Arguably, in most cases students and other professionals use wrongly sources by failing to recognize them. Plagiarism is among the most debated topic, especially in online classes and online writing. There are numerous definitions of plagiarism, but all stream down to equal general principles (Putman, 2009). Plagiarism therefore, refers to presenting a material that was taken indirectly or directly from the effort of someone else and not acknowledging it at all. This implies that as professionals and students we should not use ideas, words, thoughts and language of other writers without evidently showing where they come from as well as whose they are. Writers plagiarize either accidentally or purposefully without giving credit to the owner. It is a total show of unprofessionalism and dishonest.
Perhaps there are numerous and complex reasons why students plagiarize their work. Students in most case plagiarize their work due to lack of skills to carry out research especially information search in databases, library catalogue, journals, articles and other online reference sources. Many students don’t have any on critical evaluation of Internet sources which in turn affects students writing and entire research process.
Gilmore asserts that students always confuse between paraphrasing and plagiarism. Most students try to paraphrase but they face lots of difficulties when it comes to technical terms and unfamiliar vocabulary. Most psychological research indicate that students utilizes simple writing techniques that result to plagiarism, others use advanced articles and text hence lacking appropriate cognitive resource. Moreover, students plagiarize due to confusion of terminologies.
In most cases students are very lazy and unorganized researching on the task given. Hence, they copy what other people have done in the past so as to meet their deadline. In addition, those who try to research take notes carelessly during the preliminary stage of research. Tasks given to students lack consistency in the referencing styles, hence using different types of citing technique becomes a problem to students (Gilmore, 2009). Other factors that trigger students to plagiarize include pressure from teachers and family members, lack of personal confidence on assignments, misunderstanding of key concepts, student ethics, co-modification of education and attitudes towards plagiarism.
Students can plagiarize their tasks in two ways, this are intentional and unintentional. Intentional plagiarism occurs when knowingly the student submits tasks that are not their own. One of the most blatant forms of deliberate plagiarism is buying of research papers that are pre-written from the Internet. Additionally, it involves inventing sources and attributing it to oneself so that the ideas and thoughts look credible. Some other ways of committing this form of plagiarism is by handing in your classmates work without or with his knowledge, using the translation services online, copying articles and essays, fabricating quotations and cutting as well as pasting without quoting.
On the other hand unintentional form of plagiarism is committed by students unknowingly or accidentally. Students in this case use ideas and words of other people but does not acknowledge because they are not acquainted on how to. Examples in this scenario include inaccurate citation, simple paraphrasing, using peoples idea without acknowledging the originality along with copying peoples passage and making it part of your work without giving credit. Despite accidentally plagiarizing, it still counts to plagiarism and all these types will lead to school sanctioned penalty (Gilmore, 2009).
As students citing your work is very important. As a matter of fact citation is an acknowledgment and a signpost. It both reveals the indebtedness to a source as well as the location. Citation of work can be done in different ways, depending on the instructions given. Importance of citing are: - The entire currency of any academia is ideas, hence citing it shows honor ship to the pioneer of the idea. Secondly if students don’t cite their work they will be violating the rights of the initiator of idea.
Furthermore, citation enables the academics to trace genealogy of various ideas. For example, when a student shouts your idea in class he gets credit from the professor and you don’t, same feeling applies to those who are not acknowledged. As an example, if one is using APA format he includes the pages, in this case he will be improperly citing, a page is not required because direct quotations have not been used. Improper citation will lead to plagiarism; this is because it is very difficult to trace the source of your work. Proper citation of text will act as a road map to your instructor on the source of information, and to critically and convincingly demonstrate that you are not cheating. If students are unsure on which citation format to use, it is advised that you check with your lecturer and familiarize with all types (Macqueen, 1998).
During citation each document must have same format of citation. For example, if it is the all document must be cited in APA format. In most cases direct quotes should be avoided, they are problematic. Meaning and the context may be altered; in addition, the writing style of the author may not fit the format of your paper. When students use quotations it does not indicate any degree of understanding the original source as well as breaking the flow of the paper.
Paraphrasing as a matter of fact lead to plagiarism, students think that by paraphrasing they understand and present other peoples work, that is not the case in fact they are using genuine author’s words. The best strategy to paraphrase could be to read the authors work and write in own language and understanding (Macqueen, 1998). Common knowledge refers to information that is alleged to be shared by people from a particular city, institution, nation, religion, academic discipline, and professional. It can also be knowledge that educated individuals can find so easily and understand. Over citing is particularly appropriate, this is because it shows that students are acknowledge each and every statement that they write. Plagiarism should be avoided because it is immoral and shows a high degree of dishonest.
Putman, W. (2009). Legal Research, Analysis and Writing. New York: Wiley.
Gilmore, B. (2009). Plagiarism: Why it Happens, How to Prevent it. London: Heinemann.
Macqueen, C. (1998). Getting Ahead in Tertiary Study. Wales: University of New South Wales