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Plagiarism

23 September 2014 By In Blogs

Plagiarism is a great problem not only for college and university students but also in the entire academic community. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Plagiarism is defined as the using and passing off of either writings or information of another person as being one’s on. The dictionary further defines plagiarism as being “...the theft of another’s intellectual property...” (1340, 4th Ed. 2000)Plagiarismis therefore an academic offence that can make one to become legally charged ina Court of Law.  Various groups of people have been known to indulge in plagiarism and these include among others researchers, students, webmasters and professors as well. At most times, the pressure exerted upon people to produce or present quality work has beenthe major reason why plagiarism occurs. On the students’ side, they normally plagiarize as a result of feeling overwhelmed due to their demands to equally juggle between their social lives and academic lives (Colin, 2010).

 

There are various types of plagiarism that has been known to exist in the academic world. Examples of the most known types of plagiarism include among others cases where people copy the text without sources, citations and without quotation marks. Other types of plagiarism include the reordering some elements of the original text without citing, copying key phrases or sentences of the source of information without citing, reproduction of information that is not self-evident or,  in common knowledge without citation, incorporation of ideas that were heard in conversations. In addition to that, the use of one’s or another student’s academic materials as a source of new ideas without citations and paying another individual citation to contribute to you work without citation is another type of citation (Chalmers, 2006).  

It is now common knowledge that despite the fact that it is indeed easy to access information for most of the research assignments, it should be noted that it is not quite easy for individuals to add such information in their research work without falling into the trap of plagiarism. It is therefore important for individuals to take all due precaution so as to avoid falling prey to such an offence. There are several strategies that can be adopted in order to avoid plagiarism. For instance, one should always learn to plan his or her research and writing tasks since this actually minimized a lot of pressure that can make one to foster plagiarism in their given assignments (Katz, 2013). It is always advisable for one to not only indulge in their research work early enough but to also keep all the vital notes or resources that were used during the entire process. This will greatly help such writers in creating their reference pages and citing the sources that were used in their work (Calvano, 2011).

In order to avoid plagiarism, writers should paraphrase any information found in other people’s work so long as they find such information to be perfect and relevant. Verbatim should also not be copied more than 2 words in a single row from the text that has been found. Quotation marks should therefore be used in instances where more than two words have been used together. Citing should be used in order to avoid plagiarism in academic work. Citing should be done in the appropriate guidelines like for instance APA, Chicago, Turabian, and MLA as per the request of the research (Pecorari, 2003).  In order to avoid instances of plagiarism in one’s academic work, one should quote the words exactly as they appear from the source. In order to avoid allegations of plagiarism in one’s work, quoting ought to be done in a correct manner while the citation of a quote ought to involve the addition of page numbers (Allen, 1984).

Referencing is one of the most vital ways that can be used in order to avoid plagiarism instances in any given academic work. Referencing will entail the inclusion of the works cited or reference page at the end of any academic work. The use of referencing is crucial since it acknowledges the fact that the writer has indeed accepted or acknowledged the use of other people’s ideas or information in the work. It is prudent for individuals to realize the existence of pressures but however, they should never justify such situations in taking the works of other people and falsely claiming as being one’s own (Balingit, 2008).     

It should be noted that plagiarism is a great academic offence since it could ultimately result in the loss of a person’s academic degree or worse still career. It is therefore important that people take all precautions to ensure that instances of plagiarism do not occur in their academic works. It should therefore be noted that the best ever defence against plagiarism is actually having knowledge and the practice of excellent skills of writing. It is thus critical for good writers to not only learn how to quote and paraphrase but also learn how to properly reference and cite materials from third parties. Learning to create one’s own work makes writers to gain good writing skills. Plagiarism should be avoided by all people since the professional, academic and personal reputation is just quite valuable for one to lose it because of plagiarism offences.

Read 1261 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 09:52
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