Most simply, plagiarism is intellectual theft. Plagiarism is basically an act of taking an idea, writing, conversation or song of someone else and presents it off as your own. Plagiarism is the use of another work for personal benefit without giving credit to the original source of work with the intention of representing the work as your own. Without proper attribution may be considered plagiarism. Plagiarism can include any type of information like from internet, scripts, television shows, interviews, articles, speeches, blogs or any other source. It is necessary to indicate the source of information within your writing using an internal citation whenever you use take sentences or phrases from any other source. Writing a bibliography in the end of your work is not enough to list the source. Failing to accurately quorate, mention or acknowledge someone else’s words or ideas with an internal citation are plagiarism.
What comes to one’s mind when we think about plagiarism, according to Webster-Merriam’s’ dictionary plagiarism is “the act stealing and passing off (the ideas and words of others) as one’s own” (Webster-Merriam). Webster seems to have left a little something out, plagiarism is not just the act of stealing one’s work, it is also the result of ethical deterioration of academic integrity. In discussion of plagiarism, a controversial issue is whether plagiarism is taken serious enough and what the severity of the outcomes are for plagiarizing. Many people assume the obvious that the consequences of plagiarism result in a letter grade deduction on a paper or a complete zero on the assignment. Moreover, the real consequence to plagiarizing is the deterioration of academic integrity and degeneration of ethics, it follows then the consequences are not taken seriously, and the severity is not even considered.
In recent briefing of plagiarism, a controversial issue has been whether the consequences of plagiarism are taken seriously enough. On the one hand, some argue that plagiarism is becoming a more socially acceptable norm for many students. From this perspective the severity of plagiarism consequences are not seen as serve. Plagiarism, one of the main problems of academic life, is a simple subject to describe, but hard to avoid.
As defined clearly in the dictionary, plagiarism is nothing but stealing someone else’s work. And yes, it is wrong to plagiarize, but most of the people continue to do it. One of the reasons for this is the ones who plagiarize don’t know what plagiarism is. As Evans J. writes: ‘Everyone seems to know plagiarism is wrong, including those who commit the offence, but few know how to completely define it…’ As these people don’t know what plagiarism is, they’re also unaware of the effects of it. It may seem harmless to plagiarize; however, it has devastating effects not only on the committer, but maybe on the ones that are surrounding him.
Focusing on the effects on the plagiarizer, we can start by thinking academically. As the competition between candidates for projects or jobs that require special qualifications is at a high rate, plagiarism is one of the major concerns for falling behind in this race. Using someone else’s work for a report or a project prevents us from gaining new knowledge. By working on a subject of our own, we acquire new skills. And sometimes, our work might not be completely correct. However, failing and making mistakes is good way to learn, because we know what we did wrong. The experience coming from our own mistakes is simply better than high scores.
Lack of knowledge leads to another problem caused by plagiarism, which is the slowing down development. Plagiarizing is taking other’s work, not creating something new. Plagiarism can occur intentional or unintentional. Plagiarism is of many forms. Sometimes it is copying a material from internet for making an assignment or copying information for coursework to get better results. Plagiarism is considered as an act of fraud in the writing world. With easy availability of information plagiarism has become a bigger problem. Many people copy and pastes material from difference sources into their own work without mentioning the source of information.
One of the consequences of plagiarism is expulsion and this can literally ruin a student’s life. This means that students who plagiarize, even if it is only one time, can face being expelled from their college. This could have long-term impacts on the rest of their lives as they would probably find it quite difficult to find another college willing to accept them. Furthermore, it would be mean a lot of wasted time, money, and effort, especially if the student was nearing graduation. Many other colleges, both large and small, take plagiarism very seriously and are not hesitant to punish it with great severity.
At Illinois State, for example, the faculty is much more upfront about the punishment for plagiarism at the college level. In their Official Plagiarism Policy Statement, they say, “A minimum of one year of disciplinary probation is the standard precedent for such violations, in addition to appropriate educational sanctions” (2006). They go on to discuss how the student will not be allowed to drop any classes so that whatever class they plagiarized something for they will certainly fail. It is clear that colleges do not accept plagiarism and work hard to make students aware of what it is by posting these notices about punishments and requiring professors to provide definitions and the fact that action will be taken if it is suspected.
The punishments for plagiarizing are harsh and it would not be worth it for a student to commit plagiarism. One “easy way out” of a paper by plagiarizing could cost a student his or her entire college career. Even if the student is not expelled permanently, all colleges have the right to include details about the student’s academic history on transcripts. These transcripts will eventually go to future employers and will haunt the student for the rest of his or her life. Having a designation that one was kicked out of school (or even put on probation) is not something desirable and thus it should be kept in mind that the punishment does not end with expulsion or probation.