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Plagiarism remains to be one of the greatest offences in the field of academics and has severe consequences. It can be defined in general as a form of intellectual and literary theft. This is because it involves the use of somebody’s written material, publications, or ideas, by another individual as if they were his or her own (Buramen & Roy, 2009). Failure to give credit to borrowed literary material amounts to very serious problem which is referred to as plagiarism.
This is actually because the author of the original material is not able to enjoy the advantages of the good work that he or she has produced. The owner is supposed to receive all the good things that come from the work especially because one has to do a lot of research and also involve creativity in producing the work and therefore all praise should be given by anyone who uses the work. There are so many laws that can be used to ensure that no one plagiarizes the work of other people (Menager & Paulos, 2009).
This is very common in almost all learning institutions because that is where a lot of information is required from so many sources. It is important to ensure that the rules and regulations controlling plagiarism are followed and anyone who breaks them must be penalized for that.
Consequences of Plagiarism
Because of the effects of plagiarism on the owner of the information, there are rules and regulations to prevent and also to punish those who plagiarize. In universities, people who plagiarize are punished by being send away from the institution (Menager & Paulos, 2009). If students plagiarize, then they can be denied their degrees, the overall grade can also be reduced, asked to pay fines, or even suspended for some years.
This depends on the seriousness of the crime done through plagiarism. Those who write their own books using other people information illegally are usually punished by the law. They are asked to pay heavy fines. Original materials are registered and a record is kept so that if anyone uses them without permission or without acknowledging, then the person is punished.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism is not a good habit because many people will be discouraged and will not continue being creative and doing research because their work is stolen. Using the information of other people is not a bad thing but the authors must be acknowledged. This is usually done through indicating inside the written work where the information was gotten (Buramen & Roy, 2009). The rules preventing plagiarism show that the original writer of a book or article continues to be the owner of the information even if they are transferred to another book.
The author can also decide to sell their work to others like companies which publish material in journals, agencies that sponsor research work, or institutions of higher learning (Lathrop & Foss, 2007). Therefore, the original book must be shown in the reference page and inside the text where the information has been used. When one uses another person’s work, the information can be written as they are in the book or it can be written differently.
So even if it is direct or not, the source must be shown. There are so many ways of showing where the information was picked. There is the style of American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA, Harvard, Oxford, Turabian, and so many others (Menager & Paulos, 2009). If this is done very well, then there will be no plagiarism.
Plagiarism is a serious problem and one should try to avoid when writing anything. Since one can use information belonging to another person, it is good to understand how to avoid plagiarism by reading about the rules that have been set (Menager & Paulos, 2009). In order to encourage people to continue doing research and writing books, those who plagiarize should be punished.
Buramen, L. & Roy, A. M. (2009). How to avoid plagiarism in the postmodern world.
Lathrop, A. & Foss, K. (2007). Plagiarism in schools: A strategy for change (2nd ed). Libraries Unlimited
Menager, R. & Paulos, L. (2009). A guide to avoiding plagiarism. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning