Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
“There is an important difference between intentional and unintentional plagiarism, and all judgments about plagiarism, along with any punishments for plagiarizing, should be adjusted to account for that difference.”… List your reasons and cite at least two sources. You may use Internet or library search sources for this discussion.
Discussion: Intentional and Unintentional Plagiarism
In broad terms, plagiarism involves using someone’s work, either directly or indirectly, and failing to cite, or recognize the author appropriately (Lipson, 2019). This may be intentional, that is, planned and premeditated act of copying one’s ideas and passing them as one’s own, which is outright cheating; or unintentional, in which one accidentally leaves out the required citations, because of lack knowledge of citation rules and regulations (University Grants Commission, 2017). While both are considered academic dishonesty, the motive behind each is dissimilar, and it is on this premise that I champion the thesis that there is an important difference between intentional and unintentional plagiarism, and all judgments about plagiarism, along with any punishments for plagiarizing, should be adjusted to account for that difference.
In order to shed more light unto this topic for better understanding, we can consider the highly sensitive case of murder. In the past, almost all murder cases were given one similar sentence: the death penalty. However, advocates were later able to convince the judges that there was more than meets the eye behind the murder scenes. The motive behind such crimes plays a pivotal role in the ultimate judgement rendered, which can also be likened to the case of plagiarism. While most educators have been treating plagiarism cases as entirely the same, assuming all culprits had the same sinister purpose, it would be imperative if more consideration is exercised in coming up with a proper penalty for this academic vice (Lipson, 2019). If intentional, the full penalty as outlined by each corresponding institution should be meted out as deemed fit by the educator; while unintentional cases must be deliberated upon with care and understanding, and the student/subject trained on proper ways of making citations.
It is obvious that if this clause is introduced in learning institutions, then some people may take advantage of it. However, as previously defined, intentional plagiarism would always entail blatant copying of ideas and content without proper acknowledgment of original author, while unintentional may be a little bit subtle, characterized by simple mistakes such as paraphrasing without proper citation. It is imperative that a clear line be drawn between those two motives, and reasonable, befitting punishment be given out for each accordingly.
Lipson, C. (2019). Doing honest work in college: How to prepare citations, avoid plagiarism, and achieve real academic success. University of Chicago Press.
University Grants Commission (2017). Public Notice on Draft UGC Regulations: Promotion of Academic Integrity and Prevention of Plagiarism in Higher Education Institutes.