According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, the word, “plagiarize” means: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of others) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source: to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
There are many reasons why students plagiarize, and they are either intentional or unintentional. Some of the intentional reasons include: Students think that they can get by with plagiarizing as their instructor will not notice; they can manipulate papers or information that they find on the web; they know that their peers are also plagiarizing; and, quickly approaching deadlines prevent them from writing in their own words. Some unintentional reasons for students plagiarizing include: They forget to cite the source or use quotation marks; they paraphrase incorrectly by not changing enough or changing too much of the text; they are unaware of how to properly cite the source; and they could not locate the source so they fail to cite it.
According to Plagiarism.org, all of the following are considered plagiarism:
Nevertheless, there are ways to avoid plagiarizing. Students can educate themselves on plagiarism by viewing the plagiarism tutorial that was created by Bellevue University’s Center for Learning Innovation (formerly College of Distributed Learning) area or by submitting papers and assignments through plagiarism prevention resources such as Turnitin. In addition, students can visit Bellevue University’s Writing Center for assistance (Phone: 402-557-5449 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Lastly, the links below are valuable tutorials and websites that may provide students a better understanding of plagiarism.
Helpful Plagiarism Resources:
Acadia University’s Plagiarism Tutorial: http://library.acadiau.ca/tutorials/plagiarism/
Bellevue University’s Plagiarism Tutorial: http://cdl.bellevue.edu/plagiarism/html/index.html
Bellevue University’s Writing Center Online: http://www.rich37.com/bellevue/
Indiana University – Bloomington, Plagiarism Site: http://www.indiana.edu/~istd/plagiarism_test.html
Rutgers University Libraries Plagiarism Tutorial: http://library.camden.rutgers.edu/EducationalModule/Plagiarism/whatisplagiarism.html
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Plagiarism Handout: http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/plagiarism.html
University of Southern Mississippi Plagiarism Tutorial: http://www.lib.usm.edu/legacy/plag/plagiarismtutorial.php
plagiarize. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize
What is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved July 30, 2010, from http://www.plagiarism.org/learning_center/what_is_plagiarism.html