The consequence of plagiarizing material carries with it shame, exposes academic lethargy and may become costly. Most students take away with them the importance of academic integrity from professors, counselors, peers and even the media. With so much emphasis put on the subject one would think plagiarism would be unheard of amongst writers. However, data presented by Associate Dean of Student Discipline Steven J Tyrell (2004) studies showed 24 students were accused of academic misconduct in a single school year.
Webster’s dictionary defines plagiarism as “A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work” (Webster). The act of plagiarizing is taking someone’s words and idea’s and using them as if they were your own. Plagiarism has contributed too many students getting poor grades, and has even cost some students their academic careers. With so much at stake, why would a student take the risk? Some students don’t’ know that they are, in fact plagiarizing. Poor research skills and lack of proper timing on the student’s part along with poor preparation can make it very easy for the student to plagiarize without them even knowing, and then there are the students who plagiarize because it’s so easy to do that they feel it must not be wrong.
There are many types of plagiarism, and reason on why students commit plagiarism. Unintentional plagiarism usually occurs when someone uses someone else’s material and they do not cite it in their work or places it on their reference page. There are many types of unintentional plagiarism, citation confusion is when the writer does not know or ignore the rules of proper referencing and citation. Paraphrasing is when the student tries to copy varies works but they stay with the original idea. Word Substitution is when a student takes out one or a couple words to try to make it his/her own.
Avoiding unintentional plagiarism is difficult to do if the student is not aware that they are plagiarizing in the first place but there are many ways to make sure that this does not happen. The student can always make sure that they prepare ahead on the topic that they are suppose to write on (Gladen, 2006). When the student is prepared they understand that they cannot take someone else’s work with out giving that person credit for their contribution to their report. If you are still unsure about proper citing of your paper it can be best to have someone else go over your work, you will be able to see what you might have plagiarized and what is actually just your information. The student also needs to make sure that they start all of the research early and not wait until the last minute to try to do a 1500 word report, this way they can be very prepared.
Unintentional plagiarism is hard not to do but, it is critical that as the student we do not actively take place in doing this activity (Gladen, 2006). There are copyright laws the can convict you and most universities will not tolerate any type of plagiarism and for this reason alone is why we should not do it. If you are a good and honest student that works hard you should not have problems, but if you are lazy and always wait until the last minute then you should be concerned and hope no one finds out that you plagiarize.
Most students consider being told that they will be expected to write a paper by their college professor, frightening. One of the first things that may come to mind would be to figure out a less painful encounter in order to complete the paper. This would indeed open up the door to intentionally plagiarize the assignment. Intentional Plagiarism is the deliberate unethical practice of duplicating another’s work while planning to take full credit. This means digital, hard-copy, and borrowed works from the original owner. Some students have a rather, “whistle-blowing” different opinion concerning copying another’s work. There appears to be a huge misunderstanding in reference to the presentation of someone else’s hard work. Many believe that they should be permitted to infringe on any great written work as an honor on behalf of the original author.
A very high percent of students who commit plagiarism have a poor planning scheme in place or none at all. They have not figured out what they need to execute in order to maintain a healthy plan. Sometimes the lack of planning stems from being disorganized and untidy. Great planning plays a key role in the creation of an un-plagiarized research paper. If one fails to properly plan out their entire course of action. This will indeed set them up for failure in the future. While planning students should always place personal goals ahead to help in achieving your plan.
With a great plan in place this would create a good time management layout for the student. Time management is added to the number of essentials needed to help prevent the ongoing intentional plagiarizing problem. While some students are trying to manage their time as best they can. They tend to overlook one other important thing which is expected of them. The student handbook is to be read by all students to ensure their understanding of all policies and penalties (Gladen, 2006). Plagiarism is most likely covered in all university handbooks. In the process of time management there is a possibility for students to read through the handbook. This may curb or discourage dishonest students from intentionally plagiarizing.
