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What is plagiarism and what are its effects?

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  • What is plagiarism and what are its effects?

    With the advent of the internet, it has never been easier to commit plagiarism. It can be pre-meditated or accidental. Accidental plagiarism occurs when proper records are kept when the source of content and ideas are not referenced or through simply forgetting to insert quotation marks.

    International Career Institute tutors are alert and familiar with plagiarism as are most other tutors at other education institutions:

    The consequences of plagiarism include the destruction of a students reputation, destroyed professional reputation, and legal consequences (copyright violations).

    In your opinion what are the effects of plagiarism on oneself and on society in general?

  • #2
    Plagiarism promotes laziness.
    You have got to put in the hours of research or else you won't learn a thing. Copying from the internet will limit your critical thinking and your overall academic growth.
    Passing grades are great, but learning things is an even better use of your time.


    • #3
      Plagiarism is a pretty understated problem these days when students even in higher levels will try to complete research papers, review of related literature sections especially, and other wordy requirements for an instant pass. Some would even resort to buying the services of actually achieved people, for example, buying a programming coding set, a working system, a thesis paper writing service, etc.

      In the short term, whoever makes it past these, may have fulfilled their requirements but when they get to the workplace and start working for the society, that's dangerously risking the people they're going to handle in their professions. It just means, we allowed these individuals to benefit from the hard work and achievements of other actually achieved individuals, and because we did, it risks businesses.

      As an analogy from chess wherein, the pieces are the workforce, and the board is society or the workplace and its goal, we're allowing actual pawns into the board to look like queens or knights or bishops, taking the place of the real ones. The game suffers a bad loss because if the "knight" was a pawn all along, that's one knight short.

      Problem-solving and goal-setting need a clear awareness of one's role in the puzzle. Plagiarism allows deceit, and not the passive sort, rather, the one that is a prelude to damages.


      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        Paying for a thesis paper writing service. Now, that's something that shocked me when a few teachers I know would pay for this service so they didn't have to put the work to get their Masters degree. It's a shameful practice but because they didn't want the hassle and wanted a degree fast to get promoted, they just pay for their thesis paper. It's no surprise that the quality of education is really declining.

      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        I remember someone offered a thesis writing service back in college. Plagiarism is a complete academic dishonesty and a total waste of money if you're paying for it. By plagiarising, you're throwing away an opportunity to hone your skills which you have actually paid for. If you're paying your school fees to gain education and just skip through it through these services, then this totally defeats the purpose of your enrollment after all.

    • #4
      Plagiarism is also premised on 'who published first' and not necessarily 'who thought about it first'. I mean the obvious and literal sense because we are likely responding to a question with identical thoughts and yet only one among us will speak up (or write it down), followed by everyone else agreeing. Does that mean 'ownership' by the first-to-speak? Sticky isn't it.

      In any case, borrowing the words of another is a matter of honor and honesty. Values severely under-appreciated these days dare I say.


      • kdy
        kdy commented
        Editing a comment
        That is why I never really fully understood how plagiarism works. As I understood it, regardless if you paraphrased or summarized or what not, if it contains the same thought, it has to be referenced. If not, then it can still be a case of plagiarism. Does that mean that everything we write should be referenced - only for the reason that almost everything has already been written or published?

      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment

        The core idea in plagiarism is kind of related to how patents in product manufacturing work. Most plagiarists get credit even get funding or payment from ideas or inventions, even other literary works that are word per word, not theirs.

        As for your question: "Does that mean that everything we write should be referenced - only for the reason that almost everything has already been written or published?", I don't think the post intends to impose that everything written, as in everything, should be referenced, and I got lost around the part with "almost everything has already been written or published".

        It may need to revolve around a set context or scope to be clearer cut. The reference section or the referencing habit is in place is so that people that are conducting studies, or reviews of literature or studies can own their studies in the field and get credit for it.

        For example, in scientific journals, a reference section is mostly comprised of multiple citations referencing prior works, labeled as a template for the current study citing these -- like a particular arrangement or connection of many studies leading to the need to experiment.

        And each citation is almost often a result of an experiment itself, whether conclusive or not. In that structure, I doubt that everything has already been published. In literature, however, that is quite likely, but of different order.

        It generally goes back up to the first paragraph. Plagiarism is often a profit-stealing tool for some hard work made by someone else. A lot of writers, fiction or non-fiction and artists have gained millions stealing other works (without doing theirs), and the original creators that created such pieces are left penniless as a result.

    • #5
      It is so easy to search and get a hit on anything that is copied or ripped off nowadays. Before it took some time before someone could piece it together by comparing printed materials first word for word if needed. Now, one can just enter specific search phrases or words and the internet will search for it! It also helps in putting reference or source if someone wishes to quote or use specific information. Even websites can get shutdown if someone reports that their work got ripped off. CTTO is the best way to go.


