With a click, we have access to every author, article and book. Serves us good because knowledge is right in our fingertips. However, when used by students as homework materials, due largely to copy-and-paste, plagiarism comes into play.
What is plagiarism?
PlagiarismdotOrg, an online initiative that rallies people to prevent the fraud of written work and 'restore integrity' to our society. The organization defines plagiarism, quoting from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
Simply put, plagiarism is like piracy, like stealing.
How to prevent plagiarism
Provide citations - when in doubt, cite it
When not to use citations
You may not provide your sources with these two instances:
- Common knowledge - you already know about it even before reading about it. Example, the Wright Brothers invented the airplane.
- Fair use - quotations of a short length for the sake of argument.
Punishment for plagiarism
Don't be a plagiarist
Here are online tools to check against plagiarism