One other reason to contribute to the intentional plagiarizing realm is the lack of self confidence. Many students may feel that their work just doesn’t have enough substance when compared to others. Some students tend to think that their work should be as intuitive as the experts. Intentional plagiarizers (Bauer & Jacie, 2004) suffer from the lack of confidence in their ability to carry out the production of a research paper. This can indeed become an intimidating factor contribution as well. Multiple students sometimes have a different attitude towards writing papers. They consider their work as an unnecessary piece of research that someone else has proven to have done better.
There are multiple reasons of why students choose to intentionally plagiarize. Some other reasons include being put under pressure by loved ones and their college professors. Sometimes these types of hindering can place a burden too large for the average student. Other times you may hear students claim to have known a friend or two whom has intentionally plagiarized. Their claim is that the friend was never caught therefore they should do the same for everyone is plagiarizing. A student who might receive a passing grade on a plagiarized paper may encourage another student to do the same. This is how the “Domino Effect” occurs for the negative.
There is belief that many students who choose to plagiarize have one of the most intriguing tools at their fingertips. The Internet is one of the powerful tools used in aiding a dishonest student. According to Roberts (2007), students are natural economizers and have poor time management skills which they are used to an environment surrounded with downloading, whether legally or illegally, are common place. The existence of the Internet has paved the way for plagiarism. Internet use has become increasingly high for student researchers which result in an unethical academic environment. We can only wonder if this dishonest, unethical, deceitful, unfair, false, and untruthful dilemma will cease. It is merely impossible to catch or prevent all plagiarisms caused by students. This problem will only continue until there is a more scrutinized method in early detection for prevention.
In today’s world it is very easy for someone to copy, borrow, steal and buy essays. The use of technology and internet has made it much easier and faster to plagiarize. In order not to plagiarize but use other peoples work you need to use citation and quotation. The website (2008) states that plagiarism comes in many forms.
One such form is the Ghost Writer technique. With this form the writer turns in another's work, word-for-word, as his or her own (Parker, 2008). For example a student asks their friend to write an assignment for them. The Photocopy form suggests that the writer copy significant portions of text straight from a single source, without alteration (Parker, 2008). Another example would be when a student copies from the internet and uses the context as if it was their own. With the Potluck Paper form, the writer tries to disguise plagiarism by copying from several different sources, tweaking the sentences to make them fit together while retaining most of the original phrasing (Parker, 2008). One example of this would be when the student copies from many different sources and combines it together but keeps most of the content. The Poor Disguise form, the writer has retained the essential content of the source, he or she has altered the paper's appearance slightly by changing key words and phrases (Parker, 2008). In this example the student copies most of the necessary context but makes a few adjustments by altering a few words and phrases.
The Labor of Laziness form allows the writer to paraphrase most of the paper from other sources and make it all fit, instead of spending the same effort on original work (Parker, 2008). For example a student paraphrases someone else’s work and hands it in as if it was theirs. Last but not least, the Self-Stealer has the writer "borrowing" generously from his or her previous work, violating policies concerning the expectation of originality adopted by most academic institutions (Parker, 2008). A good example of this form would be a student hands in their own previous work for their current assignment.
Improper Citing can be a student’s worst nightmare. There are several different ways to cite your source improperly. The Forgotten Footnote has the writer mentioning the author’s name for a source, but neglects to include specific information on the location of the material referenced.”(2005) This form of plagiarism is misrepresenting because the writer fails to mention the location from which the information was located along with the name and source. “The Mis-informer”, the writer provides inaccurate information regarding the sources, making it impossible to find them.” (2005) In this case the not only is the writer committing plagiarism but also misrepresenting the citing information provided, by not providing the correct citing information or making up the information.
