Common Forms of Plagiarism
The most common forms of plagiarism are committed by students; the most offensive are deliberate attempts to "pull one over" on the instructor. The reasons for doing this vary but laziness and procrastination are high on the list.
Once discovered—and they are seldom not—deliberate incidences of plagiarism are handed over to a governing body for review and prosecution. Here is a list of the most common:
- Purchasing an essay or paper from a Web site (or anywhere else) and calling it your own.
- Borrowing another student's paper from a previous semester and calling it your own.
- Having someone else do your work, for free or for hire. Agreeing to do someone else's work is equally wrong.
- Claiming originality regarding material copied directly from outside sources. In other words, deliberately failing to cite sources.
- Improperly documenting quoted, paraphrased or summarized source material.
- Extending the length of a bibliography to meet project requirements by including sources not used in your research or making them up all together.
- Killing two birds with one stone. Recycling an essay or paper written for one class by using it in another class studying the same or similar material.
- Receiving help from other students on an essay or paper and turning it in under your own name as individual work.
- Collectively researching and writing a paper with other students and each turning copies into different class sections claiming it as individual work.
As you can see, most of these involve lying, cheating and stealing. The last two forms of plagiarism, however, are a bit more complicated. They involve collaboration and sometimes the line between it and plagiarizing can be a little blurry. After all, working, studying and sharing information is encouraged in most educational institutions.