Week 12 Discussion

Heath Nicholson

To what extent have your CJ105 concept definitions relied on copying definitions from Wikipedia and other Internet sources – is that plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using another person’s expression of an idea without giving the true creator his or her due credit, and rather taking credit yourself. I don’t the “stolen” idea has to be copied word-for-word in order to be plagiarism. To further explain what I mean I will reflect on some strategies I used to “un-plagiarize” my writing early on in my high school days. The following is sentence from Wikipedia’s page on plagiarism: “The modern concept of plagiarism as immoral and originality as an ideal emerged in Europe only in the 18th century”. As a youngster I would have simply used Word’s thesaurus tool to swap a few words. I think there is a very fine line between plagiarism and one’s own work, so fine that some people might accidentally plagiarize. But, if it was done accidentally one could argue it is indeed original work. I better stop there before I confuse myself further. In closing, I try to combat plagiarism trying to learn an idea first, then putting it down on paper as it comes naturally.

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