The Too-Perfect Paraphrase in which the writer properly cites a source, but neglects to put in quotation marks text that has been copied word-for-word, or close to it.” (2005) Participating in this form of plagiarism the writer has partially cited the information correctly but fall short, in turn is misrepresenting the work presented by implying or accepting credit for work that is not theirs. The Resourceful Citer occurs when the writer properly cites all sources, paraphrasing and using quotations appropriately. Here’s the catch, the paper contains almost no original work! (2005) With this form of improper citing the information is properly documented so it would appear everything is done correctly; however because most if not all of the information is borrowed the writer has contributed little if anything of their own in originality to the writing assignment.
The Perfect Crime citation is done by the writer properly quoting and citing sources in some places, but goes on to paraphrase other arguments from those sources without citation. This way, the writer tries to pass off the paraphrased material as his or her own analysis of the cited material.”(2005) Pretty self explanatory, in this case the writer fails to cite the paraphrasing taking full credit for this information when is clearly not the writers.
Today college classes can be very demanding and stressful. Students are turning to the Internet to get a quick fix for something that they should have taken the time to research and write themselves. Although the alternative to writing the research paper seems easy and accessible, the consequences of being caught are devastating to a college career.
One of the most common problems for students is the fact that most of them are just not aware of the issues that surround cheating and the cost that can happen when caught. Today, simple yet effective ways exist on how write your paper without cheating and finding yourself in hot water. The first thing to do is to talk to your instructor. If a student has any doubts about the information he or she is writing and the way he or she is wording it, letting the instructor ahead of time can keep the student moving in the right direction.
Another tip is to have them give you the guidelines for properly citing your sources for the paper. Next is organization. Allow yourself enough time to research and write your paper. Set yourself a schedule. Students often use a schedule to plan out days, weeks, and even months, why not set a schedule on writing your paper. Once you have done that stick to the schedule. Sometimes life can lead you away, however, the sooner you get back on track the better.
When researching your paper start by planning. Planning how to combine information you have taken from sources and your own thoughts on the subject. Understand how to make others statements your own, and if you need to use a phrase or quote, make sure you cite it properly. Failing to cite can become costly according to Larry Neumeister (Parker, 2008) he stated, “An author who claims Jerry Seinfeld’s wife plagiarized her book has sued the wealthy couple.” Another step is to make sure you take notes. Note taking can be the difference between a passing grade and a poor grade.
Many effective ways are available to take qualitative notes; at they reference a few. They stated that many problems could arise from poor note taking including improper citations and misquotations, which is a form of plagiarism. They listed several ways to avoid this misunderstanding. They suggested using different colored fonts, pens or pencils for each source and make sure that you can clearly separate your sources from your own ideas. They also suggest that you record page numbers and bibliographic information or web site addresses (Preventing Plagiarism, 2007).
In conclusion here is a breakdown on how to write your paper when you have accomplished all that needs to be accomplished beforehand. Always cite your sources. If you for any reason have any doubts about the information, cite it. Make sure you have plenty of your own thoughts within the paper. Even though you cite all the information your instructor may have a problem with the paper being purely written from the sources you cited.
Additional checkpoints include making it very clear who said what. Clearly allow the reader to make a distinction between your ideas and your sources. You should also make sure you understand how to paraphrase. When you change just a few of the words, ideas, or punctuation that does not make the information you gathered yours. Try to make the sources you are using support your ideas within the paper.
Lastly, always validate and evaluate your sources. Make sure the information is accurate, not all web sources are correct. Check the authenticity of the author; you can do this several ways, check to see if they have written anything else. You can also check blogs. Blogs are becoming very helpful. Almost everyone has a blog on something.
If the research is on something common the chances are a blog exist with several opinions, which can be very useful in determining whether or not the author or article is valid. If you are still unsure about the quality of your paper, most colleges have tutors who will check your paper and let you know where the problems may be.
With these steps offered in this paper students can help safeguard themselves from academic shame and embarrassment. Ultimately the responsibility is up to the individual to choose between making the right decision and making the wrong decision. A cost is associated with cheating that extends far beyond the dollar amount. Some of the rewards for upholding ethical responsibility are peace of mind and gratification.


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