JANUARY 5 — Plagiarism happens for a number of reasons, one is
because some students decide consciously to gain credit for the
work of others. However, most incidents of plagiarism are the
product not of deliberate cheating, but of underdeveloped
The term plagiarism, derived from the Latin word “plagiarius”
meaning “kidnapper” or “plunderer.” It has has been defined as
the practice of using other’s ideas and texts and claiming them
as one’s own original authorship without acknowledging the
Plagiarism may take various forms. The most serious form of
plagiarisms “to obtain and submit as your own paper written by
Other forms of plagiarism include doing the copy-and-paste of
texts without acknowledging the original authorship,
paraphrasing the original ideas of others without referencing
them or attributing the citation of a text to a false authorship.
Students plagiarise other’s works and present them as their own
because of the said cultural background of the students. Its
most obvious reasons are the language and content problems faced
by the students. In addition, these problems are compounded with
other problems like lack of motivation, desire for a better
product, aspiration for higher grades, etc.
Most plagiarised work goes undetected. The invention of modern
technology like internet has made plagiarism easier than ever
Martin Luther King, Jr, leading figure of Black Rights Movement
in the USA, was also charged with plagiarism in his Ph D
dissertation, and still today there is a piece of information
tagged at this research informing its readers that his
dissertation consists of plagiarised work.
Identifying plagiarism in academic papers is a very difficult
task. Even technology-equipped software as the like of Copycatch
or Turnitin is not feasible in all contexts, particularly in
developing countries where the problems of accessibility of
computers and internet facilities that are coupled with a large
number of students.
Students must bear in mind that their teachers are the experts
in the field and know the sources more than their students do.
Punishing the students of their plagiarised work sometimes can
be counter-productive in the academic field.
Teachers must teach plagiarism to their students not from a
punitive approach, but rather by drawing their attention to good
writing, and referencing and citation skills. They must bear in
mind that there must lie a difference between an original work
and a plagiarised work that is rejected in the student’s