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Plagiarism has a long rich history. The word was coined by a Roman poet called Martial during the first century. It was in Latin (plagiarus) which literally meant kidnapper. He is said to have used it to refer to a poet who had copied his work.[1] Plagiarism is defined as a representation as someone’s literature, expressions and ideas without permission. The vice first emerged in Europe in the eighteenth century since by that time literature materials were considered free for public use[2].
It could either be academic plagiarism or copying someone’s art for instance a drawing or a song. If the imitation is done on art its called piracy. Historically plagiarism was a moral wrong but later it received a legal backing. A person who commits plagiarism is known as a plagiarist. Legally speaking, plagiarism is an offence punishable under the law of copyright for stealing of intellectual property. Major developments geared towards making plagiarism a crime rather than a moray wrong have been put up.
This progress has been occasioned by drastic progress in the technology. Growth in technology has in one way contributed to massive acts of plagiarism going undetected. This unfairness has led to academic dishonest and with time other vices such as fabrication and fraud have been reflected in the working field hence forming a major set back to professionalism.Deteroriation in job ethics among others form part of the effects of plagiarism.
Plagiarism is categorized according to the extent of its commission. this means that if for instance a student claims to own certain research by writing his/her name on it he/she will be classified differently from the student who used only one sentence without permission. However, its worth noting that be it slight or substantial its prohibited to copy ones language, literature or expression without his/her authority and being guilty of slight plagiarism has no difference before the law with other types of plagiarism. There numerous types of plagiarism but the main types are: namely; substantial plagiarism, minimal plagiarism and complete plagiarism.
Substantial plagiarism is basically the direct copying of the original work.  This imitation must be gross such that the person detecting the plagiarism does so with minimum constraint or no constraint at all. It must be severe to be detected from the face of it. This type is severe renders the entire work rejected .If its music ore a drawing, substantial plagiarism will the exact drawing or the same song sometimes with a slight variation in the beats or a times the exact song without any slight change.
Minimal plagiarism means the copying of the original work slightly such that the person who detects must be keen in looking at the work. Failure to be keen might lead to one not realizing that the work is a plagiarism. Complete plagiarism just as the word connotes is a copy and paste without any alterations whatsoever. If the original is presented it will be a match. It can be detected with ease.
Plagiarism is not accidental hence it can be avoided. The main way and the recommended one is to reference by acknowledging the source or the author from where such information is derived from. Secondly if one gets prior consent from the author before using the work it can be a way of avoiding plagiarism. The acquired authority is an absolute defense to plagiarism allegations.
There are various consequences both legal and others academic in nature. Legally one can be held liable for committing the offence of plagiarism. As aforementioned plagiarism is an academic offence which leads to prosecution of the suspected person. It can also lead to expulsion from school upon the discovery of plagiarism. There are sanctions imposed on students upon copying someone’s original work
In conclusion, plagiarism is unethical, illegal and must be avoided at all costs .Due to the growing technology, strict measures need to be put in place to help curb the vice. Paraphrasing is one of the ways to avoid plagiarism.
[1] Valpy, Francis Edward Jackson,(2005)Etymological Dictionary of Latin Language P.345
[2] Lynch (2002)

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