Plagiarism is the practice of copying work from other sources and presenting it as someone’s ideas without recognizing the original author’s efforts through proper citation and referencing. Plagiarism is an academic offense in most institutions. In fact, in some institutions plagiarism may lead to expulsion.
Plagiarism is a problem existing in today’s academics related to the extensive use of the internet for research and accessibility to numerous information materials on different topics. It is expected that students should display critical thinking in their learning practice through honesty in all academic papers. In light of this aspect, plagiarism shows academic dishonesty while causing the infringement of intellectual property rights.
There are several reasons why students plagiarize. Students are loaded with numerous academic assignments with strict deadlines, this may be overwhelming, and to meet the tight deadlines plagiarism may occur. Also, plagiarism may occur intentionally due to poor paraphrasing and inappropriate referencing.
Students may avoid plagiarism by adopting various measures. Students should critically analyze research materials while giving credit to the authors through appropriate citation and referencing. Critical analyzing of sources lead to the presentation of opinions in one’s language of given topic thus avoiding plagiarism. Essentially, papers should be paraphrased in proper grammar and logical sentence structure. In paraphrasing, it is advisable to avoid the use of synonyms that may cause poor quality of academic papers. There are essential plagiarism tool checkers such as Turnitin.com, Grammarly, and Copyscape that help students to avoid plagiarism through plagiarism detection.
It is now clear that plagiarism is a form of academic cheating and thus unacceptable in most learning institutions. It is essential to avoid plagiarism by critically analyzing information materials and crediting the authors through citation and referencing. Moreover, the available plagiarism detection tools such as Turnitin should be utilized.