This research paper will inform and describe what plagiarism is and how to prevent it. Plagiarism is easily prevented just by having the knowledge of how to do so. It shows how it hurts an individual and how it makes it harder for them to succeed in the long run. This paper also informs you what type of people plagiarize and why they do it. It explains specific methods you can use to prevent plagiarism. Information for this paper has been collected from student manuals, reference books, and websites. Plagiarism is a very common problem but it can also easily be remedied with education of the subject.
What is plagiarism? The University of North Carolina Honor Court (2002) defines plagiarism 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. ” (Instrument of Student Governance, Section II, B, 1. n. d. ). This pretty much means that plagiarism is using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit and saying that they were your own. It is also still plagiarism whether you do it on purpose or not (Instrument of Student Governance, Section II, B, 1, 2002).
So if you didn’t know the information before you started researching, and you put it in your paper without citations, you plagiarized. Plagiarism is illegal and it is also a form of cheating. Plagiarism can ruin a student’s academic future but it is easily preventable if you know how. Plagiarizing doesn’t help anyone! It is disrespectful to your teachers, your fellow students, your school, and to yourself (Baylor Boarding School, n. d. ). Plus if teachers catch someone plagiarizing, they will probably be stricter: kind of like this paper.
They will also have less trust in their students (Hope College, n. . ). It’s not fair for your classmates to do all of the work for a paper while you plagiarize the whole thing and get the same grade (Hope College, n. d. ). Nothing good comes from it either. Like the old saying; cheaters never prosper. That’s why it is important to know what plagiarizing is and how to prevent it. Teachers give you the assignment so that you will learn from it. They want to see what you learned from the teaching; in your own words. They do not want to see what an expert says on the subject, they want to see what you say.
So plagiarizing someone else’s work doesn’t help you or the teacher, because you didn’t learn anything, and the teacher has no idea what you actually learned (Hope College, n. d. ). You learn something by doing it. You make mistakes and learn to fix them the next time. So if you aren’t doing your work how will you learn? It’s pretty much the opposite of what the assignment is supposed to do. By not doing the assignment yourself, you don’t learn anything. You won’t be as creative if you’re always using someone else’s work. How can you be creative if the things that you do are never your own.
This hurts you later on in life too. Employers won’t want to hire anyone that can’t do their own work. If you always need someone else’s help to do something then you won’t help that business. If you plagiarize you will also place less value on the work. You won’t care because you didn’t work on it and there was no effort. If you get the paper back and get a good grade you won’t care. Normally you would at least feel something if you got a good grade. Then next time you will be motivated to get a good grade too. If you haven’t worked on the paper you won’t be motivated next time.
If you can’t get through high school without cheating, how will you ever make it through college!? In college everything is harder. You will have to write longer papers and do even more research to write them. If you can’t do that in high school you will definitely fail in college. Or, even worse, you will get caught plagiarizing and get expelled (Baylor Boarding School, n. d. ). Even if you do manage to make it through high school and college, if you get caught plagiarizing at work it will be even worse. You could get fired, sued, and/or lose your reputation (Hope College, n. d. ). So why would you do it in the first place.
Its better to stop bad habits before they start. People plagiarize for many reasons. Maybe they didn’t think ahead and waited until the last minute to do the paper. Maybe they are just too lazy to do the assignment. Maybe they need to get a good grade or a good response (Harris, R. , 2009). Maybe they just don’t know that it’s bad or how to properly prevent it. It doesn’t matter what their reason is, it can still get them in serious trouble. Anyone can plagiarize. College students, high school students, honor students, failing students, journalists, novelists, and even comedians! It’s easy to do too, especially with the internet.
More resources than you will ever need can be found on the internet! It makes information, papers, and research easily available (Robert Harris, n. d. ). It is up to you to use that information correctly though. You need to understand how that kind of stuff should be used just as resources. Those websites are supposed to supplement the reading, not replace it (Robert Harris, n. d. ). Like Sparknotes for example, some students may go on there to save time instead of actually reading the book. Instead they should actually read the book, and then go on Sparknotes to try and understand the reading better.
