Plagiarism is “the representation of another person’s words, ideas or information as if they were one’s own” (Stepchyshyn and Nelson, 2007, p.31). In simple words, this means taking someone’s work and presenting it as if it were completely yours. It is also known as “imitation, cheating, cribbing and stealing” (Marsh, 2007, p.1).
According to Neville there are three types of plagiarism. The first type would be collusion. This is basically when you copy another person’s work and present it as your own. The second type is replication. To replicate something is to make a copy of it; therefore Replication is when you present a piece of work with a high percentage of copied words from the original author. And finally when you paraphrase without mentioning the original author, which in simple terms, means to take someone’s ideas and write them as your own without saying who wrote it (Neville, 2007).
However there are other types of plagiarism too such as falsification for example. Which can occur by inventing data to support your arguments, stealing a copy of an exam...etc (Neville 2007)
There are a lot of reasons why people plagiarise at school or university. The main two according to Dordoy are: to get higher grades and because of laziness and bad time management (Neville, 2007). But if you ask any student they would normally say “cheating is no big deal. You just do it” (Lathrop and Foss, 2005), but there is more to the idea of “just copying”. There is a lack of honesty as you are basically saying those ideas are your own and not someone else’s (Higson, 2009).
Therefore it is extremely important to reference because in this way, you recognize other people’s words and ideas. As well as giving more authority to your conclusions showing you have deeply studied the topic.
So remember you should never “copy and paste” someone else’s work! (Tissington, Hasel and Matthiesen, 2009)