Citation and Plagiarism

Topics: Citation, Reference, Academia Pages: 5 (1848 words) Published: August 10, 2008
Plagiarism in an academic field is very unethical. There is no difference between stealing academic work that is not one’s own and going into a store to steal merchandise. The consequences for both offences are often harsh and life altering. One can lose credibility, lose a hard-earned reputation, be charged criminally, kicked out of school or be financially ruined by any judicial proceedings against them. The cost of saving a few hours of academic study is not worth it in the big picture of life of any student. Plagiarism is also a major problem for academic facilities as well. The schools could lose there accreditation if it was discovered the work of their students was not original but merely recycled work of other students or other educators. Another problem faced by schools is that donations to the facility might cease to exist along with dropping enrollment as a result of plagiarism; this could possibly lead to the school going bankrupt. The schools credibility would and could possiblily fall, any research done by the school would be highly suspicious and scrutinized or worse, be dismissed outright by other academic facilities. The embarrassment brought to a school caused by a plagiarism scandal is another factor that schools must look at. The school itself could find itself under legal action and the resulting legal action could be very expensive. One can now begin to realize the effects of plagiarism are more serious than copying a few words of somebody’s work and not giving them credit for it. The effects are widespread for everybody and anybody in the academic field. Since plagiarism is an expensive game, we must find ways to minimize or eliminate it. According to the (Fastfacts: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity, 2005, p.10) there are “Ten Golden Rules To Avoid Plagiarism”. This paper will focus on explaining the rules so that students will know how to stay away from plagiarism. The basic idea of the rules is to use your own words to write the paper. Some students buy a paper from another source; or copy the text from the source into their paper and make it look as if they created it (Fastfacts: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity, 2005, p.11). Internet provides us with a great source of information nowadays and with the convergence of new technology, information can be easily downloaded and are free of charge. Some students simply take this advantage and assume that there are no rules to govern the printed material. Since it is easy for a student to retrieve the information, it is also easy for the person who marks the paper to find out the source of the information. Undoubtedly, with a missing citation, this will result in plagiarism (Fastfacts: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity, 2005, p.3). Some of the courses in the university are closely related to each other so students may want to use their paper for both classes. It is not because they are too lazy to write the paper again. It is simply because they do not want to repeat the procedures that will generate the same result; therefore, using the same paper will be easier. In this situation, (Fastfacts: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity, 2005, p.11) suggests students should get permission from the instructor before they submit the paper. This can eliminate plagiarizing and will not be counted as cheating. Students browse for information or ideas from reference books or anywhere on the internet. After reading pages and pages of information, they may easily lose track of the source of information. They may also mix up the information from the source with their own idea. Consequently, they have forgotten to do the citation reference and risk themselves in plagiarism. To avoid this, (Fastfacts: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity, 2005, p.11) suggests writing down the bibliographic information right beside the information and if necessary, you may need to add quotation marks around the words or phrases that are copied directly from the...

Citations: should immediately follow the material being quoted, paraphrased or summarized according to the article “Avoiding Plagiarism”, paragraph 4. The source of information should be properly cited in the text content and with details listed in the reference page. In the text, you may need to include the name of the author, the year of writing, the name of article and the page number of the book where you took the information from. If you are using an internet database source, indicate the paragraph number (APA Writing Style and Mechanics, Handout, 2005). There is a certain format for doing the citation in the reference page. Citation for source information from the book is different from the database on the internet. If the source was a book, in general, they can be summarized in the sequence of the author, publication year, name of book, edition of the book, the place of publishing company followed by the name of publisher (APA Writing Style and Mechanics, Handout, p. 11, 2005). It will be done differently if the source was from a database on the internet. According to the APA Writing Style Handout 2006, the sequence will be the name of author, the date of writing, the name of database, the name of journal, page number or paragraph number, date the information was retrieved and the web site address.
In any case, if you are not sure whether you should provide documentation for a citation reference, the strategy is to cite it rather than taking the risk of plagiarism (When to Document, paragraph 2, Avoiding Plagiarism, 2006).
The following example of plagiarism indicates how easy it is along with the consequences. (All Names Have Been Changed).
John Smart was a student at the University of Toronto in 1974. John by all accounts was an excellent student who participated in class very well and was a pleasure to have in class.
In English 101, Professor Acer had assigned the class a written project on effective communication methods between people. John decided he was going to be lazy and went to the University of Toronto library and copied a book and submitted it as his own original work. Professor Acer upon reading it described John’s work as one of the best papers he had ever read in his career and awarded John an “A”. The paper was so good that Professor Acer submitted it to the University speaking competition, where John promptly beat his fellow students and was chosen as the University of Toronto representative at the Toronto regional final for post-secondary students.
John along with the other participants arrived at the speaking hall and prepared to give there reports before a panel of 3 judges along with numerous other academic personal in the audience.
John came to the podium and began his speech on “effective Communication Methods”. Judge Wishart also known as Judge Number three in the competition suddenly looked up and frowned at John as he was speaking. Judge Wishart calmly stood up and began to recite the next line from John’s paper. The other judges were flabbergasted, Johns face was turning red and the audience was sighing along with having open face gaps. John had plagiarized the paper and now the truth was out. The paper was not done by John, it was done by Judge Wishart and John was a fraud.
The consequences were swift and severe and long lasting. John was immediately disqualified from the event. When the University of Toronto investigated the paper and claims, he was given an “F” on it and promptly kicked out of class. The long-lasting effect was this credibility was now worthless. In essence one might call John a con artist who fooled everybody.
With today’s technology John Smarts case would have never gone this far. In order to prevent another case of John Smart in today’s world, academic facilities have looked at the past and are much better prepared to handle cases of plagiarism. The underlying theme is that plagiarism is unethical and morally wrong. Those factors alone should paint a picture in anybody 's mind. One may also remember the case of John Smart and its long lasting effects on a person as a deterrent not to plagiarize anything
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