The “copy and paste” technology used widely in writing theses

Published: 12/05/2011 05:00



Many Vietnamese
students now have to spend only half a day to write a thesis: they borrow the
theses of the elder students, then “process” the theses by copying and pasting
paragraphs to create theses of their own.

It is now
the “thesis season” for university students. “MK”, a student of the environment
and labor protection of Ton
Duc Thang
University, said he has
to make a thesis for the industrial waste water treatment subject, but he does
not feel worried, because he can copy from the theses of elder students.

“I’ll try
to borrow soft copies from elder students and Autocad drawings. What I have to
do is to edit the copies to create a thesis of my own,” MK said, adding that ½
of the students of his class write theses this way.

QH, a
student of the HCM City University of Technology, said he has to spend more
time than MK to write a thesis. H said he will have to borrow many theses from
the students of the HCM
City Industry
University and HCM City
University of Technical Education.

“I will
have to edit the paragraphs, cut paragraphs and add more information,” he said.
“No lecturer will discover that my thesis is made of copied paragraphs,” he

to Tien phong, plagiarism has been occurring at every school. Some students
even simply copy 100 percent of the theses of other students, while other
students adjust some paragraphs and figures. Especially, some of them think
that they should give wrong calculation answers, because they believe that only
wrong answers can make lecturers believe that students write theses

answers for such complicated questions would raise doubts for lecturers,” a
student said.

VL, a
student of a university in HCM
City, who has copied a
thesis, said that while it takes other students many days to write theses, VL
only had to spend half a day to have a thesis.

When asked
why students have to copy theses, MK said that he cannot spend too much time on
writing theses, because he has to spend time on other subjects. Meanwhile, QH,
another student, said the lecturers, who guide the writing, only gave cursory
advices about how to write theses, therefore, he has no other choice than
copying other theses.

Dr Truong
Thi To Oanh, a lecturer of Ton
Duc Thang
University, admitted that
students copy theses. She said it is easy to discover the students who
plagiarize theses by posing some questions. “If students write theses
themselves, they will be able to answer questions,” she said.

according to Oanh, though lecturers know well that students copy theses,
lecturers remain compliant when marking theses. She said lecturers, when
marking a theses, also consider the attitudes of students to the works and the
diligence of students.

reasons have been cited to explain why students copy theses. Analysts say
students nowadays learn not to improve their knowledge, but to get high marks.
Meanwhile, copying works allows them to get higher marks than writing theses
themselves. Besides, many students are too lazy at learning and they do not
have basic knowledge. Therefore, it would be easier for them to “steal
knowledge” from others.

“Q”, a
lecturer of the Hoa
Sen University,
said that she once read many theses which clearly showed the lack of serious
preparations and creativeness. Many students were so careless that they even
made simple mistakes in style and font.

I can see the paragraphs with strange style in theses, and then I could find
the paragraphs by searching on Google,” she said.

The “thesis
markets” in the areas of Ton That Tung and Bui Thi Xuan streets in HCM City
are very bustling these days. When Tien phong’s reporters came to a photocopy
shop and asked for the documents relating to finance and economics, the worker
of the shop provided a list of documents, saying that the documents have been
copied to disks. Buyers only have to pay 8000 dong for a disk with big

The officer
said that the documents he sold were reliable and these were old theses, so
they would be “safe”, because no lecturer would discover the copying.

Source: Tien phong

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