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  • A definition and description of plagiarism
  • Discussion of why plagiarism is bad
  • Review of the anti-plagiarist policies implemented by US and UK academic institutions
  • Description of the penalties imposed on the students caught plagiarizing
  • A personal opinion regarding the issue of plagiarism
  • Discussion of why heavy penalties against plagiarism are justifiable
  • Conclusion
Plagiarism according to the understanding of many people is the copying; using of the ideas, or parts of the literature of another party, and presenting it as one’s own. However, words like “borrowing” and “copying” may disguise the gravity of the offense of plagiarism. According to deeper definitions, “to plagiarize” means: stealing and presenting the words or ideas of another writer as one’s own; the use of the material authored by another party without acknowledging the source; literary stealing, and the presentation of an existing idea as new or original. In simple words, plagiarism is a fraudulent act, as it involves the stealing of the work of other parties and later lying about it; presenting the work as self-made. Considering the fact that plagiarism involves the presentation of the work and the ideas of another party as one’s own, it is conclusive that the person presenting the stolen work receives credit for the efforts they did not deliver. Thus, plagiarism-in all its forms, is an offense and grossly wrong. This paper will define plagiarism, provide a review of anti-plagiarism policies, explain the penalties enforced and provide a justification for heavy penalties (Kumar A1).
Both US and UK academic institutions adhere to Plagiarism regulations, policies on literal fraud, and the policies fashioned for the protection of data and literature towards the development and enforcement of a premeditated anti-plagiarism measure. Towards establishing this, these institutions dissect between deliberate copying and the occurrence of inadvertent plagiarism. They also give consideration to ‘Acts on Human rights’ while dealing with the cases of plagiarism; provide enough caution. In order to put into place efficient anti-plagiarism measures, these institutions also need to make use of both a well structured and scientifically supported method; method consistent in the allocation of punitive sanctions and discipline. Based on the system to be used, the learners are made aware of unlawful approaches to plagiarism during their orientation into academics. The policies implemented are also directly correlated with the penalties of severe fines, expulsions and the withholding of degrees (Edmundson A29).
The penalties imposed on students caught plagiarizing in these institutions include: academic censure, based on the consideration of plagiarism as academic fraud; and fines, which can lengthen to cover expulsion from school. Other penalties include the cancellation of degrees; withholding of degrees, and the loss of years of study. In other cases: for first-time offenders, the guardians of the learner are informed about the issue; the student is awarded a zero-mark and declared ineligible of getting a “National Honor Society” awards. Repeat-offenders can be suspended from school for up to a period of 3 days, while the guardians are briefed of past and present offenses and the individual plagiarism acts dealt with on a case by case basis (Zernike A10).
From a personal point of view, it is not fair for different learners to get similar credit; in the case one of the learners presents the efforts of other parties as their own, while the other struggles to provide the required input and efforts. Based on this consideration, I consider plagiarism a crime, stealing and fraudulent, therefore unacceptable. Heavy penalties are justifiable, as the usage of light penalties will not fully discourage the cases of academic cheating. This is the case, as the imposition of such penalties will encourage the accountability of borrowed ideas, as well as the development of new ideas; writers will avoid the heavy penalties. Heavy penalties are also justifiable, based on the fact that “learners will avoid the unethical acts of plagiarism,” as a way of avoiding the penalties. The imposition of heavy penalties will also encourage transparency and truthfulness in the academic field; the awarding of deserved credit and qualifications. Heavy penalties are also justifiable, as they are enforced on repeat offenders and not those who commit the offense for the first time. For instance, a third-time offender will be expelled from school, while a first -time offender will be awarded a zero-mark. These penalties can also be justified, based on the fact that their imposition will serve as a warning to other students who may fall victims of the vice. For instance, after one student is expelled from school, other students who would have plagiarized will avoid the vice, as a move to escape the punitive action (Clarke 91-121).
The vice of plagiarism is a detrimental practice that should be discouraged at all cost, since it acts against the development of integrity in the field of academics. Besides, plagiarism is equivalent to stealing the efforts of others, thus unacceptable. The policies put into place are effective in curbing the vice, as they give consideration to the depth of the offense as well as the nature of the act. The penalties imposed on plagiarism victims include suspension or expulsion from learning institutions, or being awarded a fail in the subject under question. Heavy penalties are justified as they will help curb the vice, but should be applied carefully, as they may be gross, in the cases they are used on first-time offenders or cases of unintentional plagiarizing.

Works Cited

Clarke, Roger. “Plagiarism by academics: More complex than it seems.” Journal of the
Association for Information Systems, 7.2 (2006): 91-121
Edmundson, Mark. “How Teachers Can Stop Cheaters.” The New York Times, (Sept. 9,

2003): A29

Kumar, Anita. “High-Tech Sleuthing Catches College Cheats.” The St. Petersburg Times
(Aug. 31, 2003): A1
Zernike, Kate. “With Student Cheating on the Rise, More Colleges Are Turning to Honor

Codes.” The New York Times (Nov. 2, 2002):  A10