Plagiarism is getting credit for work that was done by someone else. It is simply not giving the original author credit for their piece of work. Students plagiarize for many different reasons. Some of those reasons include but are not limited to laziness, lack of knowledge, and lack of time. Some students just don’t like to write and would rather get someone to write the paper for them or purchase a paper. There are many cases where the individual does not know the proper way of siting their sources. Last minute writing prevents the individual from having time to proof their paper for errors, which also leads to plagiarism. Waiting until the last minute to write a paper also leads to those poor decisions to copy and paste, not cite sources or borrow someone else’s paper (Thompson, 2011).
The difference between intentional and unintentional plagiarism
Study shows that most plagiarism is unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is using someone else’s paper as if it were your own, which includes someone writing a paper for you or you borrowing a paper that belongs to someone else. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when there is a lack of understanding of how to cite sources or improper paraphrasing. The best way to avoid unintentional plagiarism is to get familiar with the writing style that is used by your educational institution (Thompson, 2011).
The importance of citing sources
It is always important to cite your sources when you are using someone else’s ideas. Citing sources helps your reader better understand from whom the thought, idea, or opinion is coming from. It is important for the reader to be able to locate, verify and confirm sources. Credit must be given anytime you a referring to a piece of work that belong to someone else. Anytime someone else’s words are being copied verbatim or the ideas of another person that are spoken, written or recorded is referred to as plagiarism (Thompson, 2011).
Citing, direct quoting, paraphrasing and expressing another’s ideas
Plagiarism can be avoided by citing, direct quoting, and paraphrasing anytime someone else’s ideas are being expressed. Citing your source lets your reader know that the information being used belongs to someone other than the writer, as well as helps them to locate that particular source. All direct quoting must be “word for word” and the original author must be credited. Paraphrasing can be used by taking a passage of someone else’s writings and putting them into your own words (Purdue OWL, 2007).
Common Knowledge and Hypothesis
Any information that is generally known by the majority of population is known as common knowledge and documentation is not required. Reference sources do not require a citation unless the information is being used to determine the prevalence of a particular subject matter (Thompson, 2011) However, when in doubt, I would recommend that it is better to cite the source and not need a citation rather than not cite the source and need a citation. That is one step that can be taken to prevent plagiarism. By over citing, you may not get credit for all of your original thoughts and idea but you surely will not be taking the chance of unintentional plagiarism (plagiarism.org).