PLAGIARISM Definitions The concise Oxford dictionary (6th edition) (1976) Plagiarise - Take and use another person's (thoughts, writings, inventions) as one's own. The Cambridge international dictionary of English (1995) Plagiarise - To use (another person's idea or part of their work) and pretend that it is your own. The Oxford advanced learner's dictionary (5th edition) (1995) Plagiarise - To take somebody else's ideas or words, and use them as if they were one's own.
The Oxford advanced learner's dictionary (6th edition) (2000) Plagiarise - To copy another person's words or work and pretend that they are your own. Collins COBUILD English language dictionary (1987) If you plagiarise someone else's ideas, or part of a piece of writing or music by someone else, you use it in your own work and pretend that you thought of it or created it. Funk and Wagnalls' new standard dictionary (1921) Plagiarism is the act of appropriating the ideas, writings, or inventions of another without due acknowledgement; specifically, the stealing of passages either for word or in substance, from the writings of another and publishing them as one's own.
Plagiarism is taking another person's words or ideas and using them as if they were your own. It can be either deliberate or accidental. Plagiarism is taken very seriously in UTM and Malaysia Higher Education. If even a small section of your work is found to have been plagiarised, it is likely that you will be assigned a mark of '0' for that assignment. In more serious cases, it may be necessary for you to repeat the course completely. In some cases, plagiarism may even lead to your being expelled from the university.
REASONS FOR PLAGIARISM 1. Deliberate plagiarism This is when you make the decision to steal someone else's work. For example, this could be either: 1. Because you do not have the time to do the work yourself 2. Because you do not have the energy to do the work yourself 3. Because you think your lecturer will not notice 4. Because you think your lecturer will not care 5. Because you are not able to do the work yourself
It can involve: 1. Copying another student's work 2. Copying another person's work from a book or a journal 3. Copying another person's work from a web-site 4. Asking another person to do the work for you 5. Downloading the complete text from the Internet 6. Buying the text from the Internet 7. Paying for someone to do the work for you In all cases, if you do not do the work yourself, you are unlikely to learn from it. It is therefore not useful and a waste of your time. Do not do this.
There are many ways your lecturer can check whether or not you have plagiarised. It is not worth the risk.
2. Accidental plagiarism
This is when you accidentally, through carelessness or lack of skill, use another person's words without acknowledging it. This can happen for several reasons: 1. You do not know that you must not copy a person's words directly 2. You do not have the skill for expressing another person's ideas in your own words 3. You do not know the correct systems for indicating that you are using another person's words or ideas
4. When you take notes from a book or journal, you copy out some sections and do not make this clear in your notes. Later when you re-read the notes, you forget that they are not your words or ideas; 5. You forget to acknowledge another person's words or ideas 6. You do not have time to include the acknowledgments and list of references 7. You feel your written work is not good enough 8. You borrow your friend's notes, not realising that some of the words are plagiarised.
3. Types of Plagiarism Hamp-Lyons & Courter (1984, pp. 161-166) distinguish between four types of plagiarism: 1.
Outright copying Outright copying is when a student uses exactly the same words as the original author without using quotation marks or saying where the words are from.
Paraphrase plagiarism Paraphrase plagiarism is changing some of the words and grammar but leaving most of the original text the same.
Patchwork plagiarism Paraphrase plagiarism is changing some of the words and grammar but leaving most of the original text the same.
Stealing an apt term Stealing an apt term is when a short phrase from the original text has been used in the students work, possibly because it is so good.
4. Think About These Plagiarism is the representation of another person's work as your own. There are three main reasons why you should not do this:
1. It is not helpful. If you plagiarise, you are saying that something is your work when it is not. This is not good, you will not learn much from it and it will not get you good marks. In order to do well in higher education, you need to be responsible for the ideas and facts that you use. You need to provide evidence for these ideas and facts. You need to show where they have come from and what they are based on. You do this by acknowledging the sources, by citing. This will support your arguments and help you succeed in your academic writing. It will also show your lecturers that you have read and understood the required texts.
2. You need to come to your own conclusions. You need to show that you have understood the material and come to your own conclusions on the basis of what you have read and heard. Therefore copying from textbooks, or pasting text from the Internet into your own writing, is not good enough. Most of what you write will come from the ideas of other people (from the text books you read, the lectures and the seminars you attend, and your discussions with other students, etc.).
This is what academic study is all about. However, you need to come to your own conclusions on the basis of what you have read, listened to, and discussed. The purpose of an essay is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas that you have studied, for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. The emphasis should be on working with other people's ideas, rather than reproducing their words.
3. It is against the regulations. You must not use another person's words or ideas as if they were your own. This is against university regulations and is regarded as a very serious offence. It is also not helpful for you. If you plagiarise, your lecturer cannot understand how well you understand the course and cannot therefore give you useful advice and support. In addition, if you plagiarise, you are not learning. This will become obvious in any written examination you are required to take.