People interact with each other sharing ideas and opinions, and it can be rather difficult to determine the origin of the concrete idea or vision. However, in the context of the academic discourse, all the used ideas taken from the academic or digital sources should be cited appropriately in order to protect the intellectual property rights of the person who has originated the idea.
The act of violating these rights and stealing someone’s words and ideas is known as plagiarism. Thus, to discuss the ethical component of plagiarism, it is necessary to pay attention to the definition of the concept and its meaning in relation to the idea of academic integrity. Plagiarism is often defined as the act of copying the other persons’ ideas and words without referencing.
Those persons who are inclined to plagiarize use the easiest way to cope with the academic tasks while presenting the other people’s ideas as their own. In reality, these persons steal the other people’s intellectual property (Park 479).
From this point, plagiarism is a kind of theft which can result in significant negative consequences for the representatives of the academic community because of the strict institutional policies according to which intellectual property is protected in spite of the fact that the legal aspects of the plagiarism question are not developed appropriately.
That is why, plagiarism is the important ethical issue which should be discussed as the morally reprehensible act because plagiarism is the direct theft based on dishonesty in relation to the students and scholars sharing their ideas and relying on the intellectual property rights.
Although the institutional policies are developed to prevent plagiarism as the act of the specific literary theft realized by students and scholars, plagiarism remains to be the controversial and rather urgent problem in the academic sphere because persons find more variants to use the other people’s ideas without citing and referencing.
The progress of the Internet contributes to this process because of the possibilities to access to the open and available documents written by different persons. It is possible to avoid plagiarism if a person cites the used sources appropriately (Park 479). Nevertheless, many people choose to ignore the ethical aspects of academic writing and focus on violating the idea of academic integrity while plagiarizing.
As a result, it is possible to state that many people choose to steal instead of following the norms and rules. Focusing on plagiarism as the opportunity to complete an assignment or write an article without any efforts, people violate not only institutional policies but also break ethical norms, supporting the idea that plagiarism is the academic sin as it is presented by many researchers (Park 474).
Those people who provide the copied or paraphrased words as their own ones can be discussed as liars because they do not state the information about the source of the ideas or thoughts. Moreover, definite benefits from presenting the certain ideas as original can be shared by persons who performed morally wrong.
Plagiarism is one of the main problems related to the aspect of academic etiquette. The acts of plagiarizing are morally reprehensible because the norms of ethical codes for students, academicians, writers, and scholars are violated intentionally.
In this case, it is important to note that the majority of cases in which the act of plagiarizing was determined can be discussed as intentional because persons choose copying the material as the quickest way to cope with the task. As a result of such activities, the idea of intellectual freedom is also taken into account.
Persons have the ethical rights to share their ideas openly, and they have the right to protect their thoughts as a kind of intellectual property. From this perspective, the ethical approach to the issue is closely associated with the definite intellectual liberty (Park 482). That is why, it is possible to pay attention to the reasons for discussing the acts of stealing the other persons’ words and ideas as morally wrong.
Plagiarism is the morally wrong act based on the concept of the writer’s guilt because the notion of academic integrity is learnt by people early before starting their writing activities. Furthermore, this concept is connected with cheating at the examinations and any other prohibited activities (Sutherland-Smith 84).
Thus, while plagiarizing, people perform inadequately in relating to the fact that they were informed earlier about the risks of plagiarism. Thus, any intentional activity or choice to act wrongly and unethically should be punished in relation to the concrete context. In the sphere of education and academic discourse, the authorities in different educational institutions are responsible for determining the norms of non-plagiarism policies.
However, there are visions that today plagiarism cannot be discussed as the controlled issue because of the increasing role of the Internet and other digital sources which can be used for writing and searching for interesting thoughts. As a result, the issue of cyberplagiarism is the new controversial question in the field of academic writing and in the sphere of intellectual property in general (Park 481).
The sources which are available through the Internet resources and services are not protected with the intellectual property rights appropriately, and it is the question of the people’s morality to use or not these sources effectively to avoid plagiarism and other ethical and legal issues. One more problem is the control over sharing and using the other people’s ideas.
If the use of the other authors’ words can be checked with the help of different plagiarism detectors, the theft of ideas is the more complex procedure which cannot be determined successfully in all the cases. Plagiarizing ideas, writers demonstrate their dishonesty and support the vision of plagiarism as the morally wrong act.
Moreover, during the centuries, imitation of words and ideas was discussed as the act to demonstrate the respect for the other author (Park 481-482; Sutherland-Smith 85). Today, this act can be discussed as plagiarism if the writer does not provide the necessary citation.
Thus, plagiarism can be considered as the severe academic disease which develops in the sphere of academic discourse and which needs the effective prevention means. Plagiarism as the ethically wrong procedure which includes the act of stealing the other persons’ ideas, views, and words that is why this activity should be punished.
In spite of the fact that plagiarism contributes to violating the intellectual property rights and copyright laws, this act is also harmful for the development of the academic world’s principles because the uncertainties in relation to the non-plagiarism policies can lead to the uncertainties regarding the intellectual liberty and academic etiquette. Plagiarism is morally reprehensible without references to the ways of its realization.
Park, Chris. “In Other (People’s) Words: Plagiarism by University Students – Literature and Lessons”. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 28.5 (2003): 471-488. Print.
Sutherland-Smith, Wendy. “Pandora’s Box: Academic Perceptions of Student Plagiarism in Writing”. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4.1 (2005): 83-95. Print.