Plagiarism has had many definitions according to scholars but the most commonly used definition is wrongful and illegal publication of another person’s ideas, thoughts and even expressions and posing this ideas as one’s personal original work (Sabrio, Burchfield, 2008). However, plagiarism cannot be termed as crime involving copyright infringement since the two words portray totally varying concepts. Copyright infringement entails violation of rights of a copyright owner and it is said to occur when the person’s work of art is used without proper consent. On the other hand, the concept of plagiarism comes about when there is false claim of ownership of particular works of art (Sabrio, Burchfield, 2008).
Plagiarism is a good example of academic dishonesty and should be fought hard to discourage it. Academic dishonesty has particularly been rampant in school setup where students lack originality and end up falsifying works (Neville, 2007). In fact, a recent survey conducted revealed that this form of cheating is more common in online writing assignments websites. Administrators have been able unveil some of this scams while others have remained impossible to unveil. Plagiarism would however not be dismissed as a crime but rather as more of a moral offence (Sabrio, Burchfield, 2008).
There must be a motive to something. Similarly, plagiarism occurs for a variety of reasons. To start with, some cheat for demographic or rather private causes. Studies conducted have revealed that students would cheat since their molding has encouraged them to so do so. In addition, cheating is common phenomena among college students (Neville, 2007). It seems fun to some and they end up do it do to peer pressure. There are many other causes as to why plagiarism occurs.
Plagiarism is a vice that can be totally done away with if proper steps are taken. For instance, research papers and assignment should be done within the stipulated time (Neville, 2007). Plagiarism occurs when students think they have time and wait until the last day. Lateness causes panic and consequently results of copying of other people’s work to evade punishment for done work (Marsh, 2007). Another way of avoiding this moral vice is seeking help from the instructor. Whenever one is not sure on how to document or reference research work, a teacher’s help would come in handy. Sources ought to be documented correctly if they are used to encourage originality.
Another effective way of avoiding plagiarism is to avoid succumbing to internet temptations whenever possible. This is necessary since a student could download work from the net and pose to own it. This is dangerous since the teachers and lecturers are well versant with the ability of each student. In addition, materials on the internet are made to be marketable and generic and will not therefore, be quite on the specific topic required. As a result the student could face displinary measures (Marsh, 2007).
Plagiarism can also be avoided by researchers, writers and students familiarizing themselves on how to properly document sources. For instance, footnotes, endnotes as well as parenthetical references are effective ways of recognizing and appreciating an author’s work if one uses it (Marsh, 2007). Another acceptable way of promoting academic honesty is by use of use of quotation marks if an author’s specific words and phrases are used. If one uses from a source and still uses own words it is only fair to document the source since the idea is not original (Bryman, Bell, 2007).
Trying as much as possible to give personal experiences concerning a topic is also another successful way of promoting originality. Proper methods of conducting research ought to be encouraged among students and researchers. There are also soft wares on the internet that help can be used to ensure plagiarism is avoided in works of writing. Example of this soft wares include, grammarly and duplicheker (Bryman , Bell, 2007). Plagiarism is a vice that can be totally eliminated only if people take the personal initiative to promote creativity (Marsh, 2007).
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Bryman A., Bell E.(2007). Business research methods. Oxford: Oxford university press.
Clabaugh G., Rozycki E.G.(2001). Preventing plagiarism and cheating: an instructor’s guide. Oreland: New foundation press.