The transformation of the world into a global village has come with an array of positive aspects. Through globalization it has been possible to give and share knowledge and information for the good of the world and for the betterment of the human race. One of the ways by which spread and dissemination of information has been possible is the print media. This form of communication has witnessed growth in leaps and bounds over the past few years. From print in magazines and books, the onslaught of the internet era has seen print media taken to the worldwide web too. The progress has gone so far and the contribution of print media in turning the world into a global village has been phenomenal. However, in the backdrop of all the achievements and progress, print media has not gone without experiencing challenges. As a budding industry, it has constantly met drawbacks. One of the most eminent of these challenges is plagiarism.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “to plagiarize” as a verb which means copying another person’s thoughts, insights or ideas and incorporating them in one’s own work claiming it is one’s original work. In essence, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, “to plagiarize” is likened to taking another person’s work without his or her consent and using it for personal gain while laying claim that you are the original composer of the work.
According to Dictionary.com, “to plagiarize” refers to the act of imitating another person’s language and/or thoughts without their approval and use of such material for one’s own benefit. Such an act warrants the title “to plagiarize”, especially if one does not recognize the contribution of the original person’s work in the final work. In this context, it is more often than not used with writers and authors.
Merriamwebster.com defines “to plagiarize” as to steal and use another person’s words and ideas as one’s own. It involves using another person’s idea without acknowledging or crediting the source from which the information was obtained. The dictionary also describes “to plagiarize” as committing literary theft, that is, presenting as original thoughts and ideas heavily borrowed from another source.
According to the definitions given above, “to plagiarize” borders closely to theft and, indeed, is not far from infringing the original author’s (or owner’s) right. It remains an unacceptable trend and everyone needs to contribute to bring the vice to a stop. Students are expected to uphold originality and dependence in their work. For this reason, any thoughts, ideas, or information, obtained from a second party, need to be documented and due credit given to the deserving party. It is, therefore, wrong for any student to take up work done by another person and make a claim to be the brains behind the piece of work. It not only limits the student’s scope of creativity and imaginativeness but also turns the student into a pale shadow of what is expected of him or her. Students would do themselves a lot of good by refraining from acts that amount to plagiarism and those that limit their ability to utilize their brain power for their own development. Nevertheless, students are not the only victims commonly caught up in this web of deceit and dishonesty. The general public also contributes to the vice on numerous occasions. Using words and ideas which are not one’s own (and without the consent of the composer) amount to plagiarism. With this in mind, it becomes clear that most, if not all, have plagiarized at one point or another. Sometimes, people commit acts of plagiarism even without realizing it.