In the process of learning and creating new ideas in the institutions of learning, knowledge is founded on previous ideas and experiences drawn from other people. When the new ideas we create are written down, people want to differentiate which are your ideas and the building blocks from which they are based. This is done by citing the sources of your building blocks. When this is not done and the student present ideas of others as their own, it is called plagiarism.
Plagiarism is defined by the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance section II.B.1. as “the deliberate or reckless representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise.” (Plagiarism Par 1). This cheating can result to punishment by the school authorities, course failure or suspension.
Plagiarism in all its forms is a serious offence in institutions of learning and students should take initiative to educate themselves about it. Any work presented for marking in the institutions is supposed to be checked for plagiarism by the professors and reported if such instances are found and an investigation is launched.
A plagiarism policy in the University of Sydney states that “Where an Examiner detects or is made aware of alleged Plagiarism or Academic Dishonesty by a student; the Examiner must report the alleged Plagiarism or Academic Dishonesty to a Nominated Academic” (University of Sydney p. 8).
Once found guilty, a record is made in student’s record and the situation may even lead to expulsion. Another rule on plagiarism is that students copying or using another students work. In this case, both students are guilty since no one should make his/her work available to another student unless under instructions to do so by the instructor (Department of Sociology Para 4).
Plagiarism occurs in many ways some deliberate and others negligent (University of Sydney p. 4). Plagiarism covers the act of presenting ideas that have been used in previous works regardless of how they are expressed without citing.
Failure to cite properly any work copied word to word from works of others whether a few words or segments or paragraphs can result to plagiarism. Nonetheless, extensive copying is unlawful even if cited.
In addition, plagiarism results when everything that is not common knowledge is written without acknowledging the author or the original source. Finally, it is a plagiarism crime to copy word to word works obtained from the World Wide Web or even presenting a whole paper from the internet as one’s work.
There are many consequences of plagiarism depending with the parties involved. For students, plagiarism may result to expulsion from school or temporal suspension. Different colleges and universities have different rules to deal with plagiarism. In some instances the grade of the person is lowered which in other instances, the person is awarded no marks.
Whichever the case, the effect of plagiarism on the life of a student cannot be underestimated. It may mean the end of a persons’ career or even cause a delay that may end up having a great effect on someone’s life.
In a real life situation, plagiarism may carry different charges. According to INFORMS Guidelines for Copyright & Plagiarism Para 12) an author can be banned from publishing his publication for some time if he is caught with plagiarized material. Similarly, if some a person happens to be an employee in an editorial firm, plagiary can result to a dismissal. However, it is important to note that the ad hoc plagiarism committee has the right to impose any type of sanction depending with the level of plagiarism and the prevailing circumstances.
Plagiarism is a serious offence and should be taken seriously by every person in the society. It is a real phenomenon and students are affected once they violate the policies as stated “Every year, students are expelled from Rutgers University for committing plagiarism” (Department of Sociology par 1).
It is however easy to avoid plagiarism as one only requires to avoid using someone’s ideas as his own. Citing is one perfect example of avoiding the same. Several learning institutions have established policies to help deal with the issue of plagiarism which is a major step because students are taught how to avoid it while in school and in future.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. Plagiarism Policy. 2007. Web. 8 September 2010.
INFORMS Guidelines for Copyright & Plagiarism. 2010. Web. 8 September 2010 Plagiarism. 2007. Web. 8 September 2010.
University of Sydney. Academic Board Policy: Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. 2009. Web. 8 September 2010.