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Why Plagiarism is Wrong: Understanding the Consequences and Ethical Implications

Free Argumentative EssaysWhy Plagiarism is Wrong?

Plagiarism is the act of copying or impersonating the work of another person and making others believe to be original content. There are several instances where plagiarism can occur. First, when a person takes written work by another parson and using it as their own without proper permissions or acknowledging the work of the original creator. Plagiarism also applies to copying of ideas, thoughts, copyrights, patents or even films. Plagiarism is considered as advice and an unethical practice in many professions like journalism, publishing, and writing, among others. It is also considered as a dishonest practice and may sometimes call for legal penalties as stipulated in laws of different countries.

The illegality of plagiarism depends on the case where it is applied. For instance, plagiarism in academics may be considered as dishonesty or theft, but not as a crime. On the other hand, theft of copyright may attract litigation process and consequent jail terms or fines. While using the work of another person to car out research or academic work, it is advisable to paraphrase ideas in a way that brings out similar meaning. Moreover, it is worth noting that using the work of other people for purposes of research is not ethically wrong. However, it should be acknowledged appropriately as a source of information. Acknowledging the contribution of another person’s work is considered professionally ethical and is the recommended way of using such information. In some instances, plagiarism is regarded as theft. This is the reason why it is taken seriously why incidences and cases are considered with a lot of weight.

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Most academic institutions especially in higher learning are very strict with issues of plagiarism, academic competence and integrity is regarded highly in these institutions. Therefore, academic integrity is very important. Avoiding plagiarism in academic work is a way of preparing students to practice professional ethics even after completion of school. It trains them to be competent in life and to avoid getting things done or issues solved the easy way. Avoiding plagiarism also ensures that students grab necessary skills and concepts as intended by their tutors. Plagiarism means that assignments are copied and hence work is only done for the purpose of passing exams. Some tutors may order retakes for plagiarized assignments while others may deduct marks for lack of originality. Moreover, some institutions have policies where certain levels of plagiarism are awarded zero marks. In other institutions, plagiarism is considered a serious crime that warrants for disciplinary action and may even lead to suspension and dismissal. The reason why learning institutions are so strict about plagiarism is the need to produce quality professionals who are competent not just on paper but practically as well. This also promotes a culture of academic excellence which is reflected in the workforce as well.

Though plagiarism is ethically wrong and dishonest, some people may plagiarize the work of other people unintentionally. This may happen when the use of material from a specific source is not quoted or properly acknowledged. Such a case may happen if offenders do not have the knowledge of how to avoid plagiarism. However, it is important that all academics present original work and practice academic integrity by avoiding copying form unauthorized sources and acknowledging authorized ones when they use them.

Students need to be very careful because their colleges and universities will not buy the explanation that the plagiarism in their assignments happened unintentionally because some people would be doing it intentionally and using that to cover their cunning deeds. If caught with plagiarized assignments, it can be considered cheating, and that can lead to the student appearing to the universities disciplinary committee where the student would be expected to defend him/herself. Unfortunately, redeeming oneself from the committee is a huge task which students find hard to and many will not even appear.

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Another way the university can punish a student who has plagiarized the work of other students would be by suspension of that student from the university for a period, and then the student is expected to retake the course when he or she gets back in the university. This is a huge loss of time because that student takes longer to graduate than those peers with whom he or she joined the campus with. Fortunately, the two methods are the most lenient ones that the student can get because there are those universities which will decide to terminate the course of that student completely, and that is quite unfortunate because it is not only embarrassing, but also that student loses time and money. It can cause irreparable psychological damage which would last the individual his or her entire lifetime. There is nothing bad like someone thinking about himself as a failure.

Sometimes, it is not noted when one is still a student that he or she has plagiarized, but it can happen later when someone is even practicing his career. This is also a very embarrassing moment, the more reason as to why people should try as much as possible to be ethical. Someone can lose their job when a degree which was acquired through fraudulent means is revoked. Plagiarism can lead to the revocation of a degree and loss of employment. In Germany, an ally of the President and a cabinet secretary lost her ministerial position when it was found out that she had plagiarized her thesis, and her degree was thus considered fraudulent. Besides becoming quite embarrassed and losing her position, she was also expected to apologize publicly for plagiarism. To avoid such things happening in the future of an individual, it would be important to avoid it altogether since the beginning.

