Saturday, February 18, 2012
The act of plagiarism has been invading works and inventions of literature for centuries, and although it is not a crime, the consequences of such offenses have been growing tremendously within the past few years. Many academic institutions have been subscribing to Plagiarism Detection Services (PDS) like Turnitin.com, in an effort to address and eliminate such dishonesty inside classroom. In most institutions, plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and results in anything from a failing grade to expulsion, permanently blemishing a student’s record. Such punishment is, in most cases, nothing less than devastating to not only students’ academic career, but also their will power to succeed in school.
Unfortunately, some of these plagiarism cases are missed teaching opportunities. If an individual copies an idea, let alone specific words of an original work, it is considered plagiarism. Our students must understand the difference between solely paraphrasing a work and paraphrasing and then citing a work. When using sources to support, enforce, or strengthen his or her writing, the student should always provide a citation of the source and enclose their words inside quotation marks to avoid plagiarism.
Many times, students grasp at quick fixes simply because they are not comfortable with the research process. If a student is taught the proper technique of planning, writing, and citing then the temptation to commit literary theft diminishes. Writing, like all other subjects, must be practiced, rehearsed, and nurtured to ensure growth and expertise.