The issue of plagiarism is one that has derived major concerns in academics with numerous scholars and institutions holding different definitions and concepts of plagiarism. Majorly, plagiarism is the theft of publication along wrongful appropriation of a different individual's ideas, expressions, or thoughts and presenting them as individual original work (Hexham, 2005). Within the various concepts of plagiarism, it is critical to understand that plagiarism itself is not a crime but constitutes other occurrences such as breach of journalistic ethics, copyright infringement, and academic dishonesty. In every context, it is considered a serious ethical offense; however, it is defined or persecuted by law, but by different institutions (such as educational institutions, publishing corporations, and professional institutions). Through the institutions, the issue of plagiarism is subject to punishments or sanctions such as suspension, penalties, expulsion from academic institutions or workplace (Scanlon, 2003). At the same time, in understanding the concepts of plagiarism, it is critical to be aware that the issue of copyright infringement and plagiarism are different but may overlap to varying extents; however, they are not equivalent since different types or forms of plagiarism do not constitute the infringement of copyrights which can be prosecuted in a court of law. As a result, such occurrences have pushed the development of arguments concerning the seriousness of the concept of plagiarism particularly academically. It raises question surrounding the extents of plagiarism along with the urge to understand whether the concepts of plagiarism can be exaggerated.
In the past, individuals (such as academics) relied on oral tradition and stories. Thus, the results, concepts, and ideas were not individually owned, but the society held it. Hence, the occurrence of citing was unnecessary; however, today is taken seriously deriving that the authors have the right own the ideas, concepts, and phrases written exclusively by the involved author. Therefore, it is unacceptable to utilize and use the words as private, but rather it is appropriate to use the words and to give credit to the author through citation. With such occurrence, it means that there are different perceptions concerning the concept of plagiarism whereby in one case or the other it could be exaggerated. On the other hand, this also points out the seriousness of the issue of plagiarism whereby it could invoke or result in other breaches depending on what it constitutes.
Recently, various cases of extreme plagiarism have been spotted in academics (Shahabuddin, 2009). There is a common perception that the instances of plagiarism in student works are increasing in a daily basis; however, it is hard to acquire the precise figures concerning the amount of plagiarism that is present in school works. According to various studies, there are suggestions that approximately 8% of scholars have had cases of plagiarism by using large amounts of texts from the internet. However, it is likely that the figures could be higher than this since due to the differences in various institutions. Regardless of the actual extent of plagiarism figure, it is clear that the occurrence is tough to curb altogether, but the issue is critical since in the value of education in institutions is depended on academic honesty. Within this concept of plagiarism, there are considerable efforts about the detection of plagiarism in academics which is possible through the use of automated software and all institutions are delivering warnings concerning the penalties for plagiarized content. Majorly, most of the punishments include failing of students in all or part of the assessment and determining whether the student is legible for reassessment. Also, such a student may be recommended for expulsion considering the various academic reasons that could constitute expulsion. As a result, such happening delivers details concerning the seriousness surrounding the issue on academic plagiarism.
Nonetheless, according to opponents of the concept of plagiarism revolving around the use of plagiarism detection software, they deliver that different approaches can be considered to ensure that plagiarism is not exaggerated. For example, the opponents believe better detection technics are not an appropriate way or increased penalties but rather, the academic institutions need to provide a significant emphasis on maintaining that students understand the concept of plagiarism. And also, how they can avoid it and more so, the tutors can expand information and knowledge concerning ways to reduce the likelihood of plagiarism through alternative evaluation strategies. The concept of plagiarism is ambiguous since many individuals base their judgment about it on perceptions. For example, a student could be having various ideas and thought concerning a given, and during the research process, the student could come across similar context in agreement with their concepts.
