Essay on Plagiarism

Published: 2021/12/16
Number of words: 886

Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, is a menace in society, especially in academic institutions. A study by Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics in different high schools showed that one out of three students admitted using the internet to plagiarize an assignment. Some perpetrators of plagiarism are lazy to acknowledge the source of the ideas they have used in their work. In contrast, others are confused about the difference between their ideas and borrowed ideas from different works used during their research. Plagiarism robs off credit from the originators of ideas by failing to acknowledge them. Hence, it might derail academic progress and innovation in academic institutions.

The University of Oxford has defined plagiarism as presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgment. This may be done with full awareness by the individual or may just be unintentional. Plagiarism takes several forms. An individual may decide to directly copy another person’s quotations or words and paste them into their work without acknowledging the source of the words. Others take the ideas or texts of others, paraphrase them and pass them off as their own words or ideas. Plagiarism may also take the form of submitting the same essay to different institutions or related courses to avoid writing the whole piece again. One can fail to mention people who are vital to the completion of the piece or the originators of some of the ideas in the essay. This also involves not citing all the sources of the ideas in the piece.

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Plagiarism can be caused by various reasons based on the individual doing the piece to the topic at hand. Some writers are not confident enough to acknowledge that the ideas and language used in their piece can pass as viable and intelligent work; hence they feel the urge to use other’s ideas and word and phrasing in their work and pass off as their own. Individuals may also be ignorant of citation rules and giving credit to the sources used in their pieces; hence, they may not adequately acknowledge them, resulting in unintentional plagiarism. This can also be associated with the fact that some scholars may not know what constitutes plagiarism. Inadequate time to complete the paper may also result in plagiarism. In a rush to complete a given essay assignment before the due date, some scholars directly copy other people’s works and pass them as their own without citing the sources.

Plagiarism, if detected in a scholar’s or researcher’s work, can have detrimental consequences. A researcher’s work may be discredited once plagiarism is found in them. This casts a shadow of doubt on all other pieces the researcher has been involved in, even those not involved in the plagiarism. This may cause professional suicide to the researcher as it is pretty difficult to escape the damage caused by plagiarism to one’s reputation. There are laws and regulations in institutions and countries that have been put in place to counter plagiarism; hence, detecting plagiarism in someone’s work may result in legal consequences. The owner of the original piece has the right to take the accused to court, which may result in financial and psychological consequences to the plagiarist. To a student, plagiarism detection in their work can cause expulsion or suspension from their studies, depending on the institution’s regulations. This can cause a permanent dent in the student’s reputation. They may find it impossible to further their education in a different institution, get employment in their field of study, or get involved in any other research.

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Like any other evil in society, plagiarism can be avoided by undertaking the necessary measures and following the right procedures. The main way to avoid plagiarism is by citing the authors and sources of the ideas in the writer’s piece. Writers should also avoid direct copying and pasting of other people’s works into their own. When using an idea from a reference paper, one should use their own words when presenting it in their work. When referring to a quote or statement from another author’s piece, it is recommended to use quotation marks on the words that have been directly copied from the reference piece. One should then acknowledge the original author through citation and references (Maurer, Kappe, & Zaka,2016). There are many open-source plagiarism checker programs, software, and websites that one can use to check the plagiarism level of their pieces. They go a long way in helping to avoid plagiarism detection in submitted pieces.

Plagiarism is an ethical and legal issue that needs to be addressed since it can inhibit the innovation of new ideas and stagnation of research in a field where new researchers just copy what has already been done. Individual writers need to understand the severe consequences that plagiarism has on their professional life, academic life, research, integrity, and even reputation. It takes the initiative of the individual writers to ensure they accurately and adequately cite the sources of information used in their pieces and ensure they do not take credit for other people’s work.


Maurer, H. A., Kappe, F., & Zaka, B. (2016). Plagiarism-A survey. J. Univers. Comput. Sci.12(8), 1050-1084.

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