Jun 2, 2011 in , , ,

A/N: Plagiarism has bothered me for a long time, so I took this week to write about it.

Plagiarism. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own”, and it originated from the Latin word plagiarius, meaning “kidnapper”.

In a way, plagiarism is kidnapping, because it is stealing someone else’s work. The original author put a lot of time and effort into producing their work, so it’s wrong to include it in one’s own work without giving due credit to the author. A writer’s goal is always to be read, so they would probably be happy to give permission to be quoted. Asking for permission is especially important, whether or not credit is given, especially if the work is copyrighted since it means that the author can sue the plagiarizer.

Most of the time, close deadlines and overwhelming stress are the reasons for plagiarizing, which is why it is absolutely important to manage one’s time properly. Plan to write a few paragraphs a day – depending on the length – instead of attempting to finish it all on the last day. Even if you really can’t help having very little time to write, please don’t plagiarize. Just because someone doesn’t have enough money doesn’t give them the right to rob a bank, and the same rule applies for plagiarizing.

While there is a relatively clear line for what is plagiarizing in terms of text, it’s rather blur when it comes to ideas. There are many ways to define it, but how I would personally classify a plagiarized idea is if a person comes up with an idea because they saw another idea.

Nevertheless, no matter how it is put, plagiarism is still wrong, and no one should ever use someone’s work without giving them credit or asking for permission. The consequences could be dire – just ask the countless people who have been expelled from school and those who have lost both their jobs and credibility because of plagiarism.