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source” (Merriam-Webster, 2009 ). Or simply put, as written in plagiarism.org, “plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward” (What is Plagiarism?, (n.d.))

Plagiarism is surely a huge issue in nowadays education. Adam Beam wrote in his article, “a survey conducted by a Rutgers University professor found that 38 percent of college students have participated in the cut-and-paste style of online plagiarism during the past year [2002]”. He also wrote, “Forty percent of students surveyed also said they had plagiarized from written sources, and 25 percent of the 2,175 graduate students surveyed admitted to [commit] some form of Internet or written plagiarism” (Beam, 2003). These are only small observable phenomena in western countries. What about those cases which are not observed? What about those in other countries, especially developing countries? Maybe the percentage is higher since the copyright laws there are less strict. For short, relying on these facts, it is make sense to say that plagiarism has become a habit for university’s students.

Generally, there are two kinds of plagiarism: the unintentional plagiarism; and the intentional one.
Unintentional plagiarism happens due to students’ unawareness of it. Some students still do not know that taking someone else’s work and idea without giving proper credit is actually a crime against the law of copyright and academic ethics. In other extend, unintentional plagiarism occurs because of citing confusion. For example, students are often confused about which fact needs to be cited, which fact needs not; how to paraphrase an idea; or does paraphrased sentence still has to be cited or not. Another example is, some students with bad note-taking skill often sloppily mix up their own notes with notes that hey copy from other sources into their essays.
Intentional plagiarism means that students deliberately plagiarize someone else’s work for a particular purpose. They know that their doings are wrong, but they keep carry on with that. The problem is, why do students plagiarize intentionally?

Many reasons may be pointed as the causes of intentional plagiarism. One of them is deadline problem. For most of the times, students are given a lot of assignments at the same time, while the deadlines are coming quicker than they expect. Then, for students, plagiarizing is a short cut to handle such situation. They can easily copy other’s works; submit it on the due date, and save more time for other activities.
Another common reason is lack of self-confidence. Some students think that their own ideas in their own words will not seem as good as those which have been published as articles or books. Then, taking the already done works of others will be better, they think. Grade issue is also commonly become the reason to plagiarize. Some students are willing to do anything in order to achieve high grade for their assignments, including cheating and plagiarizing, though they know it is a wrong deed.

Within the last decades, plagiarism seems to be growing worse. More and more students take plagiarism as a common act. In some situations, students even consciously let their peer to plagiarize their works. As written in plagiarism.org, “The State of Americans: This Generation and the Next (Free Press, July 1996) states that 58.3% of high school students let someone else copy their work in 1969, and 97.5% did so in 1989” (Facts about plagiarism, (n.d.)). Of course, there are aspects that enable plagiarism-growth to take place.

The first aspect is the growth of internet. An unlimited amount of information is now available on the internet. Some students may see this as a change to make their job easier. “A national survey published in Education Week found that 54% students admitted to plagiarizing from the internet”, says plagiarism.org (Facts about plagiarism, (n.d.)). From online sources, students can take any article from popular sites or from the most unknown sites, edit it a little, then claim it as theirs. The second aspect is lecturers’ ignorance toward the issue. “Another survey published in Education Week found that 47% of students believe their teachers some times choose to ignore students who are cheating. A study conducted by Donald L. McCabe in 2003 found that 55% of faculty “would not be willing to devote any real effort to documenting suspected incidents of student cheating”” (facts about plagiarism, (n.d.)). If lecturers/teachers are ignoring plagiarism committed by students, then who will stop the students from doing so?

The last aspect that allows plagiarism grows is the feeling of ‘every one else is doing it’. This one happens to both students and lecturers. Students tend to judge plagiarism by seeing that it is fine when their peer does it, then it will be just fine for them as well to do the same. While for lecturers, they justify by seeing that other lecturers are ignoring the issue, then why should they sweat over looking for websites and articles trying to figure out if a paper is plagiarized or not? (Plagiarism FAQs, (n.d.))

