Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Plagiarism: The Theft

                                                   By: Shisir Parajuli
The overarching purpose of this term is to examine plagiarism as a theft in academic writing and ways of avoiding that. Plagiarism means taking information or ideas from another writers and using them in our own work without acknowledging the source in an accepted manner. It has been seen that all students have to face the issue of plagiarism because it can be a serious offence in an academic work.
Diane Pecorari in her book Academic Writing and Plagiarism defines “The plagiarism is not complete until the ‘taker’ writes or speaks about the work or idea, identifying it as his or her own” (1). Plagiarism is, therefore, fundamentally a specific kind of language in use, a linguistic phenomenon. Ang´elil-Carter, defines “The word plagiarism itself has origins in antiquity, and its negative associations stretch back as far: ‘the derivation from the Latin word meaning “kidnap” or “plunder” is indicative of how since its first usage in this way it has been regarded as a criminal activity—parallel to stealing other people’s offspring!” (17). If to plagiarize is to ‘take (the work or an idea of someone else) and pass it off as one’s own’, as the Concise Oxford English Dictionary says, then the ‘passing off’ occurs when the work or idea is articulated by the person who took it. Plagiarism in its modern sense, though, could not exist without the closely related ideas of copyright and intellectual property, the initial development of which, in the fifteenth century, was contemporary with that of the printing press. Not providing a reference when we have used somebody’s idea in our own work is relates with plagiarism. If you provide reference but not using quotation marks is also falls under plagiarism. Copying a few sentences from other’s article or work on the internet without giving reference in an accepted manner, taking paragraph or a few paragraphs from our friend’s writing without giving reference, making direct duplication by taking material from a book or websites, or other resources without acknowledging it, using parts of several other person’s work joining them together without mentioning the source, taking other’s ideas and organization without acknowledging them and using the summary which is substantially same to the original; all these ideas are relates towards plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a writer intentionally or unintentionally passes off another writer’s words or ideas as his or her own. Remember that you commit plagiarism even if you do not quote directly, but paraphrase or summarize (parts or all) another person’s text, statements, or remarks without clearly indicating where the borrowing starts and ends. You also commit plagiarism if you provide a list of references (bibliography, works cited, etc.) at the end of your work, but fail to include parenthetical citations or footnotes/endnotes showing where in the body of your text you refer (in any way) to the sources listed as references. The same rule applies to anonymous texts published on the Internet.
Plagiarism is a serious academic offense equivalent to theft. Like theft, plagiarism is penalized by Polish law. Whether the stolen object is a candy bar or a car, a single paragraph or a whole essay, we are dealing with theft. At the Institute of English Studies, any instance of plagiarism results in a failing grade—either for the assignment or for the whole course.
The writer or researcher needs to avoid plagiarism in his/her work in order to maintain academic honesty. Avoiding plagiarism means ‘respecting the ideas and words of others’. In order to avoid plagiarism, Bailey mentions:
To avoid plagiarism, and also to save having lengthy quotations in your work, it is necessary to paraphrase and summarize the original. Instead of this, students sometimes hope that changing a few words of the original will avoid the charges of plagiarism. Clearly you are not expected to alter every word of the original text, but your summary must be substantially different from the original. (7)
There are different ways of avoiding plagiarism. Some of them are; integrating quotations into the text, creating citation and paraphrasing, etc.  Integrating quotations into the text provides support for the writer’s argument, give examples of different viewpoints on the topic, suggest or indicate a relation between his/her own work or argument and others’, introduce authority of the viewpoints of the recognized authors and disagree with the viewpoints of others. According to Hamp-Lyons and Heasley, if quotations are to fulfill their function, they need to be identical to the original, word for word, and must be attributed to the author. Firstly if the quotation that consist of a phrase or clause must be contained within a sentence. Secondly,  if the quotation consists of one or more complete sentences, it can follow a colon and requires quotation marks and thirdly, longer quotation that consist of more than 60 words or 5 lines need to be ‘set off’ from the text. It is to be treated differently. In this situation, quotation marks are not needed.
