Plagiarism Must Be Stopped Essay

977 words - 4 pages

Ethics and plagiarism go hand in hand. In a world that says cheaters prosper, it is no wonder that plagiarism runs rampant in our society. Once considered a country that was founded on integrity, honesty, and upright morals; we find ourselves in a society that rewards those who pass off other’s work as their own making it hard for individuals that truly deserve recognition and work hard think about their ethics. It is important to understand what plagiarism is and what the consequences of intentional plagiarism are. In my opinion, passing off someone else’s work is highly inappropriate, unacceptable, or for a lack of better words just plain wrong.
According to Griffin (2006), new ideas are few and far between. Furthermore, he asserts that even the most ingenious minds, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, have not truly articulated their own ideas in manner that would call for one hundred percent originality. Emerson’s documented observations closely resemble the work of German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Moreover, Griffin (2006) suggests that if Emerson was a university student in society today that his work might be guilty of plagiarism since their works so closely resemble one another. Griffin (2006) goes on to say that each case should be dealt with individually to be fair since being fair is meeting the needs of the individual. Next, he argues that a person’s academic history be taken into consideration. Furthermore, what were the intentions of the individual who allegedly plagiarized and what is the depth of their understanding in the discipline they are highlighting in their work? Griffin (2006) does mention that unintentional plagiarism does happen and when it does should it be dealt with like all other plagiarist actions?
I can see the side of Griffin, but my belief is that new ideas are shaped and formed all the time. Has anyone ever considered what a new idea is or should conform to? It is my belief that if something does not succeed and someone else enhances the idea then it is an idea freshly reformed. Could you call the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” a new idea? Absolutely, even though the concept of leaving no child behind was discussed during the sixties, this new act reformed the idea, coined the phrase, and let it loose in society to take form. Regarding the work mentioned about Emerson, do we not know his breadth of understanding? Is it not documented in his literary works? How can you make the assumption that his work was not one hundred percent original since his philosophical views are of his own understanding? I believe that there is a fine line when it comes to plagiarism. Unintentional or intentional plagiarism is still plagiarism. Unintentional plagiarism can spawn a teachable moment and intentional plagiarism should definitely have consequences that are fair to the individual. Harshly dealing with one person and not all those who intentionally plagiarize sends a mixed message. We need straight forward...

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