Plagiarism

 

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INTRODUCTION

Plagiarism is derived from the Latin word plagiarius, which means kidnapping or abducting. It is a term that is mainly used in the contexts of using another’s words, ideas or thoughts and passing it off as your own, without giving due credit to the original author. Instances of plagiarism have been observed in academia and journalism for a long time, though the rapid growth of the internet has contributed to an increase in the plagiarism statistics considerably. The twentieth-century dictionary defines plagiarism as wrongful appropriation, close imitation or purloining and publication of another authors language, thoughts, ideas or expressions and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

CAUSES OF PLAGIARISM

Lack of knowledge and inexperience: many students have not been told about plagiarism at school and do not know how to avoid it.Lack of understanding of academicintegrity which is one of our most important values.Lack of time and procrastination leads to sloppy work and illegal shortcuts.Many students have difficulty with citing/referencing.Poorlanguageskills.In a minority of cases plagiarism is the result of cheating: when a student knows what plagiarism is, knows what his/her responsibility is and willfully passes the work of another off as his/her own.

TYPES OF PLAGIARISM

Full plagiarism occurs whenever a writer copies the content from another source as it is. In such a kind of plagiarism, the writer changes nothing from the original source, and there is an absolute lack of original research. The language, the flow, and even the punctuation is copied to such an extent, that one cannot cite even a minor difference in the two contents.

Partial plagiarism occurs when a person combines data from two or three different sources in his work, it amounts to partial plagiarism. This kind of plagiarism pertains to copying someone else’s work, not fully, but partly. A person plagiarizing content in this way makes rampant use of paraphrasing, which means that he presents the same idea in a different form, by manipulating the language of the original content, but the flow remains the same.

Minimalistic plagiarism occurs when a person paraphrases the same content but in a different flow. In this kind, the plagiarist attempts to copy ideas, opinions, thoughts and concepts of another author, in such a way that his work does not seem like it has been plagiarized. What he does is that he not only changes the sentence construction and makes use of synonymous vocabulary, but he also changes the order in which the thoughts have been presented in the original work..

Mosaic plagiarism is most common among students. Instances of mosaic plagiarism occur mostly due to lack of knowledge or ignorance about plagiarism, and the ways to avoid it. When a person changes the construction of the sentence but does not bother to change the original wording, it amounts to mosaic plagiarism. The result then, is that the sentences change, the flow changes, but the words remain the same.

CONSEQUENCES OF PLAGIARISM

The growing problem of plagiarism in schools, colleges and even in universities has compelled the concerned authorities to take it quite seriously. Its consequences in the academic field depend on the nature of the mistake and the number of times one commits it. The penalties can vary from failing an assignment, loss of privilege, getting a low-grade to not being promoted to a higher standard, academic probation and even expulsion from an educational institution.
Besides causing considerable wastage of time, money and effort, such penalties can have an adverse effect on the future of a student, as a student expelled from one institution usually finds it hard to get admission in any other reputed educational institution. The greatest consequence in the academic field may be the harm that students do to themselves.
Plagiarism in journalism is a very old phenomenon. It can have serious consequences, not only for the individual journalist, but for the concerned newspaper or television news-show. It can damage their reputation, credibility and public trust and confidence.

HOW TO AVOID PLAGIARISM

Considering that plagiarism may lead to serious consequences, one has to be careful enough to ensure that none of his referencing and cross-referencing acts amount to it. Original works of research also need, as their starting point, references of previous researches carried out in a given field. This completely nullifies the possibility of not referencing other authors at all. The catch, however, is to retain the originality of one’s research by citing the appropriate references. One can avoid plagiarism by doing the following:
Read and acquire as much knowledge as possible on the topic you are going to write on. This will help you understand the key concepts and the previous researches that were done in the field.
Document each and every source you have referred to properly and adequately. This will help you majorly in source citations.
Do not download or buy essays from websites, as this can have grave results.
Make use of quotation marks while citing someone else’s text word by word. This is a clear indication that the words are not your own, and so it does not amount to plagiarism.
Above all, trust your abilities and make sure what you are doing is right and moral.
CONCLUSION

Plagiarism is not a crime per se but it is disapproved more on the grounds of moral offence and cases of plagiarism can involve liability for copyright infringement. So it is advisable to take some appropriate measures to avoid this offence. The best way is not to copy content of other individual, using quotations if you must do use another person’s words or giving credit to the concerned writer or the source of the information.

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