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Disclaimer: This is purely a law student’s perspective of plagiarism awareness that has had a sudden impact on the lives of people making submissions of any kind. I am a loyal supporter of originality/original content and always value and appreciate the same.


 Law schools fortunately/unfortunately have undertaken this trend of purchasing plagiarism softwares in order to check for originality of content for any type of submissions made. Life has been tough ever since, and there is no time to sleep or eat with people mostly trying to think of the best ways possible to beat the software.


Life used to be simple. Surf the web. If the college has access to any legal database of considerable repute than life used to be simpler. Cut, copy, paste and projects/papers are ready within one night.

Future (Then):

Faculty Members used to have these papers/projects/dissertations submitted get published in their name in the form of articles or conference papers.

Future (Now):

Now even if one comma or full stop is found to be similar, marking is brought down to zero and people on the verge of passing out are made to work non stop, sometimes even after getting placed.

Reason for change in Stance from Future (Then) to Future (Now):

Fortunately/Unfortunately, these articles and conference papers presented by Faculty members at some point in time got caught by plagiarism detectors used by organizers of conferences or journals where they were sent.


ALL in ALL, the Circle boils down to this, While at law school, utilizing another person’s effort or skill for personal gain reaches such insurmountable limits that at times people even forget to check material taken from people or given to people.

While students use materials available on the net or databases to finish papers/projects/dissertations purely for the purpose of fulfilling their curriculum requirement, they do not derive any material benefit from it in any way whatsoever. The maximum they do derive out of the same is marks which cannot be equated in any way to any benefit unless of course future earning potential calculated over an ‘x’ number of years depending on where that set of marks places you, can determine the same. Why can’t material be used by students with a stipulation being imposed upon them that each source should be properly cited or is duly acknowledged. Along with the same, another requirement of complete blatant copy pasting could be dealt with strictly while being inspired from certain articles or papers in order to complete the paper with appropriate citation could be made permissible. It’s after all being used for an educational purpose. Rights of the author of the paper upon which the submission is based upon can’t have an issue with it unless explicitly stated. If the student does want to use the project or paper as a platform to get a publication or a conference paper published or made, then the onus would obviously be on him/her to make sure that non-original content does not creep in along with his/her own personal liability being attached for any violation which might take place due to the non-original content.

Prima facie, it may seem that I am encouraging plagiarism but that is not the point of this post. When dissertations of a minimum of 100 pages, need to be submitted and articles/papers discussing the same already are readily available, won’t a citing of each source thanking each one of them suffice? Trust me, even today, you can still find a marked sigh of relief when students are asked only for a hard copy of their submissions in contrast to the dread that creeps into them when they are asked for soft copies. While complete original content should be encouraged in cases where there is a limited and reasonable page stipulation along with only original ideas being asked for like a critique of some sort for instance, the same cannot be made for a dissertation in excess of a 100 pages where only distinguished jurists having been able to properly analyze the topic in question. The reason being that a dissertation is a compilation of information related to the topic with your take on it or on the information so made available.


A plausible solution to this problem could be the encouragement of original content being made subject specific such as the success or failure of the SEBI in regulating the capital market for instance, while inspiration from sources could be made permissible in cases where it has to be relied upon by default such as the role of FII’s in the Indian capital market.  This would require cooperation between both faculties and student to list out such topics along with an option being given to students to choose what exactly they would want to work with.

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