Thus, it means that the ideas might not be ordinally the writer's work even though the scholar may decide the exact wording as found in the online research. As a result, it could lead to a case of plagiarism which in one way or the other it could be exaggerated. Such occurrence brings around the development of different words within the concept of plagiarism such as paraphrasing, collusion and referencing. Paraphrasing is restating the definition or content of a passage or text using other or individual words. On the other hand, collusion is used to describe a deliberate joint effort to deceive the assessor while referencing involves a way of recognizing and acknowledging the source of data that one can use in their works and could include ideas, quotation, and concepts.
Correspondingly, occurrences are delivering various issues concerning the notion as to whether plagiarism can be exaggerated or not. In the exaggeration of plagiarism, it revolves around perception, particularly in academic cheating. For example, occurrences such are collusion. In the correlation of collusion and plagiarism, there are arguments that collusion is a type of plagiarism while on the other hand plagiarism involves an act of cheating. However, one conceptual issue surrounding collusion and plagiarism particularly in the elaboration of the seriousness of the concept of plagiarism is the distinction between plagiarism and cheating. According to many definitions of cheating, they are tied on the issue of purposefulness meaning that an individual cannot cheat by accident.
Similarly, when it comes to plagiarism and collusion, they form two different perceptions. For example, in an occurrence where plagiarism has occurred, it could be viewed as alleged cheating whereby, the involved scholar might not have been aware of the context, or acted involuntarily while on the other hand, the student could have done it deliberately. In this occurrence, it means that collusion could be used to imply plagiarism; however, collusion is always deliberate. Therefore, in the seriousness of the concept of plagiarism, it is critical to ensure that a case of plagiarism is pointed out and defined to avoid exaggeration since the idea of plagiarism can be exaggerated. In deliberate plagiarism, it is considered severe since it is an act of cheating.
Furthermore, as individuals relate to the concept of plagiarism, it is evident that it is dangerous, but before actions or punishment concerning any case of plagiarism, it is imperative to point out the associated information. It is to ensure that, in as much as plagiarism is involved, one can derive whether it was intentional or accidental. For instance, this can be linked to the involvement and significance of referencing in any case of plagiarism. Even though the purposefulness or the action behind the development of plagiarism may deliver a significant bearing on any leading punishments, it is definite that if the plagiarism is accidental or unintentional, then it should probably be treated differently than intentional plagiarism. However, in both cases, there is an occurrence of plagiarism, a presence that cannot be ignored. With the use of references in any piece of work to signify content that it not individual, it plays a significant role as it points out citations of the involved author (Williams & Davis, 2017). In any writing or quotation from a different writer that lacks referencing, this could lead to an occurrence of plagiarism even though it could be unintentional. In such cases, whether intentional or unintentional, it delivers and provides proof concerning the seriousness in the concept of plagiarism. On the other hand, according to various institutions, plagiarism could be excused but up to a given percentage. Thus, such occurrence delivers that in as much as plagiarism is not allowed, in some cases, it is inevitable but on condition that the user information or quotation is referenced.
To sum everything up, it is imperative to acknowledge that plagiarism is still considered plagiarism although it could be deliberate or accidental since either case leads to wrongful appropriation of ideas and concepts. Therefore, adding to the argument that the notion of plagiarism is currently described in a dire context. Also, it alludes to the idea that plagiarism can be exaggerated since there is no standard law delivering how plagiarism is punishable, but the punishments are based on the different involved institutions; however, extreme cases of plagiarism result to severe punishment in most cases (Berlinck, 2011).
Berlinck, Roberto GS. "The academic plagiarism and its punishments-a review." Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 21.3 (2011): 365-372.
Hexham, Irving. "The plague of plagiarism: Academic plagiarism defined." Calgary: University of Calgary (2005).
Scanlon, Patrick M. "Student online plagiarism: how do we respond?" College Teaching 51.4 (2003): 161-165.
Shahabuddin, Syed. "Plagiarism in academia." International Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 21.3 (2009): 353-359.
Williams, Kate, and Mary Davis. Referencing and understanding plagiarism. Macmillan International Higher Education, 2017.
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