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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)."


    By our guest writers EssayEdge. The Harvard educated admissions essay editors.

    Application Essay Writing 101

    The application is a lifeless thing--a few sheets of paper and a few numbers. The essay is the best way to breathe life into it. - Admissions Officer

    Welcome to EssayEdge’s Admissions Essay writing course. After editing tens of thousands of admissions essays for applicants, we created the ultimate course for students seeking an extra edge in the ultra-competitive college and graduate school application process.

    The course contains six lessons and over 100 pages of content. Each of the lessons should help you with a different portion of the essay. If you have a specific question on essay writing, ask our expert.

    Enter the course by clicking a link below.

    I. Lesson One: Tackling the Question - Start Here!

    EssayEdge Extra: Who's reading my essay?

    A. Question-specific strategies for college, business school, law  school, and medical school application essays

    B. Samples of various types of questions with comments by admissions officers for future goals essays, social / political concern essays, influential person essays, influential achievement essays.

    II. Lesson Two: Brainstorming and Selecting an Essay Topic

    EssayEdge Extra: One essay, multiple applications

    A. Brainstorming worksheet

    B. Selecting a Topic: Do's and don'ts with comments by experienced admissions officers

    III. Lesson Three: Structure and Outline

    A. Descriptions and examples of five popular essay structures

    B. Sample outline and essay

    C. Strategies and examples of short essays

    D. Templates, severe writer's block cure

    IV. Lesson Four: Style and Tone

    EssayEdge Extra: Trimming the Fat - Reducing wordiness

    EssayEdge Extra: Top 10 essay cliches

    A. Sentence variety with exercise

    B. Word choice: Common pitfalls

    C. Transitions: Improving flow

    D. Verbs: Active voice vs. Passive voice

    1. Active or Passive? Verb quiz

    2. Making sentences active voice, an exercise

    V. Lesson Five: Introductions and Conclusions

    EssayEdge Extra: No Introduction?!

    A. Descriptions, examples, and critiques of nine popular styles of introduction

    B. Conclusions: Do's and don'ts

    VI. Lesson Six: Editing and Revising

    EssayEdge Extra: To title or not to title

    A. Paying attention to substance, structure, interest, and proofreading

    B. Actual essay gaffes (funny)

    C. Final steps

    From Essays that will get you into College, by Amy Burnham, Daniel Kaufman, and Chris Dowhan. Copyright 1998 by Dan Kaufman.  Reprinted by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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