      • JerryYan
        JerryYan commented
        Editing a comment
        This is the other side of advancing technology in the way research and facts should be used. Given all these resources, we are all responsible to put in our share of effort to ensure the information we put out for others to also see is valid and sourced the right way. Not just for credit but also to give importance to the whole picture of how information we give out has come about.

    • #6
      Since the first time we were instructed to create a report in school, it is a general rule to never plagiarize. We were taught how to properly reference, cite, and even create a bibliography. I think it is just a fair practice because it takes so much time and effort to publish research or any work. When I wrote my own research paper, I find other authors respectful of other's works whenever they cite and reference their original sources. Just like videos and music, we cannot really freely use those media because it is copyrighted.

      Aside from the consequences that you'll get in school, there are far more consequences in the real world if you get used to this practice. I agree with jcoppi29 , you may be able to get through without being caught but it will be instilled in your practices and it will be a big problem when you bring it to your professional career. It creates a greater danger in the long term.
      Last edited by mjmnl; 05-20-2020, 07:27 AM.


      • #7
        To understand the concept of plagiarism better, one should seek to learn its history. The context of plagiarism was first used in around 80AD where poets are able to recite the works of other poets. During this time, a certain poet was taking credit from somebody else's work. This poet whose works are not being cited is known as Martial. Since there were no courts to go to at that time, he (Martial) decided to write poems about this author who takes credit from his work and called him plagiarus which means a plunderer, robber, or kidnapper.

        Fast forward to modern times, rules in plagiarism are meant to protect the rights of the authors from other people who try to copy their work and possibly take credit or earn from it. It is true that people may have the same idea, however, one can express them in many different ways. Also, plagiarism usually affects academic and professional works. This is to protect the authors or original creators of the work from others who try to copy or "steal" their ideas. Plus, it is not so hard to do your own research nowadays. Referencing is even easier.

        For common ideas like sayings, quotes, and the likes, these are given more slack when it comes to plagiarism. But, if you know the origin of the popular quote or saying, it is best to cite the author in your work. It's not just the consequence of plagiarism. Rather, it is your character. As one has mentioned here, honesty and honor. These are characteristics that define you as a person and as an author. Why would someone believe your work if you can't even be bothered to cite your references?

        Here is a brief explanation of plagiarism: It's not much but it explains plagiarism in a very basic way that is easily understood.

        You can also check out this article and find out about the brief history of plagiarism and why it is important:
        Last edited by Lou; 05-20-2020, 08:40 AM.


        • #8
          For his final paper for this term, my 11-year old son was assigned to submit a paper on plagiarism. So he did the paper and made me read it to check for errors.

          Lo and behold. It was plagiarized work. I knew from the first sentence that my son did not write it. He fessed up that he copy-pasted it.

          I explained plagiarism to him in the simplest way. Plagiarism is stealing other people's work and passing it off as his own,

          So he wrote his paper, this time all his words and work. It ended up as a confession of what happened and the lesson he learned that you get punished for stealing.


          • JerryYan
            JerryYan commented
            Editing a comment
            You got to your son and you both came out winners. That alone makes the event precious. I can relate as my nephews often sound off thoughts that they will copy-paste for their essays to 'make it easier' only to find out that they just could not find the right 'fit'.  So I always put in the thought that 'maybe it is actually easier to say what you think'... hasn't failed too!

          • Kamille
            Kamille commented
            Editing a comment
            Plagiarism is an academic crime. Its a great thing you caught your son and educated him as soon as you saw it. Its this little things that can help us avoid plagiarism.

        • #9
          I recently watched this Thai series in Netflix entitled "Girl from Nowhere". It is a very interesting show that tries to reveal the misdeeds and injustices around school and episode 3 is about plagiarism. A student wanted to be part of the top students or who they call "geniuses". She went on, searched for someone else's work, tweaked it a little then submitted to their professor. She was praised for her work and took credit on all of it. Time came when she has to show off her "skills and talent" and there's nothing she can prove. This is one of the consequences of plagiarism. Using other people's work will get you in trouble and may damage your credibility. Apart from this, there are still a lot more and you may end up behind bars.


          • Skye
            Skye commented
            Editing a comment
            I saw that episode, too. I'd rather be mediocre than be a plagiarist. Nanno might come and get me.

          • mjmnl
            mjmnl commented
            Editing a comment
            Taking credit on other people's work, I'd just have to say Goodluck living under that shadow for the rest of their lives.

            I agree with you, Skye. I'm not saying that mediocre is good but it is better than being something that you're not, right? As the saying goes, Practice makes perfect. We can always give time honing our skills and practising our talents. If you really want to excel in a field then you just have to focus on that one alone for the meantime until you achieve the result that you're aiming for. Attend classes (Online classes for now) or watch youtube videos. Do what works for you and believe that you can.