The serious consequences and effects of plagiarism to the society and individuals needs to be more highlighted, appreciated and fought against if we are to strengthen the academic quality for our times and for future’s sake.
In tackling the meaning of plagiarism according to Oxford dictionary this is the art of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them as one’s own. The act of taking the idea or words of another person and presenting them as new, copying the whole text from someone else work or giving false information about the true source of the work does not give due credit to the original writer. This is classified as theft since ideas and writings are intellectual property.
Some of the main causes of plagiarism could well range from plain laziness in part of the writer up to the lack of creativity in relation to ideas a writer can have in regards to a certain topic. In looking at a case with educational institutions. A lecturer may provide work in which some among his students may fail to research and opt to copy paste some work from a previous writer, this may be reflected in the first reason of plagiarism caused by laziness. Mental writing block as stated by Webster University can also be a cause of plagiarism in that the writer faces difficulty when staring at a blank document. The lack of confidence in one’s writing capabilities usually does cause the block. The writer being used to reading other writer’s work doesn’t believe he or she possesses the ability to birth some new idea. The University of Alberta libraries do state that challenges in research skills as a contributing factor to plagiarism. Some researchers may not clearly know how to search the library, search databank or even the internet. This may lead to them not giving clear citations to another writer’s work or going through short cuts of copy and pasting someone else’s work.
There are various types of plagiarism. Among them is idea or solution plagiarism. If the author has researched on an item and came up with an answer the act of writing about that solution in regards to solving a question without clear reference to the writer is a type of idea plagiarism.Dr.C Barnbaum states style plagiarism as another type of plagiarism. Which is about copying a certain style of an article and even though the words are yours but the style replica adds up to style plagiarism. Copy and paste plagiarism is the type where one lifts up a sentence or part of it or even a whole article and adds it to his work. This type is basically carried out by lazy authors.Refrencing helps to prevent this type of plagiarism. Reusing your own work is also a type of plagiarism that many wouldn’t know does qualify as such. Having done a topic and been graded on it or published it then a future need arises on the same topic, retaking of the work done and resubmitting it or publishing it again without citing the previous work qualifies as a type of plagiarism even if the original was done by yourself.
Sir Isaac Newton said “if I can see further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Lack of recognition of the giants that wrote specific articles goes against this famous quote. Consequences brought about due to plagiarism do undermine academic principles.Plagarism undermines creativity hence weakening the academic foundations. This may lead to the emergence of students who lack research skills or total lack of creativity. Some higher educational institutions have a policy whereby if a student is caught on a plagiarism case the lecturer cancels the work and reports the student. The student then gets a note attached to his work if he graduates without the case repeating itself the note gets withdrawn. If however the student gets caught in a plagiarism case this may be included in his graduation report and may go ahead to affect his future work. The student may also be suspended from the University or suffer a failure of the course, the student may be expelled or even more severe discontinued from pursuing the degree. Having discussed that ideas and written articles are indeed intellectual property plagiarism may lead to law suits and penalties from a court of law which may result to fines or serving jail terms. In the case of a student to university lecturer plagiarism may lead to loss of confidence and trust.
In order to avoid plagiarism footnotes, endnotes and Parenthetical citations must be used in the documentation of sources. Citation involves providing information of where the information you have written comes from. This can be done by naming the author and the book of the statement, or of the internet material. One also may avoid plagiarism through the follow up of standard documentation method such as MLA or APA.When writing on a particular topic do look to enhance the ideas of a writer rather than copying and pasting it. Finally one is advised to make notes on their own words this also helps avoid plagiarism.
In conclusion plagiarism an intellectual property theft of ideas and writings is a destroyer of the person involved in it through lack of research skills or penalties from a higher educational institution, academic quality drop and loss through law suits. Writers need to avoid laziness, mental writing block and develop healthy writing skills through improvement of research skills. They need to enhance and recognize other authors work incase they write on or use items that have previously been published. It is by destroying plagiarism that academic quality gets improved to a higher level.
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