This article is devoted to the problem of plagiarism among students and describes its various manifestations. The author affects both the intentional appropriation of the authorship of someone else’s work of science and the use of it or part of it under his own name without specifying the source of borrowing. Basically, students use paraphrased other people’s papers in their research papers. Today, when much attention is paid to copyright issues, the verbatim presentation of someone else’s text is extremely rare. At the same time, plagiarism in the article is interpreted not only as a violation of copyright; Hjortshoj also puts forward hypotheses about why students resort to this or that kind of plagiarism.
The topic that was familiar to me was the ranking of types of plagiarism. I knew that currently, there is a large number of officially punishable intentional plagiarism. Since plagiarism is constantly developing, new and more sophisticated forms of it naturally arise. However, I was aware that unintended and veiled forms of borrowing authorship are also taken into account. The difficulty for the teacher is that it is not always easy to distinguish these forms from each other, and sometimes it is impossible.
I developed my familiarity with the topics in the process of writing my academic papers. In my case, the plagiarism was unintentional: as a rule, when checking for plagiarism, fragments of my text accidentally coincided with someone else’s. However, this happened not because I copied someone’s text. I think it is more connected with the fact that when researching a certain topic, I often met with similar constructions and unconsciously memorized them. Therefore, my natural and logical conclusions as a result of the study of many previously published works looked like plagiarism.
The new material in the chapter for me was a description of the reasons why students use plagiarism. Hjortshoj inclines to the idea that the use of plagiarism is often caused by the lack of its own position on this problem (Hjortshoj, 2001). In addition, students often turn to plagiarism due to the inability to independently provide evidence, explanations, and examples to substantiate any thought. Thus, they have to borrow logical and illustrative examples from other authors. However, not everyone can correctly rephrase the information.
My initial reaction to the author’s viewpoints was disagreement. I think that in most cases, the use of plagiarism is not caused by the inability to argue one’s position or formulate it. In my opinion, students turn to plagiarism due to a lack of interest in the research topic or the subject itself. Unfortunately, universities have rather rigid curricula with a certain list of subjects, many of which students will never even need; however, it is still necessary to write papers on them. That causes an unwillingness to spend time that can be devoted to really important subjects on something that, in the student’s opinion, has little utility.
Despite the fact that I did not agree with all the positions of the author, the article still turned out to be useful for me. I have learned that relying on other people’s work and presenting a new understanding of them do not have a negative color. The use of the thoughts of other researchers with a link to the original source, on the contrary, has a beneficial effect on the formation of a scientific outlook. I think reading this article will help me avoid non-obvious types of plagiarism in further academic work.
Hjortshoj, K. (2001). Theft, fraud, and the loss of voice. In The transition to college writing (pp. 172-184). Boston, St. Martin’s: Bedford.