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Plagiarism in College Work

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Plagiarism takes various forms. A student may cheat doing something as extreme as purchasing a paper, hiring someone to write a paper or turning in a paper freely provided by a friend. Many students unknowingly commit Plagiarism by failing to properly cite their sources crediting the authors. Still others cite, but plagiarize by coping much too much and writing far, far too little of their own synthesized thoughts and ideas. Students must be careful about copying too much. If a paper is mostly other writers’ material, that can be considered Plagiarism, even if the student credits their sources.

What Exactly is Plagiarism?

According to Purdue Owl, Plagiarism “is the uncredited use (both intentional and unintentional) of somebody else's words or ideas.” (Purdue University 2013) Chynette Nealy defines Plagiarism as “presenting someone's words or other creative products as one's own.” (Nealy 2011)

Why Do Students Plagiarize?

College students face a variety of pressures and have a variety of motives that lead to intentional Plagiarism and unknowing or unintentional acts of Plagiarism. Most students plagiarize because they are overwhelmed. Writing assignments require a lot of time and a long thought process which may be a reason students feel overwhelmed at times.

Plagiarism Detection

How do professors know when students plagiarize? One big give away is when poor or mediocre writing gives way to extremely sophisticated writing. It is clear that the same person did not author both. Another obvious clue to an instructor that a paper has been plagiarized through extensive copy an pasting is randomly formatted text perhaps still including blue hyperlinks and/or random text unrelated to the paper topic.

When a professor...

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... built in tools for making proper citations easier than ever. Word 2010 allows you to enter citations and manage sources through the References tab. You simply create a source with the correct information then enter the citation in the precise space.

What is The Impact of Plagiarism?

The impact of plagiarism can be a self-destructive for a student. On the other hand, plagiarism may cause an instructor to feel betrayed and disrespected by a student.

Bibliography

Estow, Sarah, Eva K. Lawrence, and Kathrynn A. Adams. "Practice Makes Perfect: Improving Students' Skills in Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism with a Themed Methods Course." ERIK, 2012: 4.

Nealy, Chynette. "Rethinking Plagiarism." ERIC, 2011: 5.

Purdue University. Overview and Contradictions. June 6, 2013. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/ (accessed Feburary 18, 2014).
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