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Definition and Types of Plagiarism

There are many ways of understanding when plagiarism can be unintentional. Firstly, we must develop an understanding of moral development in stage one. That is, we observe if the student understands the rules regarding plagiarism. Usually, students view punishment as a repercussion of breaking rules. Therefore, it is important that rules be established so students do not get into trouble. In stage two, we look at one’s ability to consider his/her actions intentional or unintentional depending on self-interest. For instance, when individuals find it convenient, they can act intentionally or unintentionally when they consider the actions convenient. This happens when individuals utilize their own judgment rather than consider if the action is appropriate. In the third stage, students can plagiarise unintentionally because they want to be the best.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that everyone is prone to mistakes. It is believed that mistakes such as plagiarism occur when the emphasis is placed on the acceptance of such behaviors within certain social groups. This influences our ability to make informed decisions. Moreover, it affects the relationships that we make with others. The next stage enables students to analyze the situation critically before formulating an understanding of what is fair to all and not what is fair to him/her. This final step requires that individuals internalize the doctrine of impartiality although it may clash with their set of laws. For example, this can be illustrated in a mother who withdraws her child from abuse in the United States. It should be noted that such occurrences could happen in the United States but not necessarily in other countries. Moreover, what is just in the United States may not be just in other countries. In this regard, I suppose that plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional depending on the individual cases. This can also depend on the individual’s past knowledge concerning plagiarism.

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Plagiarism is defined as an act of using or closely imitating the language and/or thoughts of other person/persons without authorization/correct representation or without giving credit to the author. According to Webster’s online dictionary, to plagiarise means to “commit literacy theft”. Original thought or idea is usually considered as intellectual property, which is protected by copyright laws. The government helps to protect inventions through copyright laws. Moreover, this helps to encourage more inventions. Plagiarism can take place in many ways. For instance, when a student utilizes another person’s work as if it were his/her own then this is considered plagiarism. Additionally, if the student fails to quote the author’s idea, this also amounts to plagiarism. Furthermore, even though most students think that by paraphrasing someone else’s idea, they can make it their own; this act is also taken to be plagiarism. In the 21st century, it should be noted that paraphrasing could only be allowed if the source is credited. Plagiarism occurs in different types as well as forms. Types of plagiarism, which have been problematic in Universities, include duplicating, among others. Duplicating can be defined as the act of submitting someone else’s idea in a manner that suggests it is yours. In essence, a student would just change the name of the author and present it as his/her own. Another type of plagiarism is one in which a student copies a significant part of the information from the internet and presents it as his/her own without altering or paraphrasing it. Moreover, another type of plagiarism is one in which a student only places intent citation without creating a corresponding reference page. Another form of plagiarism is repetition. This happens when a student copies exactly what he/she has already written earlier in the document in other part/parts of the same document.

Repetition can also occur when a student who has repeated a class submits a copy of the material he had done in the course previously. Once students understand what is meant by plagiarism, it is essential that they avoid presenting plagiarized work to professors. Instead, students should attribute any ideas utilized in a scholarly paper to original authors before submission. This can be achieved by creating a reference page, which lists the sources utilized in the paper. Moreover, this should be accompanied by text citation which can be done through the use of quotations. This acts to show that the idea used belongs to someone else. To avoid plagiarism, students should ensure that they give credit to authors for all ideas borrowed. It is also important for the student to distinguish between his/her own ideas and the author’s ideas when researching from secondary sources. This is important in minimizing unintentional plagiarism, which may occur because of ambiguity in paraphrasing. Nonetheless, when evaluating intentional or unintentional plagiarism, the assessor must explore students’ knowledge on plagiarism. For instance, a freshman with little or no information on plagiarism may rephrase someone else’s idea without giving credit to the author. However, this is considered unintentional plagiarism since the student has no idea of his/her actions. However, a graduate student with vast experience in submitting research papers should know what plagiarism is as well as how proper citations should be done.

In any case, deliberate plagiarism occurs when the writer has full knowledge that the paper he/she is submitting is not fully or partly his own. On the other hand, unintended plagiarism occurs when the writer fails to give full credit to the author for ideas borrowed. An example of intentional plagiarism includes copying someone else work and submitting it as yours. In contrast, an example of unintentional plagiarism includes poor citation or unplanned omission of in-text citation. Plagiarism has consequences. The consequences are laid out to protect authors as well as stop students from plagiarising. The act of plagiarism lowers the ethical standards of institutions it is practiced. Institutions of learning like colleges, schools and universities consider plagiarism very grave. Punishments for plagiarism offenders include the deduction of marks, suspension, expulsion and incarceration, among others. In addition, plagiarism can lead to legal battles if copyright laws are implemented. Individuals should therefore obtain rights enabling them to use properties that are copyright protected. It should be noted that plagiarism occurs when staff, students and faculty are not properly educated on it and how to avoid it.

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