Loss of Integrity Through Plagiarism

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Mistakes are inevitable for every human and come with a small price. Likewise, intentional errors are unforgivable. Academic dishonesty is a popular conversation in a student’s life. Students are often tempted to ‘take the easy way out’ allowing them to step into a situation that could end their academic career. To stay clear of these issues, students must establish integrity. Integrity reaches farther than academics and builds a leader. With honour, one can lead with pride.

Integrity is the ability, to be honest, fair, and truthful, especially when no one is looking; it is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. As students, we are always tempted to do the wrong thing because it is straightforward, never seeing the consequence that will inevitably come; plagiarism is a common temptation of every student. Plagiarism is the process of stealing intellectual property without any recognition to the original owner of the idea. When students plagiarise, they become guilty of thievery and dishonesty. Professors put a lot of their trust in students to produce a genuine response to an assignment or exam. To not do so is having honour in all one does and shows good character. Plagiarism can lead to many inevitable circumstances such as permanent dismissal from the class, an ‘F’ on the assignment, exam, or course, suspension, or expulsion. Plagiarism is unacceptable and unethical. Students should display honesty to build trust. Our world is built on trust, and when one shows untrustworthiness, they create a reputation that stays with them for a lifetime.

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Plagiarism has many forms and levels. Merely changing a single word or paraphrasing in a copied text does not make it acceptable. The idea is what matters. Plagiarism in order from least to work include cloning, copying, replacing, remixing, recycling, combining, mashing, errors, aggregators, and retweeting. Cloning is the act of using the exact ideas of another, as one’s own, author without citing the source. Copying is the act of copying and pasting significant portions of another author without changes or citing the source. Replacing is the act of changing core words and phrases but steals the basic idea of the topic. Remixing is the act of paraphrasing many phrases from different articles and combining them. Recycling is the act of using one’s previous work without citing themselves. Combining, similarly, to remixing, is the act of fusing a cited source with the majority of an uncited source. Mashing is a mixture of multiple copied texts without mentioning any of the sources. Errors are inaccurate citations included in the references. Aggregators include citations that are and proper sources but show no original work. Retweets are appropriately cited but rely too closely on the original text. Plagiarism is larceny of the mind but knowing more about it can help one avoid problems.

There is a simple way of avoiding plagiarism; using one’s own words. Instead of typing out an essay, I keep away all resources and write from what knowledge I have of it. To avoid plagiarism is to write from one’s point of view of the topic, sometimes unknown, can reveal more about than from research. The idea of using citations and quotes is to support your thoughts and ideas, not to be wrong or right. They are meant to strengthen an individual’s argument. In this course, if I plagiarise, my punishment will include an ‘F’ on the assignment and maybe expelling from Lone Star College System. Academic honesty further extends to cheating, lying, sabotage, and theft. As a Lone Star student and a member of society, I will not participate in plagiarism or any of the dishonesties listed above. It is immoral, unjust, and wrong to steal from anyone and doing the right thing, even if no one is watching will be rewarded.

In conclusion, integrity and honesty will lead a good life with immeasurable character. Resources such as the internet, books, textbooks, professors, even yourself, are not meant to be abused. These resources are intended to support one’s claim and guide the reader to understand one’s point of view better. Plagiarism is terrible and leads to serious consequence. To avoid mistakes, write from one’s perspective before finding materials to support statements made.

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