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What is Academic Plagiarism and Why Students Plagiarize
Students and teachers alike have always had problems as far as originality and consistency is concerned. The problem is even more severe when it comes to students, who most of the times are usually under pressure to deliver on multiple assignment fronts. They tend to have a misconception of what a perfect essay should contain, and end up delivering work that is utterly unacceptable by both academic and professional standards. This is because they end up plagiarizing.
Plagiarism can be defined as the use of non original content in one's work, without giving credit to the original owner of the work. In students' quarters, it can be defined as 'copy pasting' of copyrighted information without acknowledgement of the author. Plagiarism is a big crime, actually the biggest crime in writing, since it can be equated to intellectual theft.
There are various reasons as o why students choose to plagiarize their work, and this is not tied to their benefit, rather, their convenience. A student might decide to plagiarize as a result of the pressure to deliver quality work within a short period of time. Sometimes, laziness might cause a student to simply open a number of sources, and plagiarize. Most of these students are usually oblivious of the fact that the sources from which they copy the work, such as websites, books, journals and articles, are usually part of the worldwide web, which can easily be synchronized and the information found .In fact there are a number of software that can help in searching the web for any unoriginal combination of work.
There are various ways of avoiding plagiarism in writing. The first thing to do is to implement the use of quotations and citations for any work that one uses, that belongs to a different author. This would be a great method of avoiding plagiarism, since it clearly shows that one has acknowledged using a different author's work, in his work. There are various citation styles that one can use, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA).
The second method is through proper paraphrasing. This is whereby one rewrites the details of the work in a completely different way, using his own words, quite different but same n meaning to the original text. It should however be noted that paraphrasing on its own can be plagiarism ,if it doesn't incorporate proper citation as well .Paraphrasing is supposed to be very thorough, so as to ensure that there is no similarity between one's own words and those of the original document.
One's work should incorporate a lot of the student's own content, with a little of the cited sources, and not the other way round. The excessive use of quotations, however proper they are, still constitutes plagiarism since the student indicates that he or she doesn't have creativity.
For instance, the below excerpt is a poor application of citation;
"Plagiarism is the use of non original content without acknowledgement of the owner (Moore 2003)." "It is very vital to recognize the sources of the original work (Moore 2003)."
It can be corrected by being put this way;
"Plagiarism is the use of non original content without acknowledgement of the owner (Moore 2003)." Most students need to realize this is a serious crime in writing, and do the necessary to avoid it. "It is very vital to recognize the sources of the original work (Moore 2003)."
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