This research paper discusses the many facets of plagiarism. While students are used to hearing the word ‘plagiarism’, many are ignorant to the extent of plagiarism, the importance of crediting original authors for their words or ideas, and how to properly cite and reference to avoid plagiarism. There are extensive academic sources available online that clarify and give examples of the do’s and don’ts of referencing, citation, and acknowledging use of information from other sources. It is important to understand that much of plagiarism is unintentional, but can be prohibited with appropriate planning, research and guidance.
Upon learning about plagiarism in school that day, a 5-year-old informed his mother that plagiarism is ‘stealing someone else’s facts’ and ‘very bad’. It was an accurate and concise explanation. To elaborate, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) defines plagiarism as ‘the practice of claiming credit for the words, ideas, and concepts of others.’ While this does not sound as critical as ‘stealing’, the fact remains that using another’s words or ideas without appropriately acknowledging their origin is taking something that belongs to someone else. For many students, this concept just does not seem so severe, which may be a reason plagiarism is a common problem. Some of the reasons students plagiarize are 1) laziness, 2) panic due to procrastination, 3) lack of confidence in academic ability, 4) lack of understanding how to integrate source material into their own argument, and 5) they just do not see the importance of sources and citing. (“Top Ten”, 2006) The argument can also be made that the ease of access to a plethora of information through the internet allows for less consideration to accurately reference sources. SafeAssign suggests that it is this ease of ‘internet information...
References: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.
Avoiding Common Knowledge Plagiarism. (n.d.). Library | California State University San Marcos. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://library.csusm.edu/plagiarism/howtoavoid/how_avoid_common.htm
Avoiding Paraphrase Plagiarism. (n.d.). Library | California State University San Marcos. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://library.csusm.edu/plagiarism/howtoavoid/how_avoid_paraphrase.htm
Plagiarism.org (n.d.). What is citation? Plagiarism.org. Retrieved January 25, 2013, from http://plagiarism.org/citing-sources/whats-a-citation/
SafeAssign: Intentional v. unintentional plagiarism. (n.d.). VCU University College. Retrieved January 27, 2013, from http://uc.vcu.edu/safeassign-intentional-v-unintentional-plagiarism/
Top ten reasons students plagiarize & what you can do. (2006, February). DePaul University, SNL. Retrieved January 25, 2012, from http://academicintegrity.depaul.edu/Top10.pdf
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