Why Is Plagiarism Wrong?

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Plagiarism is wrong because it is stealing someone's intellectual property, it creates a false impression of individual abilities, and it deprives one of learning opportunities. Process information from another person instead of plagiarizing with advice from a writing instructor in this free video on plagiarism.

Part of the Video Series: Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura, from youngwritersworkshops.com, and I'm going to talk about why plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is stealing someone's ideas, and if you think about an idea as someone's property, someone's intellectual property, using their words or their idea, is basically stealing their property, so that makes this one very important point, in why plagiarism is wrong. Another reason, a problematic thing about copying someone's work, is that you're taking responsibility for something you didn't do, so besides taking something from someone else, it's creating a false impression of your own abilities, or capabilities, and that is also problematic, because it's creating a falsehood, and a third reason that plagiarism is wrong, is that you're depriving yourself of an opportunity to do some work, that was assigned to you, and so you aren't learning, the thing that you needed to learn, by doing that assignment, so you're basically taking an opportunity away from yourself to learn. Using the internet, it's very easy to come across someone else's work, and it's extremely easy to cut and paste someone else's work, so you have to be especially vigilant, to not do that, as easy as it is. Take the time to process someone else's work, think about what it means to you, and then you can borrow some of the basic underlying concepts, without reusing that person's work directly, so those are some ideas about why plagiarism is wrong.

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