Why Do People Commit Plagiarism?
February 10, 2008
Why Do People Commit Plagiarism and How Could They Prevent it?
Using or passing off someone else’s ideas, inventions and writings is what plagiarism means according to the Grolier New Webster’s Dictionary. Plagiarism is not having originality. A person who plagiarized cannot be called as a writer (essay writer or paper writer). Plagiarism is copying of other’s words without even crediting the source or even knowing if the one copied was understood. While analysis is the interpretation of what you have understood. Analysis of the topic is what someone should consider first before being a good writer. The writer should know how to discuss the topic or the work that he have done. It is not enough that you finished doing it, what is more important is how you present or understand it.
Plagiarism is like budding. Budding means “to engraft or to insert a bud of one variety of tree or shrub under the bark of another stock”. Meaning, a part of one plant is just combined with a part of another plant producing a new one. But the one produced is just a combination of the two sources. Just like plagiarism, combining of different facts owned by others. Both may improve the original or the source but it is still an exact copy of the different sources joined together.
There are different possible ways of plagiarism. One of which is copying the exact ideas owned by someone else without giving any credit or citation. This is important if the writer wants to borrow or use others words and ideas. A citation is significant because it is the way of telling to the readers that a certain idea came from another source. This is also to give the readers more information like where to find the source for further research. It should include information about the author, the date, name and location of company that published, title of the source including also the exact page(s). Following this, one may not be accuse of plagiarism. But the writer must be very careful with the information that he/she will write in the citation. Giving incorrect information about the source is also a form of plagiarism. It does not mean that once you have your citation, you are not plagiarizing because if the majority of one’s work came from his/her source, it is also plagiarism.
Students are the one fondest of plagiarizing and they have their own reasons for it. First in the list is the lack of time. Students do not know how to manage time. They are not aware of the extent of work and put it off until the last minute lacking time for original work while others do not trust their own capability. Instead, they get insecure of the work of those professional ones. As they read the professional’s work, they think that they lack knowledge to come up with as good as their work. And all students aim for a high grade. They tend to focus with what grade they will receive. They do not care whether they learn something from it. Others tell that not only they are doing it. They are tempted to do so since other still get a grade or are not punish by doing so without any effort. Even those very responsible students tend to plagiarize also. It is because they are afraid of getting a low grade. For them it is unfair that other will get a higher grade by plagiarizing. It seems that their effort is useless. The students did not even find time to analyze their topic since their professor did not require for a presentation of it. Students should put in mind that what’s more important is how they develop their own style of writing and how they understand the topic.
Knowing all those causes, writer may easily prevent plagiarism. Always become aware of the reasons of plagiarism, poor planning. One effective way is to have a process of doing it; like having those note cards or outlines scheduled on a specific dates to help them organize their time. This may also help them to finish their topic on time with ease. More important is to know the proper forms of citation. Planning your essay or paper may also prevent you from plagiarizing. Meaning, the writer should know when to start discussing his/her own ideas. And the writer should also highlight what are his/her own ideas which are supported by the ideas borrowed from his/her source. Having an outline first may help. Do not just write ideas taken from other sources, it should be balance with your own ideas.
Paraphrasing does not always prevent plagiarism. You must change not only the word itself but also the structure of the sentence of the original without changing its content. Paraphrasing is also to lessen the quotations in your paper. It is also more advantageous to put the facts from other sources which you know will support your own ideas to make it more valid. Remember, even a small part copied without citation is plagiarism. You have committed plagiarism anytime you borrow from the original source without proper credit.
Before starting a certain topic, make sure that you understand it. Developing your own abilities is what important. Most of us focus only with the result of their work. But the truth is the grade or praises don not matter if you don’t have any skills to show for them. The writer should not only focus with the content of the research paper. A significant part is how they give the correct information of their sources. So it is better if the writer will pay attention first making bibliographies of his/her sources before writing. By this, the writer will focus with the sources and will give the correct information. Citing sources do not make your work less original. This instead helps you distinguish your ideas from the original source. It also emphasizes that what you have done is your own ideas.
Catching those students who plagiarize may stop other to start practicing plagiarism. Plagiarists must be tolerated. Anyone with basic knowledge may find information from other sources, they should just be careful with what they will do with that information.
To prevent plagiarism, be aware of all its causes and effects. We may borrow others ideas, but make sure that it is only used as support for your own idea. It is your own idea if you are able to present, discuss and interpret it.