Plagiarism is the deliberate representation of another person’s words or ideas as own without acknowledging it. This is mostly done in academic work where students submit their assignment which they just replicate the authors of the information. In some contexts, plagiarism is considered as theft from the legal point of view.
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Why plagiarism is an important issue
In academic issues, plagiarism is considered as dishonesty or academic fraud and those who plagiarize should face censure. In workplaces such as journalism, it is considered as breach of the work ethics and those caught plagiarizing may face disciplinary acts that may include termination of their employment contracts. Students may be under pressure of completing their assignment in a perfect and easy manner. They may therefore take advantage of the technology of copying and pasting information form the internet or directly copying from the books (Marsh, 2007).
Ethical problems caused by plagiarism in the area of academic honesty
Plagiarism is theft and theft is morally inappropriate. According to the moral rules, every person should be dealt with in a similar manner. Plagiarizing is therefore breaking the moral laws since one gains pleasure by causing pain to another person. A student may plagiarize and if the lecturer does not notice, he or she gives the student good scores. This person therefore enjoys the benefits at the expense of another person. This student may continue with this dishonesty and may not be productive in the future. Plagiarism is also a violation of the law since the cat is considered unlawful in most countries. For example, in North Carolina, plagiarism or assisting another person to plagiarize is taken as an unlawful act (Anderson, 2005). The act is therefore illegal and immoral.
How to deal with problems of plagiarism
For the students, they can avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing the words of the person and referencing them. Paraphrasing means explaining the idea of that person in own words and not putting them directly. Referencing is an acknowledgment that the idea belongs to the person in reference and this is not considered as plagiarism. Lecturers can use plagiarism detecting software before marking the students work. Those caught with plagiarism should be punished as this will help end the vice (Marsh, 2007).
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