Plagiarism is gotten from the Latin word plagiarius (kidnapper) meaning the theft of words or slaves. The word plagiarism was first used by Martial, a Roman poet, in the first century A.D. (Jameson, 1993: 21). “Plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source” (‘The WPA Statement on Best Practices', 2008). Hannabus (2001) stated that plagiarism is making use of the words or phrases of another person and restating their thoughts in different words.
Plagiarism comes in two forms; it can either be unintentional or intentional. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when students use the words or ideas of others but fail to quote or give credit, usually because they do not know how. (Strayer University iCampus, 2010a) while the Intentional plagiarism occurs when a student knows that he or she is passing off someone else’s words or ideas as their own. (Strayer University iCampus, 2010b).
According to Dordoy (2002) there are factors that push students to plagiarise intentionally and unintentionally. Some of them are; fear of failure so they copy the next available paper online, laziness to critically think, procrastination and being nonchalant.
Some of the reasons why plagiarism should be avoided is that it kills a person’s intellect. Copying and pasting someone’s work as yours doesn’t push you to really know or think in originality. A graduate that can’t reason on his or her own and has to resort to stealing other people’s ideas is a failed graduate. Another very good reason to avoid plagiarism is the penalty when caught. A lot of schools out rightly expel or suspend any student caught plagiarising. This would cause a set-back in ones studies and also a stained academic record so it should be avoided. Finally, the student isn’t really deceiving anyone but themselves as the lecturers also make use of the internet and so they would know when a paper is original or not.
As stated above, there are certain ethical expectations from most schools regarding plagiarism and when this expectation is not lived up to, it is considered to be academic dishonesty and