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Plagiarism, Its Degrees and Strategies to Avoid

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Defining plagiarism is essential during the act of writing and for the reader who may or may not know the standard definition as well. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, to plagiarize is “to steal or pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own”. The basic definition that an average person seems to know, is that plagiarism is stealing someone’s work. Plagiarism has been a problem in school due to the students being fearful, just wanting to complete the assignment and not putting in effort. According to Kappa Online, students plagiarize because “they [the students] are supposed to reproduce what the experts on the topic have said”. “They have difficulty interrogating sources material into their own words.” Plagiarism has a lot more into it than an average person knows. For example, the degrees of plagiarism: what’s blatant and what’s unintentional and how to not to plagiarize.

Blatant plagiarism is a type of plagiarism where the person knows that they plagiarized their written assignment or whatever the case may be. Blatant plagiarism isn’t the base for these writing assignments. It’s based on how the person’s intent. Kessler International, gave students, in college, a survey to see what type of ideas or assistance was used in their work. The results had showed that “42 percent said that they purchased custom term papers, essays, and thesis online.” […] “76 percent said they copied word for word from someone else’s arguments.”. A person aware that they plagiarized is not going make their case any better when the instructor notices. However, blatantly plagiarizing isn’t always the intent, when a student writes a paper, Unintentional plagiarism is then involved.

Unintentional plagiarism occurs because students are either unaware that they plagiarized or forget to take cite whatever sourced they used. Duke University says, “Unintentional plagiarism is about plagiarism that results from the disregard for proper scholarly procedures.” Examples of unintentional plagiarism is paraphrasing a sentence or quote correctly, not citing your sources, and making it seem as if the material was your own. Sometimes, it can take two people to plagiarize. A person may tell a friend what they would put in their essay. An average person would do it to help their friend, yet the other person will take it and use it and not even aware that they have plagiarized all while using their friend’s information. But in most cases, just one person who doesn’t realize and simply forgets to put quotations on information that’s not theirs. Whether a student plagiarizes intentionally or without knowing, plagiarism can be avoided completely.

There are a few strategies when trying to avoid plagiarism. One thing that ties all of them in is attention to detail. The simple strategies are knowing where to put your quotations on any piece of non-original material, knowing how to paraphrase a sentence you are wanting to use and finally, giving credit to the sources you have touched on. When it comes to students giving friends help with whatever they may be writing about hopefully, they enhance the writing by giving advice not by implanting their knowledge and ways on how they would write it. The last step is trying to avoid using someone else’s words and use your own. Not using your words in your writing will only make the teacher look more closely at the writing and he/she will probably realize that the person didn’t use any of their ideas in the piece they are writing. Learning not to plagiarize can positively affect your writing.

Taking everything into account, from blatantly plagiarizing to unintentionally plagiarizing to avoiding plagiarism, being informed on the degrees of plagiarism and avoiding it. Plagiarism can sometimes be a looked away from topic but happens quite often. Now, any average person would go on plagiarism and wouldn’t care nor understand the seriousness of plagiarism but, a student would understand the seriousness of plagiarism. Most colleges do not take the act plagiarism lightly. Plagiarism is not at all worth doing as a college student or any student and if caught doing it can bring consequences like failing the class or expulsion. Plagiarism can be a big problem when writing, but students or anyone must be prepared when the problem arises. If the student or person is prepared and stays away from plagiarizing, it can make difference in their writing.

Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

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