We all know that cheating in school is wrong. If someone copied the answers to the test from the smartest kid in the class, it is pretty obvious that the person has cheated. You would get in serious trouble with the school for doing this. Depending on your academic institution level, the consequences for cheating could range from failing the assignment, the class, or the most severe, dismissal from the school. Similar academic cheating is the definition of plagiarism.
Definition Of Plagiarism
A more subtle form of cheating comes is known as plagiarism. You may have heard that term tossed around before, but what exactly does plagiarism mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of plagiarism is “using the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own words or ideas”. This definition of plagiarism does not encompass the full significance of how deleterious plagiarism truly is. Because in reality, plagiarism is a form of theft. According to the definition of plagiarism, when you plagiarize, you are stealing someone else’s work, ideas, and thoughts. The theft occurs if you do not properly attribute the source where you retrieved the information. Without properly citing where you obtained the specific information you are relying on, you are using these ideas as your own when they are not your own to use.
School’s Strike Back: Combating Plagiarism
In response to the influx of students handing in papers that are not their original work, academic institutions have taken a variety of measures to combat plagiarism. All colleges have a code of student conduct that students implicitly agree to abide by. In these codes, students affirm that all work turned in for a grade is, in fact, their own. If a student is caught plagiarizing another person’s work or improperly citing information, the student could be expelled from the school. Many teachers also employ software that checks for plagiarism in a student’s written paper. These programs can show the teacher how much of the paper is the student’s original work, what is cited from other sources, and what is unoriginal work.
To avoid plagiarism, the best approach is to read the dictionary definition of plagiarism broadly. The solution is simple: don’t ever use someone else’s words or ideas without properly citing where that information came from. And when in doubt, cite the source! There is no such thing as too many citations.