With the advancements in technology, plagiarism has emerged as on of the most grievous threats to the credibility of various academic institutions. According to Linda (2006), Plagiarism refers to situations where one takes part or whole of someone's words, research, music, writings, ideas, artwork, or other creative works and using it as his own efforts, without crediting and acknowledging the original author. In essence, plagiarism is intellectual theft, copying, or cheating in ones work. Plagiarism is widely reported in academia and journalism especially with the rapid growth of internet sources of information (Collin, 2007). Plagiarism can have both ethical and academic issues, which have varied consequences. Linda indicates that for established journalists, this vice can lead to the loss of credibility and tarnishing not only the name of the concerned journalist but also the newspaper or television news show associated with the ideas or scripts in question. This could result to very severe economic and professional consequences.
Legally plagiarism is prohibited and persons caught in such acts can face legal and monetary penalties (Collins, 2007). According to Linda (2006), academic consequences include failing in assignment, low marks, loss of privileges, academic probations and in many cases expulsion from school, college or university. All this have dramatic consequences on the concerned persons academic and career life. Linder reiterates that plagiarism can be avoided by using skills such as paraphrasing sentences and changing the sentence structure used in original structure. Quotations marks can also be applied when one want to use exact words used by another writer. One should cite all sources adequately and manage their time well to meet strict deadlines (p.58). Individuals are also widely advised to use online tools for checking plagiarism to make sure that all their writings are not plagiarized. Plagiarism should be avoided at all cost in order to improve level of education and to avoid putting other people's careers at stake. Strict measures should be taken to persons who are involved in these vices to encourage good writing practices.
In conclusion, plagiarism refers to the copying of words, research, music, writings, ideas, artwork, or other creative works and using them as one's own without acknowledging the original author. This practice is unethical because it can hurt the original owner of the works in question. Therefore, most students and academicians should avoid plagiarism at all costs and this can be achieved through proper referencing, paraphrasing and using quotation marks whenever direct quotes are using in nay writing.
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