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What is Plagiarism?

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As readers and writers, you must be aware of what plagiarism or intellectual theft is and how you can prevent instances of it from coming through in your writing. If you use someone else’s words and ideas without attribution, it’s called plagiarism. This is common in the academic world where students copy passages without giving the author his due.  However, the consequences of plagiarism are dire. You could get expelled from college, lose a book contract and lose opportunities.

You may not be a copy cat and get involved in direct plagiarism or word to word copying on purpose, but you could get careless and accidentally plagiarize someone else’s work as well.

You can prevent this from happening by citing all your sources and writing with awareness. Many times students submit internet research without really understanding what it is they are writing about. Also while you take notes from sources, you must remember where your sources are. If you are quoting a sentence word to word, you should put the words quoted in double inverted commas. If you want to talk about the gist of an idea, you paraphrase it. It’s as simple as creating folders that hold the correct information; this is always safer than pasting information onto word docs and forgetting later where those notes came from.

More links on the whos and whats of plagiarism:

http://time.com/money/4413480/melania-trump-plagiarism-high-profile/

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2011/1208/5-famous-plagiarism-and-fraud-accusations-in-the-book-world/Alex-Haley

http://cmsw.mit.edu/writing-and-communication-center/avoiding-plagiarism/

http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k70847&pageid=icb.page342057

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