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Plagiarism is a Matter of Intellectual Activities
Intellectual integrity and use of plagiarism are two things that can be defined as a way to act morally. Nowadays many scholars explore intellectual integrity in relation with the use of plagiarism. We can identify integrity not only from the point of view of acting morally, but also as one`s attitude to oneself. Plagiarism is a matter of intellectual activities and has central concern to education, teachers and those who are working intellectually.
The word “plagiarism” means kidnapping in Latin. As kidnapping means stealing people, plagiarism means stealing ideas. Exploring the concept of plagiarism, it is important to understand how people approach to each other, their intellectual work and studies. Everyone knows that stealing money or any kind of people`s property is a crime. Plagiarism is not considered to be a crime officially, but morally it is. Our thoughts, ideas and writings are our property and we do not want other people to use it, the same as we do not want anybody to wear our clothes or sleep in our beds. So the problem of plagiarism has become rather relevant to our moral principles and ethics.
The matter of plagiarism mostly faces the educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities, where students have to write different essays, term papers, research papers, etc. The internet and websites are the main sources of information and it is absolutely normal to use them. But how can one avoid plagiarism not getting nervous, while writing the paper? First of all, when we want to refer to someone`s ideas from a website, we must cite the source in the paper we are writing. Ordinary people cannot be experts in all spheres of life and it is good that we can find information of any sort in the internet.
How to Identify Plagiarism?
Sometimes it is really difficult to identify where plagiarism is. While reading we can remember the phrases or even the whole sentences and then use them in our writing. This is the ability of the human`s brain to keep information in our memory. That can be some kind of imitation or accident. To my mind, this cannot be considered as plagiarism.
There are some debates among scholars whether plagiarism is bad or good. When students or teachers are working on their works, they must consult various works of specialists in the different fields of study. In the past people got information from books, and it was impossible to identify whether a paper consisted plagiarism. Now, with the help of information technology different programs are used to identify the percentage of plagiarism in a paper. If plagiarism is more than seven percent, the paper cannot be valid and may be considered as a stolen one. All campuses have strict rules as for plagiarism. Even if you are not doing intentionally and use plagiarism accidentally, you may be expelled from the college or university.
The Ways to Avoid Plagiarism
If we do not want to be guilty in stealing other people`s ideas and thoughts, it is worth mentioning one more way to deny plagiarism. While using information from a website, it is worth to paraphrase it after reading. But it is not simple to paraphrase the information professionally. When a writer changes some words or phrases in the sentence, plagiarism still exists. For example, if we read: information technology is the main source of scientific studying in the social sciences. Then paraphrase it like: information technology is an important source of studying in the social sciences. We do not avoid plagiarism. Only the next sentence can be free from plagiarism, like: the social sciences provide new technology in the process of studying.
To my mind, the problem of plagiarism is the main matter of writers either professional or beginners. They have difficulties with plagiarism as they read or write a lot, and may accidentally use phrases and sentences that they have read or written earlier in their works. It is difficult to prove that this is your text, not somebody`s else. In this case it is worth to use special programs, like grammarly.com, in order to check yourself while writing. It takes the time, but you can be sure that your paper is 100 percent free from plagiarism.
To avoid plagiarism, students or writers must work hard and do not be lazy to paraphrase information by their own words. Only kids in school can use plagiarism on purpose. If we make our mind working, gathering someone`s ideas and thoughts, we can avoid plagiarism easily. But paraphrasing is not the only way to avoid plagiarism. A student or writer can succeed in their work only, if they are able to make a research, get essential information and arrange it in their own paper. There must be their own opinion, thoughts and conclusion about the subject they are writing. These writing skills can be achieved during long practice, perfect knowledge of the language and different writing formats. Anyway, in order to avoid plagiarism, it is very essential to be a hard working person, who is not lazy. A good way to improve writing skills is to attend different writing courses, which help students to write effectively avoiding plagiarism without stealing somebody`s thoughts and ideas. These courses provide different writing practices and activities. Teachers must help students to learn the ways of avoiding plagiarism, instead of blaming them that they are doing wrong or unmorally. Intellectual integrity and use of plagiarism could not be neglected.
In conclusion, we must say that the problem of plagiarism exists and we have to find appropriate ways to avoid it. As any other problem, it requires our efforts, knowledge and desire to be successful on the way of solving it. There are special tools, which scholars offer to avoid plagiarism, like citation and paraphrasing. But still they are not the only sources, which we can operate with. We must make our mind think, analyze ideas and thoughts, as well as any information that we have read in the websites. We should take into consideration the moral aspect of the problem. We are not thieves to steal somebody`s else ideas and thoughts. Writing is an intellectual work - that means that we must learn how to make our brain be more active and generate our own ideas in the process of writing. Using information from various websites also requires be selective and accurate in order to avoid plagiarism in the papers. Improving our writing skills is possible, if we attend special classes and have practice in writing. Excellent writing skills can be a solution of avoiding plagiarism.