What is Plagiarism?
Forms of Plagiarism
Detection of Plagiarism
Accidental vs. Intentional Plagiarism
You're doing great! While plagiarism is a serious offense, some forms of plagiarism are accidental. Accidental plagiarism results from not understanding how to use sources and how to document them. However, some forms of plagiarism is intentional. Let's look at both forms.
In this section, you will learn to identify:
- forms of accidental plagiarism;
- forms of intentional plagiarism;
- reasons why student plagiarize
plagiarism can occur when students do not fully understand what documentation
is and how to do it. Here are some examples:
Papers written from source materials which are never
mentioned in the text and are not listed in a bibliography or works cited
page are plagiarized. All writers are required to give credit where credit
Papers which have references to sources in the text but
no bibliography or works cited page are also plagiarized. One of the purposes
of documentation is to aid readers who wish to study the same subject.
Writers are expected to provide a full bibliographic reference for sources
Papers which have the bibliography/work cited page but
no references to sources in the text are also unacceptable. Writers are
expected to show which ideas came from which sources.
form of intentional plagiarism is "borrowing" a friend’s paper. In
"borrowing," students take another person’s paper, usually with their
permission. They may add a new introduction or conclusion, and, of course,
they change the name. Such borrowing constitutes plagiarism—even if the
student makes significant changes. A "borrowed" paper is not the original
work of the student who submits it. Professors try to minimize this form of
plagiarism by making the actual assignment very specific so that few papers
generated in other courses would fulfill requirements. Also, they may ask
that all the sources for the paper be turned in.
Purchasing Term Papers from Paper Mills
Another form of intentional plagiarism is
to buy a paper from a term paper mill like schoolsucks.com,
monsterpapers.com, essaytown.com, and similar Internet sites. Students
who are new to college life should not be naïve about these sites.
Professors know what these sites are, where they are, and how to determine
if a paper originated from them. No sophisticated technology is needed
to find these sources, and since this type of plagiarism is so obviously
intentional, anyone using these sites should be ready for lots of trouble
and no sympathy.
Internet 'Cutting and Pasting'
Finally, Internet cut and paste is a common
strategy. Students may not realize that they are expected to organize ideas
and write original pieces connecting ideas they have discovered through
research. Instead they follow an organizational pattern they discover in one
of their sources, write their own topic sentences, and then cut and past the
specific information to support the topic sentences. This type of plagiarism
is detected through commercial detection systems.
Reasons Students Intentionally Plagiarize
Intentional plagiarism occurs for many
reasons. These statements from the
Honors Council of Georgetown University cover some of the common
||"I don’t have time to do it right"
"They said it so much better."
"My friend got stuff from the Internet."
"In my country/high school using someone else’s words is ok."
An additional reason is students’ lack of
confidence in their ability to produce the work assigned. Students forget
that the goal is to learn how to write from sources—by actually doing the
writing. No one expects Ph.D level work from a community college student.
The goal of a research assignment is to begin to learn how to do research
and how to do research writing in order to succeed in future college classes
and on the job.
Sometimes plagiarism is
not an accident. This kind of plagiarism includes “borrowing” or buying a
term paper. Intentional plagiarism is also cutting and pasting a paper
together from Internet sources. When these papers are submitted as one’s
own original work, plagiarism has occurred. Reasons for intentional
plagiarism vary, but procrastination and lack of confidence in one’s ability
are probably high on the list of reasons. Start your papers early. Be
confident—you can do it, and you’ll learn a lot in the process.
Intentional plagiarism? Don’t go there. Now, let's click on
Basics in the navigation bar and learn about the basics of handling source material.
Created by: Marilyn Bauer and Jacie
Moriyama for Leeward Community College
November 1, 2004