Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

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When starting to attend college, most students don’t spend a lot of time considering that writing a paper incorrectly could be a crime. We all have probably heard of plagiarism but have not always looked at it seriously enough. Just accidentally citing something wrong could become a bigger problem. To avoid this, let’s learn about plagiarism, what qualifies it, and what the consequences are.

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The definition of Plagiarism is, “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own” (Oxford, par. 1). Basically, if any thought that is written by you is another person’s idea and it is not quoted or cited correctly, then it is considered plagiarism (Charbonneau, par. 1).

Mary Firestone in, notes that unintentional plagiarism “happens when students borrow words and ideas and cite them incorrectly. Students also unintentionally plagiarize when they don’t realize that borrowed ideas and short phrases must be cited” (par. 2). This seems that it would probably be something that would not be done on purpose, but by not doing something correctly. It seems to be mistakes that students have made in writing and citing.

Mary Firestone states in her notes that intentional plagiarism is, “where whole paragraphs of material or whole essays are submitted as one’s own” (par. 2). This is a more obvious omission. Even if it seems more severe, both types of plagiarism are wrong and would be categorized as such (Charbonneau, par. 1). According to Jacleen Charbonneau in her article on plagiarism, “Many students, unfamiliar with what constitutes plagiarism, can be guilty of plagiarizing without realizing it. But mistake or not, when caught, the repercussions are the same” (par. 1).

A major part of avoiding plagiarism is knowing how to quote and paraphrase. In using other people’s material, “Quotations must be reproduced word for word” (“Citing Sources”, par. 7). With paraphrasing, you use your own words and descriptions to explain their ideas (“Citing Sources”, par. 2). Paraphrasing involves using your own creativity and words in trying to explain what you understood from whatever you read.

There are certainly consequences for plagiarism. In reading the Belmont College Course Catalog & Student Handbook, there are three things that could happen as a result of plagiarism or academic misconduct. A student can receive a zero on the assignment that is involved in the misconduct, they can fail the course they were taking or they can be kicked out of college (p 50-51). It is also listed in the Code of Conduct of Belmont College which would see this as a “Violation of College-established policies or regulations, including regulations in the College Catalog or Student Handbook” (“Belmont Course Catalogue,” 42).

Learning the above information and knowing how to carry out the details are keys to avoiding plagiarism and academic dishonesy. As a student, double-checking citation directions can help along with practice in writing, citing and paraphrasing. Knowing what plagiarism is, whether accidental or on purpose, is important in avoiding major problems and the consequences of plagiarism.

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Plagiarism And Academic Dishonesty. (2021, Apr 07). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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