One definition of plagiarism as offered by one web article quotes “plagiarize means to steal and pass off either ideas or words of another as one’s own. It is the use of another’s production without crediting the source and the committing of literal theft.” (What Is Plagiarism?).
Many individuals view the topic of plagiarism as basic ‘copying and pasting’, which masks the reality of such a serious and prosecutable offense. Considering the nature of how such an act is committed, it has common occurrences; a vast amount being in schools, the music industry and even the workplace.
There has been a rapid increase in the amount of plagiarism cases reported in schools recently, which is believed to have doubled compared to two years ago. The issue of cheating has caused a majority of schools to start utilizing plagiarism-detection software to catch up with students. (Williams).
Despite having such software, some very tech savvy students still manage to evade detection. The occurrence of plagiarism in schools has significant effects on Education which may include; loss of a degree or job and poor critical thinking skills. Once plagiarized work is passed on as original, the student stands a great chance to lose their degrees and in addition to that, they develop a poor ability to engage in critical thinking which is important in being an individual. (Hall)
Plagiarism in the workplace or professional plagiarism is common mainly in industries like marketing or any other that involves drawing, writing, taking pictures or just creative thinking. An example of such an incident took place at the Researcher’s place of work. The Researcher once explained a method of solution to her boss; her boss then relayed the information to her immediate superior and took credit for it. In other words, this incident adequately defines the topic of plagiarism.
Plagiarism in Music probably has the second highest number of occurrences behind Education. There have been numerous reports of celeb singers who have been accused of and prosecuted for plagiarism in their music. Lady Gaga who is a very popular pop singer was recently accused for plagiarism in her new hit single ‘Judas’ by singer/songwriter Rebecca Francesscatti. Francesscatti claims Gaga copied portions from her music and is now seeking recognition for her creation and an undisclosed amount in damages. (Lund)
Whether intentional or unintentional, ‘Plagiarism’ is a prosecutable crime which occurs often in varying environments. As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”, it is better to try and prevent committing such an act than to deal with the consequences. There are a number of measures one may take to prevent plagiarism.
For individuals particularly involved in education, it is imperative that you know how to paraphrase, quote and cite sources properly. Once you know how to do that, you have significantly lowered your chances of such occurrences. In addition to that, there is a vast amount of software that helps you to correctly cite your sources and check for plagiarism. Furthermore, the Researcher believes that once an individual understands the concept of plagiarism and how unethical it is, they will try harder to produce an original paper.
Hall, Shane. “Effects of Plagiarism on Education” ehow.com, retrieved from: http://www.ehow.com/list_6075742_effects-plagiarism-education.html, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.
Lund, Anthony. “Lady Gaga Faces Judas Plagiarism Claims”. Musicrooms retrieved from: http://www.musicrooms.net/rock-and-pop/38866-lady-gaga-faces-judas-plagiarism-claims.html, 8 June 2011. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.
What Is Plagiarism? Plagiarism.org. retrieved from: http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_what_is_plagiarism.html, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.
Williams, Rachel. “Internet Plagiarism Rising in Schools”. guardian.co.uk, retrieved from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jun/20/internet-plagiarism-rising-in-schools (20 June 2010). Web. 7 Aug. 2011.