Plagiarism is a thread for education. Academic standard of intellectual honesty is an absolute requirement to be fulfilled in education. If students are accustomed to plagiarize, how can they surpass the standard? In addition, plagiarism habit will psychologically make students lazy and unproductive. If we let this going on and on, it will gradually decrease the quality of university’s graduates. Then, what can we expect from our graduates?

After all, we have to fight this habit. To prevent and overcome plagiarism may seem to be a hard work, but it is not a mission-impossible. The most important steps to do are: become aware of reasons that causes plagiarism occurs, then help students to deal with them by supporting and encouraging them; identify different forms of plagiarism, then apply a proper reward-and-punishment mechanism to disciplinize the students; and integrating plagiarism prevention techniques into the courses. The biggest responsibility to do all of these is certainly lies on the lecturers’ shoulders, because it is their job to hold a well-managed education. And in the end, all it takes is only willingness.

So, will you fight plagiarism?

Reference List

Beam, Adam. (2003). Survey shows plagiarism is up. Retrieved June 17, 2009, from http://media.www.dailygamecock.com/media/storage/paper247/news/2003/09/17/News/Survey.Shows.Plagiarism.Is.Up-467467.shtml
Facts about plagiarism (n.d.) Retrieved June 3, 2009, from http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_facts_about_plagiarism.html
Meyers, A. (2005). Gateways to academic writing: effective sentences, paragraphs and essay. Ney York: Peasson Education, Inc.
Plagiarism FAQs (n.d.) Retrieved June 3, 2009, from http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_plagiarism_faqs.html
Plagiarize, v. (2009). Merriam-Webster.com. retrieved June 22, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize
Smith, P. (2000). Writing an assignment: reflective ways to improve your research and presentation skills (4th ed). Plymouth: How to Books
What is Plagiarism? (n.d) Retrieved June 3, 2009, from http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_what_is_plagiarism.html

Senin, 08 Juni 2009

Anoreksia Kritik

Oleh: Condra Antoni*

Dalam ilmu kesehatan, anoreksia adalah kelainan psikis yang diderita seseorang berupa kekurangan nafsu makan meski sebenarnya lapar dan berselera terhadap makanan. Kalaupun mereka makan, maka mereka akan memuntahkan kembali makanan tersebut.

Pembahasan tentang anoreksia dalam kehidupan pernah dilaukan oleh Noah St John dalam bukunya Permitted To Succeed (Izin Untuk Sukses, Interaksara, 2005). Dalam buku tersebut Noah membahas tentang apa yang disebut dengan anoreksia sukses. Ia membahas tentang bagaimana seseorang tidak bisa sukses karena dia sendiri yang menghambat dirinya untuk mencapai kesuksesan dengan mengaktifkan impuls-impuls negatif sehubungan dengan penegasian self-esteem (menghargai ketidakterbatasan kemampuan diri sendiri).

Dalam tulisan ini, penulis mencoba berurai papar tentang anoreksia kritik yang menjangkiti keindonesiaan kita.

"Berkunjung ke Negeri Menhir"

¬Fatris Mohammad Faiz

Negeri itu terletak lebih dari 40 kilometer dari Plasa Payakumbuh yang ramai. 40 kilometer, tidaklah jarak tempuh yang mudah untuk sampai ke negeri yang dililit gunung itu. Setelah anda sampai di Pasar Limbanang, berbeloklah ke kanan: tanjakan-tanjakan terjal menanti, penurunan rumit, tikungan patah siku yang dibarengi aspal pecah sepanjang puluhan kilometer. “Kalau belum pernah ke Maek, sedapat mungkin berhati-hati sekali. Sopir luar kota pun belum berarti di sini,” seorang mengingatkan ketika

Kabar Buruk dari Surga

(Syair Cinta Rabiah Al-Adawiah)