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A publishing company can lose a lot of money in litigations if that the company has published materials which are plagiarized. This is hard for the company especially because the author may have done that intentionally. Settling claims takes money, and litigation spoils the reputation of the company. It is important that this does not happen to a publisher because it affects the prosperity of the business. Starting to avoid and control plagiarism as a student is the best option for everyone to protect their reputations.

The only way to avoid plagiarism in an argumentative essay is to properly attribute and cite all sources used in your essay. Plagiarism occurs when you present someone else’s work or ideas as your own without giving them credit. To avoid this, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Conduct thorough research: Gather information and ideas from various sources relevant to your argument. Take careful notes, ensuring you keep track of the source for each piece of information.
  • Use quotation marks: When directly quoting a source, use quotation marks and provide an accurate citation. This indicates that the words or phrase is taken verbatim from another author.
  • Paraphrase and summarize: Instead of copying entire passages, rephrase the information in your own words. However, even when paraphrasing, you must still provide proper citations to acknowledge the original source.
  • Cite your sources: Include in-text citations whenever you refer to specific information, ideas, or quotes from external sources. Additionally, provide a complete bibliography or works cited page at the end of your essay, listing all the sources you used.
  • Follow a referencing style: Different academic disciplines and institutions may have specific formatting guidelines for citations and references. Ensure you are familiar with the preferred style (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago) and apply it consistently throughout your essay.
  • Seek permission for copyrighted material: If you plan to use any copyrighted material beyond fair use, such as images, graphs, or extensive excerpts, obtain permission from the copyright holder and acknowledge the source accordingly.
  • Use plagiarism detection tools: After completing your essay, you can use plagiarism detection software or online tools to check your work for any unintentional instances of plagiarism. This step helps you identify and correct any inadvertent mistakes.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your argumentative essay is free from plagiarism and that you give proper credit to the original authors or sources of the ideas you present. It is essential to uphold academic integrity and respect intellectual property rights.

In conclusion, plagiarism is a serious ethical violation with significant consequences. It involves stealing someone else’s work, ideas, or intellectual property and presenting them as your own. The act of plagiarism not only undermines academic and professional integrity but also hinders personal growth and the development of essential skills.

Plagiarism is wrong for several reasons. Firstly, it is a form of intellectual theft, denying the original creator their due credit and recognition for their hard work and creativity. Plagiarism also stifles innovation and progress by discouraging individuals from generating original ideas and contributing to the collective knowledge of society.

Academic institutions place great importance on integrity, and plagiarism undermines the educational process. By plagiarizing, students miss out on the opportunity to engage with the material, develop critical thinking skills, and demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. It also creates an unfair advantage over other students who put in the effort to produce authentic work.

Beyond the academic sphere, plagiarism can have legal implications. Copyright infringement, which is a form of plagiarism, is protected by intellectual property laws and can result in legal consequences, such as fines and even imprisonment. Plagiarism also damages reputations, whether it’s an individual’s personal reputation or the reputation of a publishing company. Trust and credibility are eroded when plagiarized work is exposed, leading to potential financial losses and tarnished professional standing.

To avoid plagiarism, it is crucial to attribute and cite all sources properly. This involves conducting thorough research, accurately quoting and paraphrasing, and providing in-text citations and a comprehensive bibliography. Adhering to referencing styles and seeking permission for copyrighted materials are also important steps to uphold academic integrity and avoid legal complications.

Educational institutions and publishers play a vital role in combating plagiarism by implementing strict policies and utilizing plagiarism detection tools. However, ultimately, it is the responsibility of individuals to cultivate ethical behavior and develop a deep understanding of the importance of originality and integrity.

By embracing honesty, respecting intellectual property rights, and valuing the contributions of others, we can create a culture that fosters creativity, innovation, and academic excellence. Avoiding plagiarism is not only a matter of following rules but also a commitment to personal growth, professional development, and the advancement of knowledge for the betterment of society as a whole.


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