Plagiarism is a problem that many people face daily whether it is a student struggling with a research paper or an advertising agent trying to get new ideas together for a sales pitch. Is plagiarism limited only to a student using material copied from a book without giving credit to the author or for turning in a paper that a friend wrote for another university? Would a student who acknowledged that he/she got the information for a research paper from a source but recorded the wrong source be just as guilty of plagiarism as a person who copied information from journals without giving any reference to the journals at all? In order to understand the reasons plagiarism is committed it is important first to ensure that it is properly defined. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, plagiarism is defined as the act of stealing or passing off the ideas or words of another as one’s own or to use someone else’s work without crediting the source. Plagiarism can be divided into two different types, intentional and unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is the act of purposely and knowingly passing another person’s work as one’s. Unintentional plagiarism is conducted due to lack of proper knowledge of what plagiarism means or how to correctly cite works utilized. Now that a working knowledge of what plagiarism entails has been established, the reasons for why the act is committed can be explored. Students commit plagiarism intentionally and unintentionally for many reasons. Examples of reasons students intentionally plagiarize include: “searching vs. researching, but their words are better, making the grade, everyone else is doing it, and poor planning.”(“What is plagiarism,” 2012) Students often find the task of completing a research paper too overwhelming and find it easier and more convenient to look for data on the Internet and change it to fit their needs. Students can often fear that the quality of their work...
Cited: What is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved July 15, 2008, from
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