Fatris Moh. Faiz*

Ia lahir dan hidup di Basrah Irak sekitar tahun 713 M ketika dinasti Umayyah berkausa di seluruh jazirah Arab, dan penjara di Basrah belum dijaga oleh tentara Amerika—tentu saja. Ia lahir dari keluarga yang sama sekali tidak mapan. Dan ketakmapanan itulah yang kemudian membuatnya jadi budak selama bertahun-tahun. Setelah bebas, ia menekuni musik dan jadilah ia pemusik yang mendendangkan lagu-lagu. Lalu, tak berapa lama ketika itu musik dianggap subhat oleh beberapa ulama. Ia, sebagaimana musik, dikecam. Karena merasa dunia sekelilingnya penuh dengan “kecaman”, ia pun mulai mencari cinta Tuhan. Tak hanya dalam musik musik, bahkan dalam “pertapaan”.

Ia Rabi’ah al-Adawiyah, perempuan yang kemudian dianggap sebagai figur dalam sastra sufistik dan kerap dipertentangkan. Bahkan hingga saat ini. Sajaknya, atau tepatnya syair, umumnya hanya diperuntukkan untuk sang Tuhan yang bagi Rabiah adalah kekasih. Bagi mereka yang menyembah Tuhan dengan penuh rasa takut (akan nereka yang penuh api) atau penuh pengharapan (akan surga yang di dalamnya terdapat bidadari jelita, sungai susu), jelas tak akan menerima apa yang dilontarkan Rabi’ah, perempuan yang memilih ‘suci’ seumur hidup itu. Ia, tentunya, memilih alur lain untuk menemukan Tuhan. Alur yang berbeda.

Al kisah, suatu hari ia membawa air di tangan kiri dan obor di tangan kanan. Seseorang bertanya: Kemana engkau akan pergi Rabi’ah?

Ia menjawab:
Saya mau ke langit untuk membakar surga
dan memadamkan api neraka
Agar semuanya tak menjadi sebab manusia
Sekiranya Allah tak menjadi pahala dan siksa
Masih adakah di antara mereka yang menyembah-Nya?

Membaca Rabiah, seakan menyentakkan kita bahwa Islam lahir dan hadir di muka bumi ini bukan karena kedua hal itu: surga ataukah neraka. Tetapi atas nama cinta, setidaknya begitu kata Rabi’ah.

Namun barangkali Rabi’ah keliru, orang tak (lagi) beribadah kepada sang Tuhan karena landasan cinta seperti apa yang umumnya dianjurkan para sufi. Manusia telah berperang dan saling bunuh untuk surga dan neraka itu. Untuk dua kata yang kekal itu, mereka mengutip Quran. Setidaknya begitu yang disebut Fitna, film yang dilarang peredarannya di Indonesia saat ini. Film itu membelalakkan mata kita, dan juga menyentuh kita dengan amarah. “Tidak semua orang Islam seperti itu, itu hanya sebagian kecil,” kata teman saya setelah menontonnya.

Rabiah memang tidak ada ketika Theo Van Gogh meregang nyawa di depan Muhammad Bouyeri. Sang seniman itu dibunuh karena dianggap telah melecehkan Islam di Belanda. Rabi’ah juga tak tak mengenal (atau mungkin dikenal) oleh Farag Fouda. Menurut catatan Tempo, kelompok yang menamakan diri Jamaah Islamiah yang pada tanggal 8 Juni 1992 telah membunuh Farag Fouda di Madinath al-Nasr, Kairo. Fouda dituduh murtad atas tulisannya al-Haqiah al-Ghaybah (Kebenaran yang Telah Hilang), dan karena itu ia layak dibunuh. Dan Rabiah juga tidak ada ketika bom Bali meledak, dan tempat maksiat itu hancur bersama turis yang berpakaian seronok tengah menikmati liburan.Tentu tidak.

Saat sekarang, ketika iman seakan jadi ancaman di tengah kita untuk membuat garis batas antara beriman dan kafir, kita seakan dibutuhkan untuk membaca syair Rabi’ah.