            Creating citation also helps to avoid the plagiarism. In the text citations need to be fully identified in the ‘Reference’ or Works Cited list at the end of the text. These sources are arranged alphabetically by author’s last names, or when there is no author, by the first word of title excluding ‘A, An or The’ at beginning. Within the list, if a particular author is cited more than once, then the author’s entries’ are ordered chronologically by date (with most recent first). Mainly MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) systems have been widely used for identifying resources.
MLA format
Basic format for a book
Heinemann, Margot. Puritanism and Theatre: Thomas Middleton and Opposition Drama under the Early Stuarts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Print.
Reprint or subsequent edition of a book
Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio. 1919. New York: Viking, 1960. Print.
Book by two or more authors
Jewkes, Wilfred T. and Jerome B. Landfield. Joan of Arc: Fact, Legend, and Literature. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1974. Print.
Edited book: collection/anthology
Dowling, Maria, and Peter Lake, eds.  Protestantism and the National Church in Sixteenth-Century England. London: Croom Helm, 1987. Print.
Article/story/poem in a collection/anthology
Grant, Patrick. “Imagination in the Renaissance.” Religious Imagination. Ed. James Mackey. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1986. 86-101. Print.
Article in a journal
Clark, Charlene Kerne. “Pathos With a Chuckle: The Tragicomic Vision in the Novels of Carson McCullers.” Studies in American Humor 1.3 (1975): 160-65. Print
On-line book
Bok, Sissela. Mayhem: Violence as Public Entertainment. Reading, MA,1999. Questia – The Online Library. 2002. Questia Media America, Inc. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.
Article in an on-line journal
Rapping, Elayne. “The Politics of Representation: Genre, Gender Violence and Justice.” Genders 32 (2000): 50-63. Web. 20 May 2012.
Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helen Bonham Carter. Fox, 1999. Film.
APA format
Basic format for a book
Chomsky, N. 1957.  Syntactic structures. The Hague: Mouton.
Book by two or more authors
Katz, J.J. and Postal, P. 1964. An integrated theory of linguistic description. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Edited book
Hale, K. and Keyser, S.J. (eds.). 1993. The view from Building 20: Essays in linguistics in honour of Sylvian Bromberg. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Edited volume and article in an edited volume
Abraham, W., Epstein, S.D., Thrainsson, H. and Zwart, C.J.-W. (eds.). 1996. Minimal ideas: Syntactic studies in the minimalist framework. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Haegeman, L. 1996. “The typology of syntactic positions: L-relatedness and A/A’- distinction”. In Abraham, W., et al. (eds.). 141-165.
Article in a journal
Eide, K. and Afarli, T. 1997. “A predication operator: Evidence and effects”. Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax 59. 33-63.
On-line book
Steed, R. P., Moreland, L. W., & Baker, T. A. (eds.). (1997). Southern parties and elections: Studies in regional political change. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press. Retrieved June 10, 2004, from NetLibrary database.
In conclusion, Researchers and authors do not claim the words and ideas of others as their own; they give credit where credit due. They should use quotation marks to indicate the exact word of other’s writing, they have to credit the source in the text. The key principle of avoiding plagiarism is that authors and researchers do not present work of other as if it were their own work. When the authors carry out a study after one done by someone else, the originating author should be given credit; if the source is not given credit, it is called plagiarism and it is strictly forbidden in an academic work because plagiarism is a form of intellectual dishonesty or theft.

Works Cited
Bailey, Stephen. Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students.
 New York: Rutledge. 2010.
Hamp- Lynos, L. & Heansely, B. Study Writing: A Course in Writing Skills
for Academic Purposes. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2008.
Pecorari, Diane. Academic Writing and Plagiarism: New York: Continuum
            International Publishing Group. 2010.

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