Plagiarizing and a Dictionary Definition of Plagiarism

Even if you do not know a dictionary definition of plagiarism, you definitely can explain it in your own words. If to be short and precise, plagiarism is defined as stealing – stealing someone's ideas, words, etc.

Plagiarizing and a Dictionary Definition of Plagiarism

For the great majority of people, stealing is an immoral act that should lead to some kind of punishment. Then why so many students continue plagiarizing?

What is the definition of plagiarism?

Most probably, you have your own interpretation. However, we want you to know a dictionary definition of plagiarism.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of plagiarism, it is:

  1. “an act or instance of plagiarizing”;
  2. “something plagiarized”.

It is also important to explain what plagiarizing means. Well, according to the same dictionary, plagiarizing is defined as:

  • “stealing and passing off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source”;
  • “committing literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source”.

What are the reasons for plagiarism?

Well, you know the dictionary definition of plagiarism. But what do you know about the reasons for this phenomenon? Are students not afraid of failing their courses or being expelled from school?

Sure they are, but the nature of plagiarism is a bit different. Here are several common reasons:

  • Students are short of time to complete all their assignments;
  • They see some of their peers plagiarizing without being caught;
  • They just see no point in paraphrasing the words of reputable scholars, like “I cannot do it better”.

How to avoid plagiarism?

It is important to know not only the definition of plagiarism but also the ways to avoid it. Actually, everything is very simple. You need either to paraphrase someone’s words or cite the sources properly.

As a conclusion, we want to remind that plagiarism is defined as stealing. You definitely do not want to be called a thief!