Plagiarism has different meanings to different pople and may elicit a wide range of responses. It tends to be taken very seriously by academics or if money is involved. While the internet has made plagiarism much easier, it has also simplified its detection.


Many modern endeavors place a priority on:

(1) originality and creativity

(2) rewarding or recognizing achievement

(3) learning how to think and communicate as an individual


Plagiarism involves 2 main problems – one or both of the following:

(1) stealing (taking rewards or recognition from someone else)

(2) lying (claiming that the material is your own)


Other sins – one or more of the following:

(1) laziness

(2) stupidity

(3) desperation

(4) greed

(5) other aspects of moral corruption


Types of plagiarism:

(1) intentional vs inadvertent/accidental

(1a) intentional use of someone else’s work without adequate documentation and/or without clearing delineating the material (usually by quotation marks)

(1b) inadvertent plagiarism may arise from confusion about how to cite someone else or what the boundaries are on “fair use”

(2) taking from others or self

(2a) self-plagiarism (intentionally reusing old material and passing it off as new)

(3) ghostwriting


Problem areas:

(1) simultaneous or independent discovery

(2) crytomnesia (failure to recognize that a pattern of thought may be based on an unremembered exposure in the past)


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