Plagiarism Essay

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Discuss the problem of plagiarism in today’s universities. Plagiarism is seen as a huge issue in today’s society, and often a top priority issue for modern university. The media often covers issues of plagiarism, writing editorials on the rise of cheating in college and high school, and a whole town’s reputation can be ruined when a story breaks (Valentine, 2006). This promotes the idea that plagiarism is connected to one’s ethics and morality. However, this was not always the case with any academic or work of art. During the rise of the humanities in the late fifteenth century and onwards, imitation was often considered an acceptable and even an intellectual practice. Neo-classism supports the idea that imitation was the best way to learn and develop style and many authors from both the classical era and the eighteenth century recommended that students use imitation as a tool (Buelow, 1990). So when did society stop seeing imitation as a form of flattery and instead a form of cheating and unoriginality, and how does one create a style while staying within these ethical boundaries? It was only recently that plagiarism was tied to ethical discourse, in fact as recently as the nineteenth century. (Valentine, 2006). Originality became an important force in creativity, and the lack of originality meant a lack of genius. It is the idea that originality is tied to one’s identity; that one creates an identity out of what one creates that creates a problem. Plagiarism actually has its roots in the latin word plagiare which actually means to kidnap, so when you take someone’s words, you are actually taking their ideas and forcing them to masquerade as you (Malloch, 1976). This may be where the ethical problems stem from, as you no longer are dealing with just words but you are dealing with issue of identity. Before this period originality was not a concern in the arts (Buelow 1990). Education kept a classical approach throughout the eighteenth century, where students...
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