Sparknotes has a lot of information but it is up to the student to use it correctly. It is really easily to plagiarize, but it’s just as easy to avoid. The only way you can avoid plagiarism if you use other people’s work is if you cite your sources correctly (Plagiarism. org, n. d. ). Even if you paraphrase, summarize, use a direct quote, or write anything that is not common knowledge, you still need to cite your sources (Fieser, J. , & Burnham, D. , n. d. ). You also need to know how to cite them correctly. There are certain styles that can help you with this, such as MLA or APA.
You should also have a bibliography page where all of your sources are combined. (Volume Library. 2006) That way someone can easily determine where you got your information. It’s also helpful to make sure that when you write down your sources to do it neatly so that you don’t put the wrong information down. (Fieser, J. , & Burnham, D. , n. d. ). Plagiarism is a growing problem in education today. According to Plagiarism. org, “in 1969, 58. 3% of high school students let someone else copy their work, compared to 97. 5% in 1989” (Plagiarism. org, n. d. ). Plagiarism is also a widespread problem.
In a sample of 1,800 students at nine state universities, “84% admitted to cheating on written assignments” (Plagiarism. org, n. d. ). According to a study performed in 1999 in the United States, “almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead,” and “51% of high school students did not believe cheating was wrong” (Plagiarism. org, n. d. ). Plagiarism can be prevented by teaching students how to prevent it and why it is bad. If teachers would start teaching students about plagiarism at a younger age, it would be less of a problem.
Especially at about the time when students start to have to research to complete assignments. Most of the time students plagiarize because they don’t even know what it is. If they knew what it was they would be less likely to do it. There are many formats of citation that you can use to make sure that you aren’t plagiarizing. In this paper, I will cover the main ideas of the MLA, APA, and Turabian formats. Normally you should format your work based on what you are writing for, unless your teacher tells you to use a specific format (University of Lethbridge Library. n. d. ).
Also remember that whatever format you chose to write your paper in, you should have the entire paper written in that format. You cannot use multiple formats while writing a paper. You should also make sure that you are using it the right way. Even if you are using a citation format, if you don’t use it correctly it is still plagiarism. It also helps that you use the most recent version of the citation format that you know of (University of Lethbridge Library. n. d. ). MLA stands for “Modern Language Association”(MLA. org. n. d. ). According to Kemper, D. , Meyer, V. , & Sebranek, P. 2006) MLA is used mostly for the “humanities (literature, philosophy, history, etc. )”. This is what makes it very popular with high school and college writing assignments.
While writing a paper in MLA style; credit is given in two main ways. A “parenthetical reference in the text”and a page of “works cited” (Bucknell University. n. d. ). The “works cited” page is located at the end of the paper and includes all sources used in the paper listed in alphabetical order (Bucknell University. n. d. ). ”Parenthetical References” tell “exactly”what information was used from that source (Bucknell University. . d. ). Another popular citation format for students is the APA format. According to Kemper et al. (2006), APA stands for the “American Psychological Association”.
APA formatting is mainly used for “social science and social studies” papers (Kemper, D. , Meyer, V. , & Sebranek, P. 2006). On papers formatted you APA you must include a title page and and abstract. An abstract is basically a short summary of your paper. Like MLA, credit is given in two main ways: in text citations, and a “reference” page. The ”reference page” is the same as MLA, just with a different name Kemper, D. , Meyer, V. & Sebranek, P. 2006). On Robert Delaney’s website (n. d. ), the Turabian formatting style is “designed for college students to use with all subjects”. Radford University’s website (n. d) also states that “Chicago/Turabian style is frequently used in history, criminal justice, art history, library science, and other academic disciplines”.
The Turabian style is different than MLA & APA styles in how it cites its resources. Turabian style uses footnotes or end notes with a bibliography at the end to cite its sources. Instead of in-text citations/parenthetical citations (Radford University. . d. ). Turabian style does also use a reference list and the items are also in alphabetical order (Volume Library. 2006).
Plagiarism should be avoided at all costs, whether in an academic or professional environment. It can ruin your future and prevent you from reaching your goals. The only way to stop plagiarizing is to know how to prevent it. It is very common, and it is also easy to do. All you need is knowledge of how to format your paper. As long as you cite your sources correctly and with the most up to date version of your format possible, you should be fine.
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