What can be considered as a plagiarism?

Creators of TurnItIn resource classified the resulted and some other cases of plagiarism, breaking them into two groups. In the first were borrowings without a source. These include:

  • “Phantom author” – the author gives out the work done by another person for his, without changing its content. We have this kind of “creativity” distributed in two forms: first, the use of materials from the Internet, and secondly, there are many “consulting firms” ready to write a work on almost any topic to order.

The following three forms of plagiarism are modifications of the “author-ghost”:

  • “Photocopy” – the author copies a significant part of the text (but not the whole text) from one source, without making any changes to it.
  • “Turned material” – an attempt is made to hide plagiarism by copying from several different sources, the text of which does not change, but the author writes his transitional phrases between parts of the text.
  • “Bad disguise” – the meaning of the text of the source remains, but some formulations are changed to similar in meaning.

When information from various sources is almost completely paraphrased, it is written in one style – we are dealing with “The Labor of Laziness”. Since such a process is laborious, the author could spend the same time writing his own work.

The last form of plagiarism, included in this group, is somewhat unexpected. It is called “Stole at home” and involves borrowing text from your own earlier works. For example, a student can take the same job to teachers who lead different disciplines. As a result, the condition of the originality expected from work is violated, and the student misses the opportunity to get additional knowledge on another topic. In addition, it is considered dishonest to expect to receive two different estimates for the work, which was actually performed only once. In some universities, “stealing from yourself” is considered as serious a form of plagiarism as a “phantom author”, that is, the performance of all work by another person. Obviously, our universities are not paying attention to this aspect of the problem at all. On the other hand, the domestic print media have a different opinion. They require that the author’s material be published only in one edition, and reprints should be accompanied by a reference to the publication where the material was first published. This is due to the protection of copyright, which is gradually beginning to be introduced in relation to journalistic work. But at universities, the issue of the copyright of students has not yet been raised.

The second group includes works with the indication of sources, nevertheless being plagiarized. They are divided into:

  • “Forgotten link” and “Misinformation”, associated with incorrect or erroneous design of links to the source.
  • “Too perfect paraphrasing.” It occurs when the quotation is not quoted. Thus, the reader gets the wrong impression that the author has given his original interpretation of the views expressed in the source.
  • “The ideal crime” is committed when the author correctly cites some quotes, while the rest paraphrases. As a result, the reader mistakenly thinks that the paraphrased text is the author’s analysis of the quoted thoughts.
  • “Abundant quoting” occurs with observance of all citation and paraphrasing rules. The catch is that the work practically does not contain the original results of the author’s research. To denote this case, we use the word “compilation” that is more correct than plagiarism. This kind of plagiarism is difficult to detect, because at first glance it looks like any other carefully worked out and prepared material.

Thus, in fact, it is not so difficult to avoid incorrect borrowing of other people’s thoughts and conclusions. It is necessary to follow simple rules of quoting and paraphrasing, clearly highlighting ideas borrowed from other sources and not forgetting that any scientific work presupposes the presence of not only polemics, but also the conclusions of the author himself. Or simply

Student research activities

Wikipedia (a popular online encyclopedia) says that there are not very many special studies on the prevalence of plagiarism. Most of them are concentrated on the situation in universities, on the problems associated with the desire of students to “facilitate their own lives” when preparing written assignments for the subjects studied. The main assistant of students today is the Internet, which makes it possible to quickly find information on the necessary topic and use it in preparing any task. On the other hand, it is becoming more difficult to detect the fact of incorrect borrowing, we have to use special software that compares the work submitted by the student with thousands of other works. Accordingly, borrowing from other people’s texts is severely punished. For the work containing elements of plagiarism, the student is almost guaranteed to receive an unsatisfactory grade, often the entire discipline is not counted, and sometimes the student is expelled from the university. Outside university walls, punishments can be even more serious – from a solid fine of several thousand dollars to imprisonment.

Therefore, in the curricula of Western universities there is a place for teaching students to write research materials, use literature, what is plagiarism and how to avoid it. After all, students often violate the generally accepted rules for writing research papers, scientific ethics simply because they are not familiar with them. Students need to be educated in the proper presentation of their thoughts, the correct citation and identification of the conclusions of other authors, the ability to present material interestingly, and so on. In addition to this area of work, universities adopt their own “codes of ethics”, which clearly state what is permissible and what is not in the student’s research activities. To ensure that such codes are better respected, the students themselves are involved in their development. Together with computer verification of each job by Pro-Papers plagiarism checker for free, these measures allow to maximize the degree of originality of student work.

So, what exactly pushes students to plagiarism? TurnItIn divides the factors into two groups – unintentional and intentional plagiarism. The reasons for involuntary plagiarism were called above. They can be summarized as ignorance of the students’ requirements, which their work must comply with, and how to fulfill such requirements. As a rule, punishment for involuntary plagiarism is milder than for purposeful “facilitating the fulfillment of the assignment”. And the deliberately dishonest behavior of students there are a number of explanations, however, not being something unexpected.

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