Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as if it were your own. However, good research requires using another person’s published work to explain the topic, to analyse relevant issues, to develop new theories. The big problem students face is how to present this material in an intelligent and intelligible manner so that it is correctly attributed to the original author and so that it does not appear as if the student is pretending that it is their own original work. Students may suffer severe penalties including expulsion if it is believed that they have plagiarised work.
Writing to avoid plagiarism
Proper proofreading and editing can indicate where a student may be at risk. Learning to write properly can avoid this error. A student who deliberately plagiarises can be easily caught out through specialised software programmes.