Plagiarism Is Wrong

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What is plagiarism? To “plagiarize” can be defined as follows: “1. To steal and use (the ideas or writings of another) as one’s own. 2. To appropriate passages or ideas from (another) and use them as one’s own” (Morris, 1975, p. 1001). Put simply, a student plagiarizes when he or she copies the work of someone else and presents it as his or her own. It doesn’t matter whether the student copies from a professional writer, a teacher, a classmate, or a family member. It is still plagiarism. Nor does it matter whether the student copies from writing found on the Internet, in a book or magazine, in a textbook, on an overhead slide, or in a friend’s paper. These are just different sources of plagiarism. Neither does it matter if the student copies writing from a textbook or lecture that the student has memorized. This is still plagiarism. Why is plagiarism wrong? Plagiarism is a form of theft: to steal someone’s writing is to steal that person’sideas and mode of expression. Plagiarism is also dishonest: submitting a plagiarized paper is to falsely claim to have done the work of someone else. Plagiarism is self-defeating as well: copying someone’s writing does not really facilitate understanding of the content and nullifies an opportunity for genuine academic dialogue between student and teacher. What is the penalty for plagiarism? Plagiarized tests, papers, and assignments will receive a mark of zero. Students who submit plagiarized work will also have a note of “Academic Dishonesty” and/or “Misrepresentation of Personal Performance” placed on their transcript by the Registrar’s Office. For further information, see Humber’s “Admission Requirements and Academic Regulations for Degree, Diploma and Certificate Studies” (27). How can students eliminate plagiarism from their work? Avoiding plagiarism is easy if you always express your ideas

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