Plagiarism: What It Is, and How to Avoid It

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Plagiarism: What it is, and How to Avoid It By: Dr. Colin H. Gordon, Prof. Peter Simmons, Dr. Graeme Wynn, The Faculty of Arts, The University of British Columbia Executive Summary

This summary defines the essence of plagiarism and the different aspects of it, points out the severity of the consequences it may lead to, and gives recommendations on ways to avoid it.

What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is intellectual theft; it is considered a serious academic offence, which may lead to grave repercussions on students’ academic history, to suspension, or even expulsion from University.

What are the types of plagiarism?
Plagiarism can be found in various forms:
- complete plagiarism - whole works being stolen;
- near-complete plagiarism - using portions of another text as own;
- patchwork plagiarism - patching together ideas and phrases from different sources;
- lazy plagiarism - appropriating others’ language accidentally due to sloppy research;
- self plagiarism - using or adapting one’s own work written for another purpose.

What are the ways to avoid plagiarism?
The boundaries between original work and plagiarism could sometimes be blurred; students should avoid any traps simply by maintaining good research habits and following the basic rules of writing and documentation; distinguish clearly between their own words and ideas and those of others; record, track, acknowledge and quote sources accurately; strive for originality in their work.

The article exposes the negative implications of plagiarism; discusses its various manifestations, which students should make sure to recognize and avoid; and asserts that the best solution to prevent plagiarism is to create original…...

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