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Plagiarism is known as an act of using ideas and words of others without referencing or proper citing in an individual’s assessments. Appropriate citation means that any passages or ideas that are taken from different sources are recognized by considering an in-text reference and in a complete list of references. It is not acceptable to use different sources in an assignment or an essay without a proper reference list and citations.
Every writer should have a high aspiration to produce an original paper. Every paper should be unique and authentic. The passion that a writer has in their heart while putting their thoughts on paper has to be feverishly strong in them. A writer should understand that plagiarism is an unacceptable act which should be avoided at all costs. A writer’s words, their very work are like air that they breathe. For students to breathe, they must be among their mates when they take a breath and gulp their surroundings, their observations, their research, and everything that they require to live1. However, when they decide to exhale, then their breath must be their own. It is necessary to always keep it in mind that any words that students would declare as their own are nothing but a deception not only to others, but also to themselves, as they dare to declare that they can write.
An academic writer has to research the written word as well as interview those who are pertinent to the task at hand. Under no circumstances should writers seek out works done by others in order to be through with their tasks. Yet, they should never ignore the research reality, meaning the content they heard and the content they heard from others. Plagiarism is known for robbing original writers of their labor. The act of plagiarism burns many people up, since it violates the implied warranty that is initiated by every work of journalists. Unless they are qualified with disclaimers and citations, news and academic articles should be original. When a student appropriates a paper completed by another writer without giving credit, they grant the examiner the mistaken impression that they have found the primary facts independently. Therefore, if the writer who wrote the original document did not provide the correct details in terms of dates, events, names and places, then the lazy and ignorant writer will end up with compiling wrong information.
The process of education should be all about truth and not lies. A student who uses other writer’s work without giving proper credit narrates a big lie with every keyboard stroke. A plagiarist’s fraud tends to dissolve the trust that exists between their publication and the reader; it injures the reader, the plagiarist’s colleagues, as well as the plagiarist’s profession. Plagiarism promotes dishonesty among students in many universities. A path to success in education is productivity. Another one is writing sourced, properly formatted papers that are deeply complied. A conscientious plagiarist combines techniques, regularly out-producing their friends with a stolen, excellent copy. The greatest harm is normally done to the readers who are provided with fake information. Plagiarism denigrates other people’s hard work. However, the convicted plagiarists argue that their borrowing was trivial.
In Stanford University in the United States of America, students involve themselves in various types of plagiarism. Since copying and pasting information from other writers’ pieces has become an obvious form of plagiarizing, they have developed their own way of plagiarizing, which they consider to be the safest way of plagiarizing since it may not be detected. Therefore, when a lecturer assigns them a paper, they look for an individual who is competent at writing various projects. Together they discuss and agree on the required information for the paper, and then the student offers some good amount of money for the paper to be perfectly handled. Most lazy students who do not want to do their assignments tend to commit this type of plagiarism on a daily basis. They argue that it is the safest method of plagiarizing, since it is almost impossible to get caught.
Harvard University has as well apprehended some of its students who have been caught for having their papers written for them. Most students think that they are safe after paraphrasing materials from a specific source or text without providing appropriate documentation. Their argument is normally based on the fact they have paraphrased the materials, thus consoling themselves that they have not copy-pasted. Nevertheless, the fact is that they do not submit appropriate documentation is equal to plagiarism.
We can see that students in both universities engage themselves in this act of plagiarism, but not in the same way. The Stanford method of plagiarism reflects a high level of laziness among students, since they do not even make an attempt to work on their assignment. They just exchange money for that service. On the other hand, Harvard University students give a trial to what they have been assigned. They make an effort and look for some materials that they can paraphrase. All in all, they both commit the crime of plagiarism that is seriously dealt with in all academic institutions.
There are some other forms of plagiarism that are committed in various academic institutions. One of these forms of plagiarism is performed when a student submits a paper that has written by a close friend or a relative. This is treated as plagiarism, since the paper is submitted as their own one, while in fact they are not the one who worked on it. Some other form of plagiarism involves copying various sections of materials from some source texts and supplying proper documentation, at the same time but ignoring or failing to put quotation marks. This automatically reflects that the material has been paraphrased rather than directly quoted.
Plagiarism should be avoided at all costs. Students always want to find an easy way out; thus at times they usually tend to postpone until the last moment the completion of their assignments. Due to the fact that they are late, they will always try to use some materials in their work so as to have it done before deadline. Educational institutions should put various strategies in place to ensure that their students do not commit the act of plagiarism. Plagiarism is sometimes done willingly; on the other hand, a person may also plagiarize without being aware of it.
