Other People’s Words: What Plagiarism Is and How to Avoid it

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The book, Other People’s Words: What Plagiarism Is and How to Avoid it, has taught me many things about plagiarism. Some of the things this book taught me are the definition and some ways to avoid plagiarism.
Descriptions are made as to what defines plagiarism and ways to avoid plagiarism. “To plagiarize is to take work that is not your own and submit it as your own, without giving credit to the person who created it.” Some suggestions to avoid plagiarism are to keep your notes organized, and to cite whenever you use someone else’s ideas. It is also suggested to summarize, paraphrase or quote your sources. It is not considered your writing if you connect multiple quotes without adding your own ideas or thoughts. The only time you don’t have to cite is when the information you are talking about is common knowledge, or it is about your own life.
One easy way to avoid plagiarism is to just do your own thinking. If you think on your own, and only use things you know for sure, there’s no way to plagiarize purposely. However, if you do plagiarize, then people will not trust you. Not only is it dishonest, yet if you received a degree through plagiarism, not many people would want to be your customer or employer.
I have also learned that the number of kids that plagiarize has increased by 31 percent from 1999 to 2001. The book states that the CAI (The Center for Academic Integrity) found three out of four kids admitted to cheating on a test when interviewed in 2002.
The book lists common excuses for use of plagiarism: “’I was in a hurry’, ‘I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to’, ‘There’s pressure to get good grades’, ‘Everybody else does it’, ‘I mixed up my notes by accident’, ‘Somebody else said it so much better’, ‘I’m not hurting anyon...

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...ies.” In other words, he found many papers that were cheated on. Many students now were facing expulsion from school. The book says the following statement: “After the committee investigated the cases, dozens of students were brought to trial. It should be noted that many of the cases were dropped for various reasons.” Bloomfield said that he was very disappointed in the students who were caught cheating. It also tells us that three students had their diplomas revoked. And 48 students were expelled or left the university on their own.
Over all, this book shows how common and how serious plagiarism can be. It taught me how lives were ruined by plagiarism, and how it can be intentional or accidental. One important difference between the people in these stories and myself is that I get a second chance, and I am very happy that Parish was nice enough to give me that.

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