Plagiarism: Definition and How it May Be Avoided Essay Sample

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Plagiarism Defined 

            If one utilizes somebody else’s ideas and claims it as his or her own then he or she ought to be charged with “plagiarism” (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 57 – 58). Plagiarism may be said to have been carried out as well if one uses the words of someone else without acknowledging who the words really came from (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 57 – 58).

            Interestingly, there are elements of free online plagiarism checker and these are the following: “1) object; 2) which has been taken; 3) from a particular source; 4) by an agent; 5) without acknowledgment; and 6) from a particular source” (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). The first one refers to what is copied, for instance, words & sentences (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). Meanwhile, the second refers to the act of “stealing” the words & sentences (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). On the other hand, the third refers to the where the words & sentences were stolen from, for instance, “books, peer-reviewed journals, and world wide web” (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). The fourth refers to the “doer” or the “student or academician or any individual” who carried out the stealing of words and sentences (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). The fifth however refers to the act of not giving proper credits to whom it is due (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73). Finally, the sixth element means that whether or not an individual planned to plagiarize, he or she would still be charged with plagiarism (Sutherland-Smith, 2008, pp. 70 – 73).

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism            

            It is very unfortunate to know that there are some students who engage in this serious act; it’s very fortunate however that there are ways on how to avoid it and some of these are the following:

            First of all, in carrying out research, it is advisable that while reading, taking down notes should be done simultaneously as well (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.). In cases where one wants to lift a quote from the material, it is also worthwhile if the author and other details will be placed for it to be acknowledged or cited or given credit to later (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.). Also, in cases where one desires to paraphrase it instead of quoting it, it is still recommended that one takes down the source since even if one has paraphrased in already; it is still not an original idea of the one who paraphrased it (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.).

            Second, it is always safer to create summaries and always provide credits to whom it is due (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.). This way, one is not compelled to quoting, accidentally forgetting to cite the material utilized, and eventually committing “plagiarism” (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.).

            Third, direct quotes should always have quotation marks; to be safer italicize the quoted statements as well and always provide citations (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.).

            Last but not least, if one wants to have his or her paper rechecked for “plagiarism” before turning it over to the teacher/professor, there are sites which offer “plagiarism-check” on papers (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.). After the machine runs the paper, it will tell if there are plagiarized parts or not, it will even highlight it so that one may revise it again until it is “plagiarism-free” (Purdue University, 2009, n.p.).


Purdue University. (2009). Avoiding Plagiarism: Safe Practices 

            Retrieved March 14, 2009 from


Sutherland-Smith, W. (2008). Plagiarism, the Internet and Student Learning: Improving  

Academic Integrity. New York: Routledge

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