Plagiarism 1001

By  Teonantra P. Manley

At the beginning of each and every semester students around the country are given a syllabus by their professors which outlines the curriculum for the upcoming semester. Professors on the first day of class slowly explain what is expected of students and what students can expect of professors.

When the section about Academic Integrity or Plagiarism arises, professors assume students know and understand the meaning of the terms and leave it up to the student to review the section at their leisure. But do students really understand the term “plagiarism?”

Plagiarism or to plagiarize, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as a transitive verb; to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source.

Plagiarizer as a intransitive verb: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source. Today, students are under the impression that plagiarism is limited to research papers and reports purchased online.

Did you know that copying someone’s homework answers or  finding answers to assigned questions and copying them from the internet is also considered plagiarism.

Case in point, a chemistry professor here at PBSC gave an homework assignment to his students as a extra credit boost to help them to better understand chemistry concepts and to earn extra points in the process. The professor mistakenly left the answer key on his desk after class.

A student found the key and commenced to copying the answers unto their homework assignment not knowing the professor had made mistakes on the key and these same mistakes were observed by the professor during the grading of the assignment.

Not only was one student observed plagiarizing the professors work, but the student had given the key to several other students in the same class. All the students were immediately received F’s, were reported to administration and severely reprimanded.

The consequences of plagiarism and/or cheating in college are severe and are not worth you losing out on a college education.

If you are unsure of the definition of the terms “academic integrity or plagiarism”, please seek the advice from someone who is knowledgeable and credible on the topic.

The PBSC Student Handbook can be found on the college’s website and it is one of the best resources on explaining the topic.

Palm Beach State College website: