Plagiarism is a case that is very difficult to defend, like the one that was made public in 2003. It was about a New York Times reporter who was suspected of having stolen and have made up stories almost brought down one of the world’s most famous newspaper. After Jayson Blair’s case was investigated and his career was unfolded, Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd resigned because of the embarrassment they and the Times have received. One should know that journalism, like education, is built on trust; the entire field faces a credibility crisis.
There are times when even the experts don’t agree as to what and what is not plagiarism. They don’t have a pattern of what plagiarism really is, and that is one of the major reasons why students, and even professional get in trouble because of plagiarism. There was a case of two noted historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose who were in trouble even though they used footnotes. It was because the sentences they used were very closely similar to that of the original work. Even though you give credit to the original writer, you may also encounter a problem with plagiarism.
Although we have no real pattern of how to detect plagiarism, the scholars would know it if they see it and when they see it. Oftentimes these scholars would judge it as intentional plagiarism. No matter if it is intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is still plagiarism.
Your instructors, professors, and teachers would be the best people you should ask when you have questions regarding plagiarism. Ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse when you are already in front of a DA and facing charges of plagiarism. Prevention is always better than cure, so learn a lot while you are in school. Know how to write in your own words and with your own thoughts and never, never copy anything that is not yours and claim it as your own.