What is plagiarism?

Published: 2021-06-29 02:08:08
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Every academic year, students write hundreds of academic papers cutting across different subjects and topics processing tons of information from various academic materials. Plagiarism, in this regard, can become a real problem, especially if students lack information literacy. That’s why it is imperative that they stick to rules and guidelines of scholastic writing that govern the conduct of research. For example, writing a plagiarism-free paper is something that teachers and supervisors will always emphasize.
Their aim is to help learners steer clear of plagiarising. However, not every student lives to such expectations even after being advised against copying and pasting content from other sources. In this regard, information literacy is indeed a crucial aspect to note. Sometimes, plagiarism happens because not many students understand what it means to present original ideas after weeks of research. Thus, a question many students ask is this: What is plagiarising? Well, to help you understand how serious a crime it is, let’s start by looking at its definition.

Plagiarism Definition
From your first year in a college/University to the forth or beyond, plagiarism is a term a student will often encounter. It could be during studies or when doing research on an idea about which you want to write. There are several other definitions that shed light onto what plagiarising means. First off, many dictionaries put it as stealing ideas or using existing ones of another person as if they were your own. A good example is copying a few lines from Martin Luther’s speech ‘I have a dream’ without quoting the opening words or even giving due credit to the author. The fact that you fail to credit your write-up to a source amounts to an act of plagiarism.
In other quarters, plagiarism equals literary theft, in which case, a student reads a book then copies it verbatim.
Why does it matter?
You would agree that the work based on the original research would fetch the highest marks. But a question most students also ask is why it would matter to use exact words from a source and give attribution. Also, is it possible to steal ideas from a source and claim they are your own? The truth is that we live in the information age and anything can happen. It is also noteworthy that over the past years, plagiarism has steadily got worse – a trend that is projected to continue.
We, therefore, only hope that with the help of plagiarism checker systems or software, teachers and students can steer clear of the academic vice. Given that it has become a serious problem that continues to bedevil productivity of learners, plagiarism merits for a discussion-especially how to get rid of it. You don’t want to spend weeks or even months on academic research only to be told your paper lacks citation or quotation marks in some sections. By giving credit to borrowed information, you are admitting that with the help of an indispensable source of knowledge such as a book, words or ideas, the content of your essay is scholastic. More reasons why checking your paper for plagiarism matters include the following:?Information literacy: Definitively, plagiarism is a literary offence and committing it is punishable in many different ways.
Your teacher may request that you redo an assignment for failing to employ your own reasoning, to apply knowledge or information. In the end, you are regarded as less informed. ? An act of plagiarism can earn a student suspension or expulsion from school. It is because the aim of every academic institution, with the help of teachers, is to help learners become dependable people in society. However, such a question would be immaterial if one keeps copying and pasting content from published materials.
Take note that plagiarising is also when you keep recycling words in your old essays. ?By stealing words, ideas and information from other materials, you are in the same category as someone who goes out to steal another person’s property such as a phone. Thus, an act of plagiarism does not preserve moral standing, but rather, destroys it!?There is pride in publishing original knowledge on a subject, discipline or topic. It is the wish of everyone who wants to become a scholar after schooling for many years. However, plagiarism can hardly allow you to make such a dream come true. When you fail to attribute a source, give credit to a book or present a paper that lacks citations and references, it amounts to plagiarising.
Examples of Plagiarism
Now, to further help you understand how plagiarism takes places, here is a look at some examples:?Plagiarism is writing down a saying or part of speech without using quotation marks. ? Plagiarism is when you do a research, write down literature review but fail to quote an author(s) in your citation. If you are copying word for word, use citations to indicate that the ideas are not your own. ?Copying and pasting ideas from existing materials/information or borrowing ideas then failing to identify their original source is plagiarism.
You can also refer to it as the opposite of information literacy – a case of failing to do original research and overly relying on published knowledge by another author to write a paper or report. ?Downloading a picture or video to use in your presentation is plagiarism, in other words – stealing ideas from other authors. ?Plagiarism is violating copyrights or intellectual property rights, say of a music record or a published book by using any of such without knowledge of or express permission from the original owner. In summary, plagiarism is a crime, mostly academic, that everyone must strive to avoid.
Information derived from whatever material is at the centre of it all. Given that a comprehensive and dependable academic paper must represent varied opinions, including your own, it is imperative that students avoid plagiarising content by always attributing an author, book or material in their essays and other write-ups.

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