Free «What is Plagiarism?» Essay Sample

Plagiarism is regarded as the submission of another person’s authored materials but presented as a student’s own work. It normally occurs in situations where such submitted materials are either copied or paraphrased in non-verbatim or verbatim forms without acknowledging the text source. Furthermore, it can also be referred to as the students’ submission of materials that have already been conditioned on editorial revisions by other personalities which results into substantive major alterations or changes in contents of the writing styles coupled with improper acknowledgements of the sources of essays, presentations or papers (Gilmore, 2008). Thus, plagiarism is ideally something that is by all means not accepted, condoned or respected in every aspect of education, since it robes an individual of the learning experience that could have been gained in doing an assignment.   

Why students plagiarize

More often than not, the overwhelming feeling s that students do have often drives them to plagiarize their coursework or assignments. For instance, it has always become difficult for students to juggle the several class demands, and equally have satisfying social lives. Moreover, most students do constantly experience tremendous anxieties about writing their research projects as well as accomplishing their assignments. On the other hand, a majority of students who plagiarize are often in pursuit of degrees, and not education. As a result, the pressure put on them to maintain high GPAs by their respective administrations, leave them with no choices but just to find the ready sources for their coursework (Gilmore, 2008).



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Students do also plagiarize their work due Lack of adequate research skills besides the fears and feelings that their own writings could not be up to standards. Additionally, students poor time management abilities, and the thrills of beating the systems, makes them believe that everyone does it and so, they equally not exceptional. Finally, there are always confusions between paraphrasing and plagiarism, and the students believe that copying and combining materials from several sources imply research, not plagiarism.

Intentional and unintentional plagiarism

Basically, intentional plagiarism often occurs when the researchers or writers have prior information or knowledge that they are deliberately passing off another person’s ideas, research work or words as their own (Gilmore, 2008). For example, the most blatant and easiest form of intentional plagiarism to detect is the purchase of prewritten research papers or study work scripts through the internet or via the mails.

Contrary, unintentional plagiarism always occur when the researches or writers fully utilize ideas, research work, or words of other personalities but in return fall short of giving credits or fail to literally quote, possibly  for the reason that they do not make out how that happens (Gilmore, 2008). Thus, it is advisable that when students are in doubt, they have to check with the teachers or librarians. An example is where a student poorly paraphrases just by changing some words devoid of altering the sentence structures of the original work or even altering the sentence structures but not basically the words.

The importance of citing

Basically, citations help in showing the material sources and the derived ideas from another person’s work. As applicable in most writing, it is necessary to eliminate cases of plagiarism since the quotes or ideas applied can be traced from their origins (Gilmore, 2008). An improper citation entails omission of some relevant author’s information such as the surname, date of publication or page numbers.

Direct quoting

When carrying out a research study, if the researcher opts to use another person words or ideas, such materials should be made alike to the original work.  Hence, to avoid plagiarism, a writer may copy the exact material as it emerges from the source but utilize it by employing an ellipsis (….) or brackets […..] in order to clarify the passage meaning or pronouns antecedent other than interpreting the quotation. Therefore, in direct quoting, the brackets and ellipses are used sparingly to avoid altering the original meaning (Gilmore, 2008).

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In paraphrasing, individuals put a passage or passages from the material sources into their own words. Paraphrases ought to be in line with the original sources despite the fact that a paraphrased material often appear to be shorter in comparison to the novel passage, taking to some extent the broader segments sources, and slightly condensing it.


Basically in citations, when a writer or a researcher uses another individual’s exact words, information or ideas, it is imperative that such information sources must be properly documented in reference to the standard system certification. Failure to document such sources is what amounts to plagiarism. Hence, in citing sources, whether the materials are summarized, paraphrased or quoted, is a requirement that the author’s names, year of publication and probably page number are cited in the parentheses to show where the materials first appeared (Gilmore, 2008).

Expressing another's ideas

This entails condensing another person’s main ideas or information from the source, and putting them in your own words. It differs from paraphrasing in that an individual might condense a whole page or a paragraph from a given source into just one or two sentences. They are significant if an individual feels that the writer has made significant points that are deemed relevant when applied in his or her work, but in return, develops the ideas over several pages or paragraphs.

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Common knowledge and whether it is better to under-cite or over-cite

Common knowledge is basically the communal understanding of the available information within a designated area that no particular personalities can fairly justify and claim to own.  For instance, the ordinary ways of talking about common knowledge may involve saying that most educated individuals know how to find out a word easily from a dictionary or an encyclopedia. Both over citation and under citations are considered not worthy in common knowledge since it is presumed that knowledge is within many sources and is likely to be common, hence should not be cited (Gilmore, 2008).  


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