Plagiarism is the unlawful adaptation of one’s ideas, language, or studies and unduly incorporating them in one’s own work. Simply put, it is the inappropriate attribution of other’s writings and passes that off as a one’s own original work. Plagiarism is not only limited to published works and materials, but to speeches, lectures, and similar modes of conveyance as well. Plagiarism occurs when a person fails to give credit where it is due (Anderson 1998).
Students, when making research papers work for school, have to properly give acknowledgment to the author who made the statement, to the publication where the statement appeared, and to the publishing house that printed the book, periodical, or journal. Without doing all these, plagiarism is committed. My personal definition of plagiarism is that it is the act of stealing other people’s views, either published or not, and blatantly say that those are his own creation. It is a direct way of showing disrespect to the person who legally owns the work being copied.
Each person has his own set of ideas, although there are only a few who had successfully placed theirs in formal writing, usually with the intention of sharing their thoughts, while helping other people in the process. It is the unscrupulous individuals who don’t put much regard on published possessions and steal them away, are the ones guilty of committing plagiarism. My stand on plagiarism is very strong – and it is because I was raised in a family where each member was taught how to practice deference to each other.
All our personal possessions, no matter how small they seem to be, are always regarded to be valuable. In our family, stealing is never tolerated. And so as I grew up and started schooling, I continued the practice of giving importance to anything that somebody else owns – including his words and ideas. I strongly believe that if a person fails to recognize the value of something, then he or she could be accused of deteriorating its worth. Plagiarism tool works the same way. It is not wrong to use other’s people ideas, for as long as they are properly quoted.
There are a lot of opinions and theories that took years of studies and researches before proven, written down, and published. And just for the fact that hard work was involved in making them, it goes without saying that the credit coming from the pieces of information obtained from books, journals, and reports should all be given back to its original authors. Plagiarism is never the work of an intelligent individual. From a certain point of view, the person who had committed plagiarism, whether intentionally or not, was reduced into a mere imitator.
And so no matter how talented he is in writing and concocting his own opinions, he will always be carrying the image of a thief. And soon enough, his own ideas won’t matter anymore, for people will flatly assume that those ideas were only copied from some other sources, even if they really aren’t. Simply stated, the person’s credibility is tarnished the moment he commits plagiarism. So for all the people who plagiarize other’s work, either for big projects such as making a reference book or for smaller ones like writing a research paper for school, I would say that now must be time for them to stop.
Not only that they’d get nothing out of it other than disgrace and humiliation, they also have to think about the legal implications associated from doing it. And those are not easy or cheap to face. It is very simple not to commit plagiarism. All a person has to do is to cite the author from which the words or ideas he or she used are taken. Paraphrase clauses instead of directly quoting them down. Start stimulating your own mind and formulate your own thoughts and opinions. Stop relying on other sources but instead, incorporate data that you have uncovered on your own.
Invest time in conducting a research and make sure that you gather all the accurate information necessary for your work (Nist & Holschuch 2002). If you do all these, then there won’t be a need to plagiarize. In turn, you will produce something that people would start appreciating with respect. And if they find your work useful, they would use it in their own papers or books. When this happens, would you not like to be cited accordingly as the person who invested time and effort to make such statements? You certainly don’t like your own writings to be plagiarized. So never do it in any case.