What is Plagiarism and How to Write Plagiarism Free Essays
Plagiarism equals cheating. When I was 10, my father got transferred to Russia. City Bank was increasing its presence on the terrains of former Soviet Union and my dad was heading regional country office based in Moscow. I will never forget my first day at school and my experience with the strange Russian culture, which I never fathomed or felt. I studied in the so-called American school. It was an institution created for children of rich Russians, diplomats, and of course ex-pats like my father. Most of the teachers were English, with no doubt talented Russian pedagogues trying to instill the knowledge of math and science upon us.
All went well and I even made friends with a couple pretty girls (smart and somewhat rebellious girl named Maria one of them) before my unlucky experience with Russian culture of cheating, which shows no respect to non plagiarized research papers or plagiarism free essays. In the middle of the first semester we were given a quiz in math. Our teacher, an old man named Leonid Petrovich, put the quiz tasks on the blackboard (peculiarities of education in post-Soviet countries is writing everything on the blackboard, often with a piece of chalk) and left the room. To my greatest surprise and horror, all, and I mean ALL Russian students, took out their textbooks and started copying all answers on their exam sheets. “Cheating, cheating, plagiarism, dishonest behavior, plagiarism”- thee words were running in my head. Needless to say, I and other non-Russian kids sat still and continued solving the problems; no one resorted to opening the textbooks. After class was over I and very thin small-looking English girl approached Leonid Petrovich, telling him all about the incident. “Teacher, we know that cheating is prohibited. We also know that students are to learn to solve math problems on their own, as well as to write non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, plagiarism free essays, and of course plagiarism free research papers”. The old man was not surprised to hear our revealing story. On the contrary he seemed upset and puzzled. “I will take care of this, kids, thank, thank you”- he was murmuring. We started naming the children who cheated on the quiz, but Leonid Petrovich stood with his mouth open, he did not bother to write the names down. In fact, he behaved like we were the ones who cheated, like we were those who did not appreciate the virtue of non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, and plagiarism free essays.
On my way home, a group of older boys pushed me into a very muddy puddle, hit me with sticks, and broke my lip and head. All they screamed was “traitor, go back to your stupid America, we know better how to handle studying”. My dad was sitting in a large armchair and sipping coffee. He loved coffee in the evenings. I entered the room and my mother dropped her glass of wine on the floor. Later that evening I learned from my parents that cheating and disrespecting plagiarism free practices in the form of non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, and plagiarism free essays is customary in Russian culture. In this poor and somewhat wild country cheating is considered normal by the society: teachers and pupils alike. “Revealing the truth (or telling on comrades) is what condemned here”- my father explained. “What do I do?”- I asked him in complete perplexity. “You can not resolve this problem peacefully now, son. You need to come to school, declare that you did what you felt was right and tell them that you will fight all of them, one by one. People respect that.” I still hear my dad’s words of wisdom, the words of truth sounding in my head forever, “Stand and fight till you drop or till they drop. Do not pity yourself, do not think about the blood dripping form your nose, stand and fight”.
Years passed since that time. Needless to say, the day of facing bullies willing to kick my ass was the hardest day of my childhood, and also the most empowering and enthralling. I declared my stance, I stood firm, I was heavily bruised after all, but I withstood. Working in the field of academia today would not be possible for me if it was not for that incident. I decided to share with the world what I believe in, explaining the difference between honest learning and plagiarizing, between authenticity and cheating. Below is my interpretation of what constitutes plagiarism and how students can learn writing non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, plagiarism free essays, and plagiarism free research papers.
The following definitions are typical to most educational policies and regulations. Although the exact definitions may vary, the manner in which colleges and higher education institutions define and explain plagiarism are very much similar. Plagiarism is defined as the “reproduction or paraphrasing, without due and timely acknowledgement, from public or private (also including unpublished) material (also constitutes material downloaded from the internet) attributable to, or which is the intellectual property of, another including the work of students” (University of Southampton, 2005, p. 3). Those students who are learning to write non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, or plagiarism free essays need to understand that plagiarism may be of different forms. Plagiarism can be written and non-written and hence would also constitute the unreferenced use of “computer programs, high-tech computing models, mathematical algorithms, computer programs or software in any form, macros, spreadsheets, web pages, databases, programs used to perform mathematical calculations, calculus models or designs of any kind, tables, diagrams, graphs, pictures, works of art of all kinds, fine pieces of art pieces (modern or ancient), images of digital nature, computer-aided design pictures, GIS files, photographs, maps, compositions of any kind, advertisements, presentations and tracing” (University of Southampton, 2005, p. 3).
Let’s analyze the matter further to develop a better understanding of the issue of plagiarism and understand how one can prepare non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, plagiarism free essays, and plagiarism free research papers. To simplify the complex and somewhat difficult to understand official definition presented above, plagiarism means presenting someone else’s paper or article as if it were his or her own thoughts, whether intentional or not. Someone else’s ideas refer to anything that is not student’s own work. The grey area is rewriting and paraphrasing. Remember: even if you rewrite the article you found on the web in your own style, it has to be properly and duly referenced. The above includes (but not limited to, since the issue of plagiarism is truly a very broad one):
• chapters from textbooks, journals or any Internet or printed sources
• the materials or ideas prepared other students or instructors
• any information found on the web
• computer programs and all sources of electronic materials
• someone else’s ideas
• the presentation or structuring of any such information.
Plagiarism seriously harms academic honesty mainly because it is a form of cheating, stealing and miscommunication. Plagiarism means that one person is stealing other individual’s intellectual property and presents somebody else’s ideas as his own. This is why Western educational institutions of all levels prohibit plagiarism in any form. Although different institutions may define plagiarism differently, most plagiarism definitions are in general agreement with each other.
I will continue explaining the matter of plagiarism, presenting best ways to write non plagiarized term papers, non plagiarized research papers, plagiarism free essays, and plagiarism free research papers in my next article. I will use real world examples from my rich teaching practice to illustrate the matter of plagiarism further. Kol tuv and l’hitraot, my dear readers.
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