Author: Sydney Bauer
This lesson discusses the issue of plagiarism and discusses types of plagiarism.
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Introduction to Psychology

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Plagiarism is the act of stealing, borrowing, or claiming as your own someone else’s words, phrasing, or ideas. The word plagiarism comes from the Latin word “plagiarius” which means kidnapper. It sounds like a much more serious offense when you call it “kidnapping someone’s words, phrases, and ideas." People go to prison for kidnapping. Rarely do students recognize the gravity of plagiarism in school.
Students caught plagiarizing at school can face the following consequences:
  • An “F” on the plagiarized assignment
  • An “F” as a final grade for the class
  • College students may be asked to drop or withdraw from the class completely
  • The loss of respect and trust from teachers, faculty, staff, fellow students, and family members
In some schools, students committing plagiarism even lose their right to academic privacy, which allows teachers to inform each other about a student’s plagiarism.
Professionals caught plagiarizing can face the following consequences:
  • Loss of professional standing in their field or occupation
  • Loss of job (either project or job as a whole)
  • Loss of trust and respect from coworkers and bosses
There are different types of plagiarism:
  • Plagiarism is categorized as either intentional or unintentional
    • Intentional plagiarism is when a student or writer knowingly uses the words, phrases, or ideas from a source without crediting the source
      • Purchasing a paper from the internet and claiming it as your own is plagiarism (you have attached your name to words and ideas that are not your own)
      • Repeating the words, phrases, or ideas of a source (or even paraphrasing) without introducing the material as someone else’s ideas is plagiarism
    • Unintentional plagiarism is when students are unaware of either the definition of plagiarism or have not kept track in their notes which ideas are theirs and which ideas are from the source.
      • Young students, especially those in elementary school, have a harder time understanding what plagiarism actually is, and are more likely to commit plagiarism for that reason.
      • Older students, especially those in high school and college course, usually only commit unintentional plagiarism when they have not kept carefully organized notes.