The German Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has resigned from his office on Tuesday, March 2011 in face of the public backlash to the discovery of high levels of plagiarism in his graduate thesis that earned him a top grade and doctorate. The consequences of one act of plagiarism lasts a lifetime and the effects of being caught are almost impossible to clear. So why do people plagiarize when it can impact future jobs and career paths?
The lack of awareness and understanding about plagiarism are likely causes. It would be understandable if a student in their first year at a university plagiarized unintentionally or without a clear idea about how to provide proper attribution. It is an entirely different story for a graduate student with many years of education under their belt to commit such a blatant crime.
Laziness or the unwillingness to set aside the time required to create great written work may make the temptation of plagiarism stronger. In many instances students may just lack the time to fully immerse themselves in the work necessary to earn a top grade as they work a full time job while attending school. Although there may be many temptations to plagiarism, the consequences should be enough to dissuade anyone from succumbing to the easy CTRL C and CTRL V of modern plagiarism.
Mr. Guttenberg should be an example to everyone about the consequences of plagiarism. Once the German Minister of Defense and to many considered the next in line for the chancellery, now without a job, stripped of his doctorate, and his career path ruined.
Looks like the old saying still applies, “Cheaters never prosper.”
Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12617144