The Webster’s English Dictionary defines plagiarism as taking ideas from someone else and then claiming them to be your own. Plagiarism can be looking into your partner’s answer sheet during an examination, stealing the business plan of any of your colleagues or using the internet to copy literary or textual sources and then claim them as your own.
Here are a few other dictionary meanings of plagiarism:
- Use of other people’s work without giving due credit
- Presenting a new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
- Literary source theft
- Claiming other people’s ideas and words as your own
Plagiarism is treated as dishonesty, forgery and embezzlement. It cannot be justified as it includes the use of fraud means and in no form is the hard work of the plagiarist come into play. So it will be unfair to give someone credit for not using any of brains and just copying down works from easily available sources on the internet or elsewhere. Even if it is done unintentionally it is still regarded as fraudulence and once it is caught you cannot give any explanation as to why you have done it. The punishment is payment of a hefty fine and imprisonment. Countries like the United States have a very strict plagiarism policy and have websites like Theplagiarism.com to detect and catch plagiarism.
Ways of committing plagiarism are:
- Expressing someone’s thoughts without giving due credit to the source of the idea
- Enclosing the copied statements without the use of quotation marks
- Submitting anyone else’s work and claiming it to be yours
- Blindly copying other’s concepts, ideas and words
We must raise our conscience against plagiarism not just because once we get caught we will have to face dire consequences but also we must ask ourselves that if someone copies our work and acclaims riches and fame due to it, then would we like to remain quiet? Won’t we also take a stand against it. Treat others the way you want to be treated and don’t form the habit of a cheat.