Plagiarism in the Classroom Prevention rather than Detection

Plagiarism is when an author uses someone else’s wording or ideas as his own without giving proper credit to the original author. There are many different ways to plagiarize another person’s work, not giving credit to the original author by using references, failing to paraphrase and use quotation marks, and borrowing a paper that belongs to another person. Plagiarism can result in severe consequences. There are many ways to prevent plagiarism, cite sources, paraphrase, use quotations and do not copy another persons work.

When writing a paper of any kind and using another person’s ideas it is an author’s responsibility to give credit to the original author. A reference page must be presented at the end of all essays, reports and any paper wherein the author uses someone else’s ideas. This list should provide all necessary information so that the reader can retrieve the sources cited in the body of the paper. The reference page should be a page separate from the rest of the paper, have a title, and come at the end of the paper. If writing about the Titanic an author should cite any sources in the body of the text about the Titanic. This citation should direct the reader to the reference list where he or she can find the link to the article, book, or web page that the information originated from.

Giving credit to the original author of a work is not enough to avoid plagiarism. Quotation marks must be used when using exact quotations or phrases that belong to another person. If an author states in a paper that Disneyland was created with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world, he is committing plagiarism unless he puts that comment in quotations, since the quote belongs to Walt Disney. That portion of the essay should read: Walt Disney said, “Disneyland was created with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world”. The same statement can be paraphrased to avoid plagiarism by stating: When dedicating his new theme park, Walt Disney said he wished for it to bring joy and inspiration to everyone who visits. Paraphrasing the statement made by Walt Disney with a citation avoids plagiarism.

The worst form of plagiarism is borrowing another persons work. There are many web sites that publish essays, if a writer finds a paper online about any topic and uses that paper in complete form as his own, he is committing deliberate plagiarism. Claire Gaudiana had written a speech that eight years later Mr. Scott D. Miller, who was the President of Wesley College in Delaware, copied and posted in text as his own. A student who was doing research about education noticed the text of Mr. Miller’s paper and Claire’s speech were very similar. When compared, the two papers were almost identical.

Plagiarism carries many consequences. If a student commits plagiarism he can be expelled from school and employees can be fired from jobs. Most of all a writer loses his or her professional standing and credibility when plagiarizing someone else’s work It is also extremely unfair for one student to try to pass off another persons hard work as his own. Plagiarism can also result in legal ramifications. Some forms of plagiarism are misdemeanors for which the guilty party can be fined $100.00 – $50,000 and receive up to one year in jail. Some states consider plagiarism a felony offense. If the plagiarized material earns the guilty person $2,500.00 or more, he or she may be fined $250,000 and possibly spend ten years in prison.

Most colleges and universities punish for plagiarism whether intentional or non-intentional. As one form of punishment a student may receive coaching. A student will also possibly receive a zero score for the assignment with which he committed plagiarism. Suspension and even expulsion from the college or university are consequences of plagiarism. This is a serious matter and it is taken seriously by colleges and universities.

Plagiarism is an author taking another persons words or ideas and passing them off as his own. There are ways to avoid plagiarism, by giving credit to the original author, paraphrasing and citing sources, and never copying another persons work. Plagiarism can result in severe consequences but most of all it is wrong. It is always ethical for an author to use his own words when writing a paper. If he uses another person’s words it is only fair that he gives credit where credit is due.


Disney (1999). Disneyland Memories of a Lifetime.

Hacker, D. (2006). The Bedford Handbook.