Plagiarism: The Big Picture
There is much more to plagiarism than most people think. To the average individual, that person probably thinks plagiarism is simply copying an original work and thinking it is not a big deal. I used to think this way also, until reality gave me a good slap across the face. Truthfully, plagiarism is a huge issue and is in fact a crime punishable by several means.
There are two types of plagiarism: accidental/unintentional plagiarism and intentional plagiarism. Plagiarising intentionally would be copying and pasting directly from a source without paraphrasing at all. The types of people that do this perhaps want to make themselves look knowledgeable and seem like they have a clue what is going on. On the other hand, they are just plain lazy and don’t want to put any effort into the work. Unintentional plagiarism is not deliberately copy-and-pasting like the examples above. Writers without much experience can be assumed to do this because they cannot figure out when they are plagiarising. Grammatical errors such as forgetting quotations if you are quoting directly from the source can ‘unintentionally’ turn itself into unoriginal work. Inexperienced writers may also have a lack of citations, or perhaps improper signal phrases and parenthetical citations. (The Owl of Purdue, The University of Wisconsin)
With plagiarism comes a variety of consequences and penalties. This form of “academic dishonesty” can mean little to no credit on an assignment, discipline at school, expulsion from a university, loss of a job, and especially loss of credibility and a professional reputation. Outside of education, an act of plagiarism can result in fines, jail time, and it will go on your criminal record. Recently, a United States Senator was accused of plagiarizing part of a speech he was giving that day. Later newscasts say that he is in fact facing jail time, which is a pretty big deal for someone who has been speaking publicly for over twenty years. In addition to these consequences, plagiarism can also have you blacklisted from search engines like google, depending on the severity of the offense. (The Owl of Purdue)
On the contrary, there are many ways to avoid plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, you must have proper citations and a properly formatted 'works cited' bibliography page. Citing in text through signal words and phrases, or through parenthetical citations at the end of each paragraph, ensures that you properly gave credit to the original author. In addition to citations, you also need to be paraphrasing. Paraphrase a big part of each sentence to avoid plagiarism, because copying the text and making it close to the original is still technically plagiarism. When you are copying a direct quote from the text, you need to use quotation marks. It may seem like a grammatical error, but it still makes it look like this is your original quote. Develop a topic that has already been written, and include your own originality to add...