Imagine this scenario. It’s 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night and you spent your weekend relaxing, watching videos, hanging out, partying and having a blast with your friends. Then suddenly it hits you; you have a paper due at 8:00 a.m. But, you’re so tired and you really don’t feel like doing any work– not tonight anyway. Nonetheless, you are a bit worried that you will receive a failing grade if you don’t turn in something. So, you do what a lot of students in your situation do. You search the Internet, download a free research paper, copy and paste it into Microsoft Word, concoct a few citations, make a few minor editorial changes, put your name on it, and viola, you think you’re done. You then pat yourself on the back for turning a bad situation into a positive one and go to bed without thinking about it further. Well, a week later, your instructor turns back the papers and lo and behold, you receive a big fat “F” on it! You also see a note that says, “Please see me after class.” Well, at the end of class, you meet with your instructor who tells you that you have undoubtedly plagiarized yourself right into a failing grade. She also tells you that if you do it again, you will not only get an “F” in the class but you might also be dropped from the University as well.
So, the moral of this story is DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Let me reiterate for those who didn’t get it the first time: Do not plagiarize. It simply isn’t worth it and, for those who aren’t sure what plagiarizing is, let me explain. Plagiarizing is when you “use someone else’s work as your own and you don’t give them credit for it.” In addition, plagiarizing also occurs when you rewrite someone else’s words or use their ideas and paraphrase them without giving them credit. In essence, if someone else’s writing inspires you to write something, you must revise or paraphrase those words then give the author credit for them. With direct sayings, you can do this with “quotation marks” and for paraphrasing a simple notation will work fine.
But, why is plagiarizing so bad? It is bad because it involves cheating, stealing and basically using someone else’s work as your very own and that isn’t good. It also prevents you from learning about new subjects and impairs the learning process. In addition, it can lead to a life of crime—just kidding. Bottom line, it just isn’t good and can get you in a heap of trouble.
So, let’s take a little pop quiz to make sure you understand what situations fall under the act of plagiarizing. Here goes:
- If you copy and paste an article from the Web and do not give credit to the author, is that plagiarizing?
- If you copy and paste several articles from a bunch of articles and not give them credit for it, is that plagiarizing?
- If you read an article and then write about it from memory without citing the source in your note section, is that plagiarizing?
- If you purchase a custom model research paper (that has not been plagiarized) from a site like ours and then turn it in as your own without citing the source that wrote it, is that plagiarizing?
- If your friend gives you permission to use her paper as your own, is that plagiarizing?
Well, the answers to all these questions are very simply yes, they are all forms of plagiarism and if you do any of them, you are guilty of plagiarizing. Furthermore, doing so puts you at risk of getting a big fat “F” and possibly being expelled from your college or university. In addition, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice by not involving yourself in the research and writing process. So, do yourself a favor: DO NOT plagiarize! When using someone else’s words, always give credit where credit is due…to the author/writer who wrote it.