Writers and researchers around the world take opinion and ideas about their writing from existing literature and taking that as a base only helps to create a new research. So it is not new or uncommon to incorporate existing knowledge into your literature. In fact it is imperative but still you need to be very cautious of plagiarism. So if I can include existing material in my study then what exactly do we mean by plagiarism?
Webster’s Online Dictionary defines “plagiarizing” as:
To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source;
To commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
So, in simple terminology, plagiarism is that content you include in your study that does not have appropriate credits. Which further means that it is ok to repeat ideas, quotations, information, arguments in your research from other sources but at the same time the original author needs to be given the credit for the same and if the new researcher who is using the idea refrains from doing so , he is committing the crime of plagiarism.
Plagiarism isn’t as easy to identify and locate as it exists in forms more than one. The most extreme kind of plagiarism is using someone else’s document in complete duplication and can actually have very extreme consequences for the researcher if caught doing so. It can lead to getting fired from your job or even get sued for infringement of copyright.
The most commonly found type of plagiarism is commonly seen on the internet where people copy others ideas and change the wordings but maintain the essence of the content without actually extending the due credit to the original writer.
Another commonly found type of plagiarism is out if sheer carelessness from the side if the author where he isn’t particular about adding citations at the proper places, not with the intention to cheat or duplicate the work but just being careless or lazy to out up the citations or references. This common error can easily be averted by being meticulous and careful every time something is written down from a source to include it in the references.
These were the most commonly found types of plagiarism, another type though can be included too herewith. Sometimes the writer builds an entire document taking content from various sources and citing them appropriately but does not incorporate any original thoughts or ideas into it. Then again the research loses it basic nature and cannot be categorised as original research.