When plagiarism takes place in the hands of another, the author of the source is left victimized.
Plagiarism is when an individual decides, “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use without crediting the source” (Merriam Webster). Often times, individuals may plagiarize without being fully aware that they are doing so. As many times this occurs, there are ways to prevent plagiarism from occurring. In addition, there are also methods to make sure that your work does not infringe the literary right of others. To start off, many students may plagiarize without fully being aware that they are doing so.
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For example, if a student was assigned a writing assignment over the literary novel, Great Expectations, it would first be important for that individual to read the actual novel. The actual novel would be considered a primary source. Now, because most works of olden literature are difficult to understand, it is ok to refer to a secondary source. A secondary source would be considered a source that provides a secondhand view, or knowledge of the primary source. Examples of these secondary sources would include textbooks, scholarly articles, online book summaries, and literary analysis. When the writer is producing their work, and they write the secondary source as their own, a case of plagiarism has occurred.
The reason behind this is because the writer has “stolen” the original work of the publisher. Plagiarism is an infringement of rights for the original author, and even phrasing parts of the original source would be considered a theft. Even putting into your own words the work of another is still consider plagiarism because it was not your own original idea. To provide a metaphor of the situation two individuals, Jack and Jill, want to open their own individual lemonade stand. To do so, they must first create their own secret recipe that will attract customers. Let’s say Jack created a near-perfect recipe of the lemonade, and Jill stole his recipe, and took credit for it as she sold her product. Jill would be stealing a personal work that Jack has spent the time to create.
Similarly, when writers take the credit of another persons’ work, they are stealing and infringing upon the rights of the author. Most people do not see the moral issue of plagiarism when conducting the action. What makes plagiarism morally wrong is the fact that the writer is stealing the hard work of another. In the case for students, using the work of others allows them “get by” in their coursework. It is ok to look towards other resources, but when some individual benefits from plagiarism, they often times take for granted the purpose of these resources, and the amount of time the writer had put into that work. Plagiarism is a form of stealing, and morally it is wrong to plagiarize a work that someone has spent the time and effort to do so. No individual should ever plagiarize, and if they need help there are plenty of resources to go to.
Plagiarism can be easily avoided through several ways. First, there are resources and help available to those who may not understand the assignment or the source. My first recommendation would be to talk to your professor or teacher. Often times, these individuals will give you guidance as you begin the assignment. As the person who creates the project, or homework, they have full knowledge of what the assignment constitutes and the factors that it needs to have. If you are hesitant about approaching your professor, or teacher, then look towards written or online resources. With today’s age in technology, databases such as “Gale” allow students to read other secondary resources to get guidance.
These databases are extremely useful for both professors and students alike. However, this is where the case of plagiarism most often occurs. When reading other sources for help, and using any form of their idea or work into your paper, it is important to cite the source. This could be done with MLA guidelines and a “Works Cited” page.
It is important to cite the sources correctly so that your professor has an indication of the legitimacy of the source. Finally, another way plagiarism could be avoided would be to use a plagiarism checker online, or have peer review. Many websites today provide a “checker” that scans through your document in order to find any phrases or works that might be too similar to the original author. In addition, it would also be helpful for the individual to get their peers to read the paper to check for any indications for plagiarism.
If a person is not sure, the best thing to do would be to report to your teacher and ask for help. The act of plagiarism could be easily avoided if individuals took the necessary precautions and steps to prevent it from occurring. Plagiarism has a long-lasting impact on not only the student, but on the writer as well.
In addition to the immoral percussions it has on the writer in terms of stealing, plagiarizing another work is unfair to the other students. With this act, students are given the opportunity to cheat their way through a course. This would be unfair towards other students, who especially took the time and effort to get the assignment done properly. Especially when it comes down to grades and GPA, plagiarism is an act that hurts other students. Even if it doesn’t directly impact the plagiarizer, it has a long-lasting impact upon others.
Those who plagiarize also hurt themselves in the process. The purpose of these assignments and writings is to help the student progress in the course. With plagiarizing, these students are only taking a step back, and hurting themselves from fully understanding the lesson or concept at hand. Earning an “A” fairly has a different feeling from cheating for that “A”. Plagiarism hurts everyone involved, but it mainly damages the moral attitudes of the writer.
In addition, it also destroys the trust within the professor as they reach the realization that their student is incapable of doing their own work. Professors typically have a clear indication if their student has plagiarized. First by grading their peers work, and secondly by the style of writing the individual has brought forth. For example, a high school student style of writing is going to be drastically different from a professional literary analyzer. In addition, professors also have access to plagiarism checkers that allow them to catch the student in the act. There is no excuse for plagiarism, and the best way to prevent hurting others is to not plagiarize at all. Even if it is just a simple homework assignment, copying off the work of others is unfair.
For people who put the time and effort into their work, they should not give it to the hands of others. These individuals allow plagiarism to occur, and it would be unfair if the person they allowed to copy received a higher grade than the person who did the assignment. Plagiarism also has negative impacts for the writer. If a student were to get caught plagiarizing at a university or school, they face a multitude of risks. One of the most drastic risks they take is receiving academic expulsion.
In a college atmosphere, plagiarism is an act that is just simply not allowed. It is looked down upon on, and the individual puts their college degree at risk, and their membership into the university. When students attend college, or participate in honor classes at school, they sign a contract or agreement that plagiarism will simply not occur. When the individual gets caught, they are faced with several repercussions that is just simply not worth going through for a process that could be easily avoided. For students who are offered scholarships and grants, it is not worth losing all the money for an assignment that could be done with time and effort.
For all the work a student must put in, in order to even receive an offer, it is not worth losing because of laziness. It is important to denote that anyone can plagiarize, and that it does not always have to be limited to writing papers. Plagiarism has also occurred in speeches, business, and even through the media. A high case example of plagiarism involved Melania Trump who had used parts of previous First Lady, Michelle Obama, speech verbatim.
Even in business through ideas that have already been patented, or in the fashion industry where designs have been copied, plagiarism takes place through many forms. Even through the media outlets such as YouTube, many video creators’ will steal other people’s idea, or use a song without the singer’s permission. Plagiarism can be taken place through a variety of forms, however, despite how it is done the end result is still the same. For high case profiles such as politicians, to just a simple small town high school student, plagiarism is morally wrong, no matter how it is conducted. With all the embarrassment and moral wrongdoing that plagiarism comes with, it is easier to do the work yourself.
In conclusion, plagiarism is an act that have a lasting impact upon others, and especially upon the individual. As easy as it is to plagiarize one’s work, it is not worth the risk and repercussion that it comes with. Some of those risks include academic penalties, and losing the trust of others. Morally, plagiarism is wrong, and it is important to recognize the signs of plagiarism and how to prevent it from occurring. There is no excuse for plagiarism, considering the multitude of resources the student/individual has before them. Plagiarism can happen through a variety of forms, but no matter how it is conducted, it hurts the creator. Laziness and carelessness should not deter a person from putting in the effort to complete the assignment.
Plagiarism can easily be avoided, and as a student it is important that we spread the message to others about this topic. It is important for everyone to know about this forthcoming issue, and how to prevent it before damage takes place.