What is Plagiarism? Should I do it?

Essay cartoon Alberta TuitionWe live in a copy and paste world with the Internet so easily accessible with sometimes good, sometimes bad information.  Writing a great essay has never been easier?  Right?  Well maybe not.

When we copy something from the Internet or from the newspaper or a book and we don’t say where we got the information from, we are guilty of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a crime and if you get caught there are penalties.  Plagiarism is stealing someone else’s ideas and words and making them your own.  Stealing is wrong.

There are several ways that a teacher can find out if you have plagiarised your paper:

Available software:  There is now software that most schools and universities have that can be used to detect if a student is stealing someone else’s words.

Entering choice sentences into the internet to see what comes up:  If there is no software available; teachers still have their ways of determining if a student cheated or not on the essay.  They simply type a sentence from the essay into Google and then they see what comes up.  It is an easy thing to find out if your student has plagiarised.

Differences in Level of Writing:  This is the first clue that a teacher might have that the student has stolen someone else’s work.  Levels of writing within the essay itself can help a teacher know if the student has plagiarised all or part of his/her paper.  Secondly, the teacher knows his/her students and knows what they are capable of and not capable of.  Even if the student has used a professional writer to write the paper, the teacher can take a calculated guess and determine if the work is the students or that of a professional writing service.  For example if a Grade 12 student uses a PhD writer to write his/her paper, the teacher will know the difference.

Some instructors are very good at detecting the use of professional writing services and may well give the student a D or F mark (Failure).

Punishment can vary from a failing grade to being expelled from school or university.  In some countries you will not be able to regain entry into that institution or even another one for up to two years.  That means you have to sit out for 2 years and you will not be able to complete your studies in the proper timeframe.

In the long run, plagiarism just doesn’t pay – it costs you in the end.

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