We have all heard it from our instructors: plagiarizing is a serious matter that is not to be taken lightly and will result in discipline.
Many students roll their eyes when it comes to this topic because they think they know the ground rules. Some, however, are clearly mistaken.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of plagiarism is to “steal or pass off words as one’s own, to use another’s work without crediting the source, and presenting an idea derived from an existing source.”
Students waiting until the last minute to write their English essays or research papers often find themselves in a frenzy that sends them pouring over countless websites searching for a quick way to finish.
It is very easy for students to copy and paste information they have gathered off a website, paraphrase it and take credit for it in their essays as their own. Some even feel simply changing a few words here and there is acceptable. They figure it’s only one sentence and the chances of getting caught are slim. After awhile, one sentence becomes four, and four becomes an entire paper of plagiarism.
Technology has made it possible for students to look up virtually anything with the click of the mouse, making resource materials such as encyclopedias and other books a thing of the past.
Many students will not even cite a source out of a book unless required by an instructor for the assignment because the Internet is much more convenient.
Another problem is many students do not take the time to check if the information they are searching for is credible.
Websites such as Wikipedia online Encyclopedia allow articles to be submitted and edited by anyone, making it very easy to gather inaccurate information.
Most instructors would rather accept a paper that is primarily cited material than one they must painstakingly search through for plagiarism.
If more students would be honest in writing their papers, they could not only produce a better-written paper and learn more, but also make things easier on the instructor and themselves.
If it didn’t come from your mind, cite it. It’s not that hard. Your instructor and your grade will thank you.