Thursday, March 15, 2018

What is plagiarism?

What is plagiarism?

It is one of the worst problem an author faces these days. No matter how hard the author tries, the plagiarizers always keep finding a way to steal ideas and plots. 
It's a disheartening experience to any author - new or experienced. No one can digest this. 
A few may even go as far as to say if their work is plagiarized then it means they are famous. Do they even listen to themselves?
Answer this:
1. A thief breaks into your house and take all your valuables. Do you say he stole because I am famous?
2. The thief breaks in for the second time? Do you still say the same?
The answer is:
No. Losing your valuables doesn't get easy to anyone. It goes the same with the authors. Their stories are their mind children. They are conceived, cherished and delivered after several struggle. I know of authors who takes several years to finish a story. 
Do you think it will get easy for them to digest when someone else steal their story, ideas, content?
The answer is always and will always be 'NO'.
There are two types of Plagiarizers: 
(i) The ones who does is knowing well it's a theft. 
(ii) Genuine people who does it without the knowledge that they are doing it. 
We will discuss more about this in our future posts. The second point I mentioned above may be debated, but I know what I told above. I will come to that eventually. This post is to educate people who doesn't know what is plagiarism, isn't it? So, be patient. 

What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.  
Defining plagiarism:
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the act of plagiarism as:
"to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one's own"
Plagiarism is simply taking other people's words and/or ideas, using them, and then - rather than giving credit to the person who thought of them, pretending that those words/ideas belong to you.
What is considered as Plagiarism?
IEEE: Advancing Technology for Humanity says,
However, there are in fact degrees of plagiarism: one can steal an entire paper, or a section of a paper, or a page, a paragraph or a sentence. Even copying phrases without credit and quotation marks can be considered plagiarism. In other words, paraphrasing done improperly can qualify as plagiarism.  

Who cares if I plagiarise? has an interesting explanation on this. I couldn't disagree.
You should care because:
There are two fundamental reasons why you should not plagiarise:
  1. Plagiarism is stealing: stealing other people's work, words and ideas. It is, morally, no better than stealing a car or anything else. If someone else stole your ideas, how would you feel?
  2. Plagiarism represents information illiteracy. If you plagiarise somebody else’s work, you are implying that you are incapable of explaining your own thoughts and ideas, even if this is not really the case. If you’re caught plagiarising, this will make it appear that you are effectively illiterate when it comes to handling information – not an impression that you want to create!
They talk more about how students frequently fall into the plagiarism trap and go here to read it: . If you are a student, then you must read this article.

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