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Examples and Samples

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is an intentional appropriation of someone else’s work, art, idea, or invention. Plagiarism can violate copyright and patent laws, leading to legal responsibility (Kestler n.d.). However, plagiarism can be found in various fields, not covered by intellectual property laws such as mathematics and other scientific disciplines.

As Gabriel (2010) said, most commonly plagiarism means publication of another author’s work or ideas and representing it as one’s own creation, as well as borrowing fragments of someone else’s work without indicating the original source. It is important to highlight, that a common sign of plagiarism is stealing another author’s copyright since unlawful use, publishing, and copying are not considered to be plagiarism, but piracy.

According to Kestler (n.d.), generally, there distinguish three basic forms of plagiarism: copying verbatim; copying verbatim, but with acknowledgements included; and inappropriate paraphrasing. Copying verbatim means word-to-word copying of another person’s ideas, expressed in sentences or paragraphs without an appropriate reference. Copying verbatim with acknowledgements addition is word-to-word copying with appropriate referencing, however, without including a phrase or paragraph in quotes. At last, wrongful paraphrasing occurs when another author’s words are slightly changed and presented as one’s own work.

Undoubtedly, writers and students need experience and knowledge to fully understand the concept of plagiarism (Girard 2004). Some, of course, commit intentional rather than unintentional plagiarism. This fact is proven by 2002-2006 surveys by a co-founder of the Center for Academic Integrity and business professor at Rutgers University of New Jersey, showing that approximately 40 percent of 14,000 undergraduate students confessed copying a few sentences in their papers (Gabriel 2010). Besides, plagiarism is a controversial topic in view of the fact that ideas perceived as original may in fact be written by someone else before (Girard 2004).


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