What is Considered “Plagiarism” In Our Modern Day?

According to dictionary.com the definition of plagiarism is “ the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”  Plagiarism is a solemn matter.  The consequences for plagiarism can be dismal especially during this time and day that we live in. Plagiarism is not just frowned upon at universities such as Penn State but it can come with serious consequences that can lead to suspension or explosion for anybody accused of it.

The question we all ask: What is considered plagiarism in our modern day? Is plagiarism always intentional? Do students even recognize when they are committing the act of plagiarism?  Can plagiarism be misunderstood?

In the New York Times Article  “ Plagiarism Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” addressed how a student from the University of Maryland was reprimanded for copying from Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression. The student claimed his entries unsigned and cooperatively written did not need to be credited since they counted, principally as common knowledge. This itself comes to show that plagiarism is not viewed the same in anybody’s eyes, especially not students in our digital age.

Don't plagiarize!

This leads us to the question of what is plagiarism is in our modern day. The student from the University of Maryland surfaces a valid point. Is copying from Wikipedia even considering plagiarism? Isn’t Wikipedia considered information that should be common knowledge? Where do we draw the line? The digital age makes it easy to just copy and paste. It makes the concept of authorship challenging for students to grasp.  Cyberspace offers us information on a platter in front of us, it makes it difficult for the upcoming generation to differentiate what copying is and what it’s not.  Accreditation is NOT given where it’s deserved many times and studentsneed to realize when not to cross the line.

It’s clear that in this day and age that students don’t necessarily understand what exactly plagiarism is or even how to differentiate the difference between common knowledge and copying.  Every piece of writing should be individualized. Accreditation needs to be given where it’s deserved. In conclusion we need to realize that when we take somebody else’s writing, we need to give the author credibility earned.



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