Intentional and Unintentional Plagiarism – Part 1

Plagiarism is when you copy an idea or a concept and you present it as your own; that is how it is defined by most dictionaries. Plagiarism is a crime which most people, especially students commit.
Yes, believe it or not plagiarism is a very serious offense. It is very common and sometimes people do not even realize that they are committing a crime. Some people just do not know how to give credit and acknowledgement to the real writers which leads to accidental plagiarism. But, the other kind of this offense happens with the full knowledge of the plagiarizer.
The objectives of this section is to

  1. Define and understand plagiarism
  2. Learn the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism and
  3. Identify the reasons why some people plagiarize

One definition of plagiarism has already been stated above, another definition is stealing another person’s work, anything that you copy, or take without consent can be considered as plagiarism.
When is plagiarism accidental?
Accidental Plagiarism happens when a student or someone uses resources without proper acknowledgement, citation or documentation. Again, there is documentation but it has not been done properly, when that is the case it falls on the category of accidental plagiarism.
Look at the following examples.
Articles and papers that have been from another source, without citing where it has been taken from, the name of the person who wrote it and is not in the bibliography is considered as a plagiarized work. If you quote anything give the name of the person where you have got the quote from.
Papers and articles that have mentions of the references but are not mentioned in the bibliography are considered plagiarized. As a writer and someone who used some body’s work you are obligated to give full bibliographic reference.
Also paper works that has a bibliographic citation but has no reference to the original source is not acceptable. It has to be clear where your have got your information, and so proper documentation is important, so people that are interested can check out the original piece or article.
Let us now try to understand intentional plagiarism.
“Borrowing” is one type of intentional plagiarism. In this case people take an article, add and change a few stuff but most of the write ups are the same. This usually happens with the original writer’s knowledge or permission, hence “borrowing”.
Another type of intentional plagiarism is when you buy a ready to pass paper (like in clothing RTW, ready to wear) over the internet. A lot of student gets into trouble because of this king of plagiarism. It is common for students since you only need to pay and download. However it is easy for a teacher to know when it is generated by the internet.