Plagiarism is the act of copying someone else’s work and claiming it as your own material. For schools, this can be a serious problem as there are always a few students who will plagiarise for a good mark. Honestly, I do not see how work and research can be completed without the use of past material. I mean, if the material found is very basic and short, even paraphrasing this will not change much. Many plagiarising checkers will pick up paraphrasing but if the information was “George town was found in 1973”, how is it going to be more original? must it be reworded as “The town of George was acknowledged after the discovery of it in the years of 1973”? I do see the problem when students ctrl c, ctrl v material from other websites, but what if all that was acknowledged?

Plagiarism; the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. This definition was from the Oxford Dictionary. As you can see here, I just copied and pasted from the Oxford Dictionary. But does that mean I plagiarised? Furthermore, I included the source of my information so that others could identify where my material was coming from. I left the definition in that specific way because if it was changed or altered, it would lose the authority coming from Oxford. So is this plagiarism?

Finally, I have a story about year 8. Back in my old school, there was a very important assessment task which everyone was required to complete. Three students, close friends, worked separately on the task until a day before the submission date. They decided to have a look at each other’s work and discovered that one out of them three had created a portfolio worthy of high marks. The other two spent their free time at school trying to fix it but they could not create the same sense of confidence and knowledge from their friend’s work. So, just before the morning of submission, they begged, threatened and peer pressured this kid into sending them his work. Of course, this student crumbled under the aggression and there ended up with three assessments with the same wordings. Each one had their names and so was impossible at first to tell the original from the fake. Eventually the teachers sorted this problem and all three were suspended from school. Now I’m only a second source of this information so this may not have been entirely true. But I realised then how serious the schools took plagiarism and so fear kept me from this action.