Lecturers should take it upon themselves to have their students informed on the disadvantages and harm brought about by plagiarism, as well as the risk that the illegal act can cause them. They should also make their students understand what exactly is meant by the word “plagiarism,” be it accidental plagiarism or the one done by someone on purpose. By doing so, they will ensure that no student will have a good reason as to why they had to plagiarize their work. It should also be communicated that anyone found with some percentage of plagiarism in their paper will be in for punishment. Various strategies should be put in place. For example, universities should ensure that all term and research papers are handed in on soft copies. This will make it easier for them to have the work checked by plagiarism checker software. Universities could also decide on the right punishment of a student found with plagiarized papers. They could decide on having the student penalized or failing the paper completely. University could also decide to make students guilty of plagiarism redo their papers. However, in this case, students must be warned that once their paper is plagiarized, they will be forced to retake the course some time later.
Students should avoid plagiarism by ensuring that once they have browsed necessary materials from the web, they should first understand the topic and the points that should be included in their research work before getting down to write. They should later paraphrase the work in their own words so as to ensure that the paper looks more like their own work, despite the fact that they used other writers’ works to complete their paper. They should also ensure that credit is awarded to other person’s idea, theory or opinion. By this I mean that whenever they have to use a certain phrase from other person’s work to prove a point in their own work, they should ensure that they also give the name of the person who wrote or said those words. Students should also ensure that quotations are properly formatted when they use actual words of another person. Students should also be aware that for general knowledge facts, they will not need to document the information. For example, when they need to mention the year when Mr. Barrack Obama was elected president, they will not need to put a reference after this since many people could be aware of such kind of information.
All that is said or done depends on the attitude of a student. A lot can be done, but once a student has fixed it in their mind that they cannot change their current situation, all their efforts will end up hitting the rock. Students should understand that when a teacher is trying to make them deliver plagiarism free papers, it is for their own benefit. A teacher will also not be involved or affected by the harsh punishments that might befall students once they are caught with plagiarized papers. For this reason, students should try to ensure that they do not plagiarize their work. They should also stop seeking an easy way out and try to do things right, since by doing their homework, they will get to understand the material much better or even help the teacher to realize whether they have really understood the topic they taught, rather than coping other people’s works and impressing their teacher only to fail later in life.
For this reason, students should ensure that they go through their work and cross-check it against the original paper so as to ensure that they do not find any traces of accidental plagiarism. They should also ensure that each fact and piece of information that cannot be considered general knowledge is documented, and real references should be mentioned in the reference list. In case a student does not understand a certain point as discussed in the research papers they were using, they should ask other students or teachers for help instead of just coping the work, since the teacher will not be aware of what material should be explained to the student. This will also help the student to avoid some future problems and confusion during their education process.
Accidental plagiarism, on the other hand, comes about when one does not intend to plagiarize. Such instances happen when a student does not distinguish between outside sources and their own thoughts while writing a paper; and when a student fails to frame the restated words, that is, when a student has paraphrased several sentences that were on a certain site on the net and they think that since they got that whole information from one page, one reference will do for all. This is wrong, since teachers will not be in a position to identify where the ideas picked from the source begin and end in the paper.
Cutting and pasting is another example of accidental plagiarism. It might seem very easy, since a student doing so will spend less time to complete their paper compared to the one who will be paraphrasing. However, students should always keep in mind that the copied work will be reflected in a plagiarism checker and they will be in for it then. Another instance of accidental plagiarism is when a student uses a quotation, yet it seems to be too long and they decide to shorten it. In case the student forgets to use ellipses to show that the phrase continues, then this could be termed as plagiarism as well. Also, when adding words in a quote, square brackets should be used to indicate that the words could have been added so as to make grammatical sense. Otherwise, the paper will be termed as a plagiarized one due to small mistakes that could have been corrected or due to failing to carry out proper formatting.
In conclusion, I truly believe that plagiarism is not legal and should be avoided at any costs. In fact, it is a form of theft since when one is plagiarizing, they are stealing thoughts of other people and using them as their original work. For this reason, students should learn to write original, authentic, and properly formatted papers. A student trying to copy other person’s work could be considered as a lazy and arrogant student who should be in for punishment. This will teach those who are planning to hand in a plagiarized work a valuable lesson. Expulsion from the school or failing the assignment and class should be the kinds of punishment awaiting all those caught in this kind of mistake. Students should learn how to cite, quote, and frame paraphrased material so as to avoid being victims of plagiarism. I do not think that any student wishes to put at risk their education and ruin their bright future by plagiarizing.
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