Recently, the issue of plagiarism has become prevalent in almost every institution of higher learning, negatively impacting students’ performance, and their academic outcomes. Thus, it is crucial for universities to emphasize the meaning of plagiarism, its associated effects and how to shun the vice. This paper entails a summary of the recoded lecture “Understanding Plagiarism and How It Can Be Avoided” by Thomas (2020). Particularly, the summary will define plagiarism, outline various forms in which it occurs, how to detect it, its associated impacts and how students can avoid the misconduct.
Plagiarism refers to using other people’s exact ideas and words in individual work without appropriately acknowledging the sources either by citing or referencing. Thomas (2020) lectured that plagiarism can occur in eight forms. First, poor paraphrasing can happen when one uses words and phrases which resemble the source. Second, some students use verbatim or direct quotations without clear acknowledgement. Third, copying and pasting information from the internet without adequately giving credit to the source. De Montfort University International College (DMUIC) emphasizes the significance of avoiding verbatim quotations and copy-pasting from the source as it does not demonstrate original thought or an understanding the ideas being discussed (Thomas, 2020). Fourth, failing to recognize all support, such as from laboratory technicians or fellow students, that has contributed to the completion of personal work amounts to plagiarism.
Fifth, inaccurate citation is equal to stealing other people’s work, which is an academic misconduct. Typically, the inability to list sources according to someone’s discipline results in a false assumption that the information belongs to the student. Sixth, plagiarism can happen in form of collusion where students engage in unauthorized collaboration and submit assignments that are not entirely theirs. Seventh, Thomas (2020) further added that obtaining consent to use written materials from other people or professional agencies to produce individual work is an academic misdemeanor. Finally, submitting a paper for an assessment that an individual has already submitted, in full or partially, to meet the standards of another examination or degree course constitutes to auto-plagiarism.
Most students who engage in acts of plagiarism get caught through various means. Thomas (2020) argued that plagiarized work can be detected through the use the Turnitin software, which provides a report detailing how much of the paper’s content has been copied from the source. In addition, the software determines the level of the work’s similarity to other works previously submitted to any university. Moreover, a paper is considered plagiarized if a student cannot elaborate the meaning of their submitted assignment. Students who take part in plagiarism always incur harsh penalties, including suspensions and expulsions. Essentially, Thomas (2020) mentioned that students plagiarize due to such reasons as dishonesty, lack of knowledge of what is expected, pressure, poor skills of time management, citation confusion, different cultural views, and inability to summarize. As a result, students should work on areas that may lead to plagiarism.
In conclusion, given that the repercussions of plagiarism are devastating to an individual’s academic outcomes, students should do everything possible to avoid the academic misconduct. The recorded lecture insisted that students should ensure that they effectively quote, paraphrase, and summarize their work to produce plagiarism-free work. In addition, they should also differentiate someone’s else work from theirs for easier by citing and referencing every source of information.
Thomas, S. (2020) ‘Understanding plagiarism and how it can be avoided’ [Recorded lecture]. LIPCF133_2021_503: Study Skills 3. De Montfort University.