Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is indeed such a sensitive issue. As a academician, I have heard about plagiarism like a millions of times. My writing lecturer once really emphasized the importance of avoiding the plagiarism in all kinds. She also reminded us to always give a source/credit/citation in every work we produced.

Plagiarism, from my understanding, is taking someone’s ideas or works without giving him or her a credit or acknowledgment. Plagiarism can be associated with cheating, copying, and even stealing. This sounds pretty bad, huh? And yes, it does.

I used to take this particular issue for granted. I used to think that this issue is not a big deal. I used to feel really fine when I cite or take something without mentioning its original source or giving the appropriate credit to its author or expert. Now, my eyes are opened, I won’t see this plagiarism issue the same way again.

Plagiarism is such a sensitive issue. I get this knowledge and understanding from my writing lecturer, Ms. Yenny. She even mentions that if we take something and we do not mention the author or the source, it can be really offensive and greatly unacceptable. This rule is even stricter in the US or UK. Now, I learn why this issue needs to be understood and addressed properly.

First of all, it will be really hurt and unappreciative if we take someone’s ideas/notions/concepts/findings/perspectives/works without properly mentioning the resource person. This only-copying activity simply means that we do not appreciate that person’s hard work, understanding, thinking, effort, persistence, and so on. It also means that we do something that will good for us and give us gain without considering others’ original ideas and creativity. It shows that we take the easy way, the instant one, the less difficult and risky one. Copying means that we imitate something – we do not make an effort to explore our own ideas and understanding, we do not work on our creativity. Copying or taking someone’s ideas might be good and accepted as long as we mention the source and give the proper credit. Learned from my writing lecturer, Ms. Yenny, we are allowed to take someone’s ideas in two ways:

1. We use direct quotation which means that we directly quote or write someone’s ideas or statements without changing anything. We quote as exact as the original source.

2. We use paraphrasing technique which means that we take someone’s ideas by trying to understand it first and then re-write it in our own words. It means that we take someone’s ideas and we write it with what we understand about it, the original idea cannot be changed though. We express the author’s idea by using different words. That is it.
We still need to mention the source either by using in-text citation or by using footnote.

Using someone’s ideas without properly mentioning the resource person also shows us an unprofessional attitude towards academic field and lack of professionalism as an academician. We should act properly then.

Plagiarism must be avoided. As I have mentioned earlier, doing the only-copying activity shows a lack of effort and a very irresponsible attitude. This is clear since we get good scores or appreciation from others, but from something that is not originally ours. We get the good remarks, we get the score we want, but we get it by using someone’s original idea or concept. In other words, we are not the ones who do the work, we are inspired by others’ work, and yet again, we do not properly address the source or the resource people. We also do not have or ask for the permission to use the idea or concept. We do the plagiarism, we plagiarise.

This might be a light issue for others, this might be considered as a trivial thing, but as an academician, we should always do what is right not what is easy. Therefore, it is better for us to always support our statements with sources, and most importantly, to always mention and give credits to the sources.

I am thankful that I begin to have a more deepen understanding and more awareness about this issue. I surely need to always keep this in mind for my present and future education.

I am also kindly reminded to be more careful in sharing or telling any information or concepts, especially if they are originally and exclusively mine. I am reminded to be more careful to whom I share my ideas and knowledge. This does not mean that I will stop teaching and sharing, it just means that I will constantly remind myself to be careful, aware, and not too easily-reached so others can take an advantage out of me without me knowing. I figure that I can start this careful-attitude and plagiarism prevention by asking others’ purpose when they ask me for information or ideas, what they will do with the information, and how they use the information. If all of these are already cleared up, then yeah, I don’t mind sharing anything. I, moreover, learn to not share my knowledge easily, it means that I want to see others’ effort first, I want to teach them to be independent, to try their best first before coming to me and asking for an explanation or information. I will also ask them which part they have a difficulty in, and start explaining from there, and I also don’t mind clearing up something they might have misconceptions about.

All of those attitudes might sound like I am a very strict person and stingy and over-perfectionist one. It also sounds like I have a set of strong principles particularly related to knowledge sharing and teaching. But, yeah, these set of principles or attitudes are created to motivate myself, so I can be more diligent, hard-working, and professional. So, before I implement them to others, I will make sure that I already implement them myself. Yeah.

P.s: this piece of writing is written based on the author’s personal perspective and experience.
P.s.s: a credit is given to the author’s writing lecturer, Ms. Yenny, for her knowledge and insights on plagiarism for the author.

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