Property, as defined by Lectric Law Library, is “not only money and other tangible things of value, but also includes any intangible right considered as a source or element of income or wealth.” As such, intangible assets may include intellectual property. Like any other possession, this must be respected not merely for the reason that it is something of value but because as Catholics, we must respect the belongings of others. In this light, claiming what another owns, whether tangible or intangible is a form of stealing and it should be remembered that one of God’s Ten Commandments states “Thou shall not steal.”
Plagiarism may often be taken for granted despite the anti-plagiarism rules and regulations imposed and the penalties that come along with this crime. Failure to acknowledge the written works of another author and considering it as one’s own is a huge offense. As a manifestation of academic dishonesty or fraud, it is unethical and must be subject to certain sanctions. It is an anti-Catholic act.
In Teresa’s case, there is a great difference between paraphrasing and changing a few words like what she did with the theme of anger in King Lear. The main idea of the author is still evident in Teresa’s work, in fact, she used the exact same words except altering the order of some words. Teresa’s behavior of academic fraud is inexcusable and must be given prompt attention and should serve as an example that should be avoided by other students.
Lectric Law Library. n.d. Lexicon on Property. 06 March 2008 <http://www.lectlaw.com/def2/p100.htm>