Plagiarism in the Academic World

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In order to be a successful graduate student in the academic world, referencing and citation is an important skill when used effectively and appropriate. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, or even dismissal from the degree program of the University. (Evans & Rossman, 2002)

The above issue is related to what we know as plagiarism and how we define the concept of ownership in different contexts. The following sections present the definition of ownership in three different contexts: western academic context, cultural context and the internet and globalization context.

Finally, a plan for honing and practising citation and referencing skills is provided.

Western Academic Context

In the western academic world a lot of value is put in the individual who creates an idea or writes about it. This, to some, extent defines the ownership of the words as belonging to the individual that wrote them. The identification of the author of the words stems from three concerns. First, students in the U.S. (and UK) are expected to develop their own analytical and critical skills so that they can form their own opinions, and so that a reader is able to discern the student's words from those of someone else. Secondly, researchers of more advanced research work may want to evaluate the original work cited in order to check the accuracy of the quotation or decide if he agrees with the author's interpretation of the text. Finally, the third concern is related to copyright law, which helps protect the author's and their work. So, in the western academic world, an individual owns his work as long as it is protected by copyright law. (Evans & Rossman, 2009)

Cultural Context

In countries like China, Spain and Africa (including Angola) the concept of ownership takes on a different meaning, because it is perfectly normal to use someone else's idea. In China, for instance, it is a sign of disrespect to alter the words of a really well know...
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