Lesson 2: Avoid plagiarism

If you use someone else’s idea or work, without citing the source, you are plagiarising. This is illegal.

Listen to a students eye opening experience about plagiarism:

According to the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica, plagiarism is among other things: “the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as one’s own. The fraudulence is closely related to forgery and piracy—practices generally in violation of copyright laws.”

According to the national lexicon, Den Store Danske Encyklopædi, “plagiarism” is a derivative of the Greek plagium, which means “dishonest”, and the Latin plagiarius, which means ”looting humans”.

Plagiarism often stems from copying, paraphrasing, or translating materials (texts, images, data, etc.) from books, websites, magazines, et al. in to ones own text, without citation or inclusion or a reference to the source. And if one doesn’t cite the source, one is committing plagiarism, which is a crime.

Plagiarism undermines scholarly research
Scientific research is based on others’ knowledge and work, and regardless if it is used as secondary or primary sources, it is a matter of fairness.

Fairness in this context means that the reader of your thesis should easily be able to distinguish your work from the work of others (citations, paraphrasings, summaries) If the boundaries are unclear in your thesis, you are not living up to the fairness requirement. This not only means that you are undermining the nature of scholarly research, but also that you are risking an annulment of your thesis, a loss of your scholarship, or perhaps an expulsion.

Plagiarism has fatal consequences
Although the majority of students know that they are not permitted to plagiarise, every year students are found out again and again, and their assignments are annulled on grounds of plagiarism.

In some instances, the plagiarism is downright cheating, e.g. an attempt at a speedy conclusion, yet sometimes a student mistakenly finds their way into plagiarism. This occurs when the student is unaware of what rules apply when referencing and citing.

In cases of plagiarism it is not distinguished between accidental and intentional plagiarism: both as regarded as academic crimes.

All cases of plagiarism are reported to the headmaster, who decides whether the scope of the plagiarism merits a re-exam or an expulsion.

The safest and easiest way to avoid the risk of plagiarism, is knowing how to cite and reference correctly. You can read about this in the following.

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