Changing Views of Plagiarism

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Changing Views of Plagiarism One author calls plagiarism the "cardinal sin" of journalism (Fox) implying that it is the worst possible thing that a reporter can do. This is what is taught in most journalism (Fox) and composition classes, but is that statement still true. More and more students and others are using words that they have "mixed" (Kulish) with their original musings into a finished "original". The "sin" of plagiarism is getting an updated look now because it has become easier to accomplish in the digital age (Gabriel). The purpose of this paper is to examine what plagiarism has been, what it has morphed into, and to give a personal view on the topic. The Ghost of Plagiarism Past Someone could look at the above level two heading and say that it was obviously borrowed from a Dickens novella entitled "A Christmas Carol". People know this because the story has been widely disseminated, and has become a part of popular culture. Phrases such as "being a scrooge" or the above mentioned heading are parts of everyday conversation for some. People borrow lines and words all the time from works such as Dickens', but they are not considered to be plagiarizing the line (especially if they give credit). So when does use of intellectual property become plagiarism? Plagiarism is "taking the writings or literary ideas of another and selling and/or publishing them as one's own writing" (Plagiarism). The main issue that seems to be a part of the definition is intent. One
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