What is plagiarism? The University of North Carolina Honor Court (2002) defines plagiarism as "the deliberate or reckless representation of another's words, thoughts, or ideas as one's own without attribution in connection with submission of academic work, whether graded or otherwise." (Instrument of Student Governance, Section II, B, 1. n.d.). This pretty much means that plagiarism is using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit and saying that they were your own. It is also still plagiarism whether you do it on purpose or not (Instrument of Student Governance, Section II, B, 1, 2002). So if you didn't know the information before you started researching, and you put it in your paper without citations, you plagiarized. Plagiarism is illegal and it is also a form of cheating. Plagiarism can ruin a student's academic future but it is easily preventable if you know how.
Plagiarizing doesn't help anyone! It is disrespectful to your teachers, your fellow students, your school, and to yourself (Baylor Boarding School, n.d.). Plus if teachers catch someone plagiarizing, they will probably be stricter: kind of like this paper. They will also have less trust in their students (Hope College, n.d.). It’s not fair for your classmates to do all of the work for a paper while you plagiarize the whole thing and get the same grade (Hope College, n.d.). Nothing good comes from it either. Like the old saying; cheaters never prosper. That's why it is important to know what plagiarizing is and how to prevent it.
Teachers give you the assignment so that you will learn from it. They want to see what you learned from the teaching; in your own words. They do not want to see what an expert says on the subject, they want to see what you say. So plagiarizing someone else's work doesn't help you or the teacher, because you didn't learn anything, and the teacher has no idea what you actually learned (Hope College, n.d.). You learn something by doing it. You make mistakes and learn to fix them the next time. So if you aren't doing your work how will you learn? It’s pretty much the opposite of what the assignment is supposed to do. By not doing the assignment yourself, you don't learn anything. You won't be as creative if you're always using someone else's work. How can you be creative if the things that you do are never your own. This hurts you later on in life too. Employers won't want to hire anyone that can't do their own work. If you always need someone else's help to do something then you won't help that business. If you plagiarize you will also place less value on the work. You won't care because you didn't work on it and there was no effort. If you get the paper back and get a good grade you won't care. Normally you would at least feel something if you got a good grade. Then next time you will be motivated to get a good grade too. If you haven't worked on the paper you won't be motivated next time.
If you can't get through high school without cheating, how will you ever make it through college!? In college everything is harder. You will have to write longer papers and do even more research to write them. If you can't do that in high school you will definitely fail in college. Or, even worse, you will get caught plagiarizing and get expelled (Baylor...