The Definitions And Concepts Of Plagiarism English Language Essay

Abstract: Tertiary education is facing the still endless problems such as plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism is such unethical action that is famously taken by university students in completing their assignment. This paper will focused on the plagiarism activities among university student. This paper will cover the definition of plagiarism, the concept and theory, challenges and solution or recommendation to addresses the problem. Regarding the sources, this article will be supported by a few secondary source literatures which got from books and journal.

Keywords: Ethics, integrity, plagiarism, information, cheating, students, tertiary education


The vast advancement in technology in information in term of accessioning and retrieval makes easier way and information is actually are at the fingertips. Students can just google everything and will of course get many information. In line with the development of information technology people are more likely to just use or in other word will fully utilize all the information by their own without acknowledging where they find them. That is a rough definition on the topic sentence of this term paper.

Plagiarism among university students had seems to be a common but critical unethical behavior because this can reflect the real quality of local university problem. If they just copy and paste or just use others works without proper acknowledgement, they are not doing their assignment and tasks by their own. They are actually cheating their lecturer but all at once they are not being honest to themselves. An achievement should come from ourselves so that we really know our understanding regarding what we are studying. Plagiarism sometime can also make us feel hard to develop our knowledge in writing academic assignment.

To makes plagiarism is totally unethical, it was very hard because students now really good in doing it. But they do not know anything they wrote. According to and Research Resources, there are several factors which students manage to plagiarize. Students life are so close to deadlines which is just around very quickly and there are also too much unsettle assignments need their attention. The also concrete point is they do not know the boundaries between plagiarism and research. Frankly said, they are confused about that.


Primary and secondary literature used to understand in deep about plagiarism. Plagiarism trends to be more serious because from my own experienced I had seen some of plagiarism among university students. They always just use the information in the internet or article and paste or copy it to their essay. Moreover through books and article journal information on plagiarism is easy to get. The journal are mostly from online database and which also provide on the web. Besides that, I had seen plagiarism among students and before I know this term I also do the same in my academic writing.

Definitions and concepts of plagiarism

Before we get to know about plagiarism term, let we begin with the major broad term which plagiarism is subtype of it. The term is actually ethic. Ethic is more to moral and value that we poses and that is a guide to us in doing task whether it is right or wrong. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, ethic is the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.

Next let we move to more narrow term which is the integrity. Integrity is actually doing something ethically which can be said as transparency and without any fraud or corruption. And also according to Ir. Dr Hasnul Mohamad Salleh in his article entitle 1Malaysia - Concept and Values, integrity is one of the eight core values which means to be honest and as the way to gain trustee among community.

Ironically, the small portion of example of unethically integrity issue is the plagiarism. Come to this term, now is turn to unlock and understand this term. There are actually many version of definition to understand plagiarism term. Generally, different author from different article or material comes with different definition. Symbolically, when analyzing the different perception, the actual meaning is not much different. In defining plagiarism context in the most accurate definition, Howard (2000) had concluded that there is no any standard definition toward plagiarism that could be applied. Some definitions of plagiarism are stated below:

According to Prof. Madya Dr. Nor Azni Abdullah, Prof. Madya Dr. Ahmad Mazli Muhammad and Prof. Madya Dr. Krishnakumari A/P N.R. Krishnan in their article entitle Avoiding Plagiarism: A guide for students, they define plagiarism as the broad use of the others works without acknowledgement and appropriate permission and claim fake authorship for submission and manipulate data.

In other word, the University of Manchester Metropolitan defined plagiarism term together with other offences in the Manual of General Regulation and Policies. In the document, plagiarism defined as the action such as submitting material whether is written, oral or visual which is actually originally produced by other person without proper acknowledgement and so the work might be considered as owned by the students. Another example of plagiarism is when the students submit the work which is actually a group work as an individual work. And such works are define as committing plagiarism or collusion.

Another example of definition on plagiarism were also comes from tertiary education in Malaysia. For example, Mara University of Technology (UiTM) defined plagiarism as when students or ones use other people ideas in his or her works without crediting them. The university had also listed such works or intellectual property of other person; their opinion, words, products, thoughts information and other ideas which are both written or spoken in the students assignments, project papers, theses, dissertation, research or proposal with no proper citation, acknowledgement and referencing.

As an early conclusion, I can say that plagiarism is an unethical behavior that can deny the value of integrity in workplace, education and social activities. Plagiarism is actions that actually just like illegally own others ideas or works without consider the aspect of ownership to those information. Plagiarism can demotivate the production of new ideas because users do not give credits to them.

Plagiarism concept

Collect and then take, employ, thieve, generate or change or manipulate another person’s speech, literature and creation.


person’s thoughts, writings, ideas and inventionsFlowchart 1: Plagiarism (how)

Submit or present is a original or fresh new one an idea or any source that you obtain or get from another existing sources.

Quote, changing phrase or lends most of the parts of the original works

Simplify he whole author‘s works in your paper or assignments.

Download, duplicate, photocopy, copy, cut and paste a written document or section directly from the Internet.

Interpret and then translate an original text.

You are committing plagiarism IF you don’t quote, cite, give credit or acknowledge the original source correctly and properly

Table 1: concept of Plagiarism (source: IPSIS, UiTM 2013)

Challenges in face plagiarism among university problem.

There was a news from UiTM in IPSIS UiTM which stated that; In 2010, 3 students were found guilty of plagiarism. One student was expelled and two were suspended for a semester. This is very shame to expose to the public. But it is true that local university students had destroyed their credibility as a student because of cheating and plagiarize. This trend was said by UiTM that any one of these penalties greatly affects a student’s future. He loses his trust and credibility, not only among teachers and instructors but also among his fellow students.

There are several common challenges in fighting with plagiarism trends among university. Because the information seeking behavior of this kind of society had become to be more search and research on the internet. The always look for what other people had done and just use them without proper acknowledgement. Students nowadays learn very quickly that find and manipulate the internet data is very precious skills. Because the information is widely available online, students tends to be actively busy utilizing all the data instead of find the most reliable and suitable data ( and Research Resources). Thus, it is very important to avoid plagiarism become as a ‘grade’ for our universities graduates because this unethical behavior can reduce their value as a student that had gain first degree in tertiary education. Many books and online journal had recommended many way to avoid students from plagiarize.

The first point is resistance to change attitudes and behaviors among students. They usually plagiarize and it is hard to change because they do not have ability to develop their works by they own. This factor is major and become strong ‘catalyst’ to block the changing of working culture among our students. Dahlia Syahrani Md. Yusof in his article entitle A Different Perspective on Plagiarism say in regarding of the reason to plagiarize, it seems that students in higher education does not take the issue of plagiarism seriously enough.’

Second points is because the advancement of information technology. This factor is directly related to the information seeking behavior in doing their assignment. They prefer to just google everything and take out the required information and make it as their own. Actually, there were supporting information to this factor. According to Habsen 2003, he suggested that in his research plagiarism is hard to avoid because of rapid boost in information technology. Because information is available in the cloud, no doubt this information is accessible to the interested party and they do plagiarized.

As what stated in the beginning of this term paper, the third reason why plagiarize is not easy to prevent is because of deadlines of students assignments. The deadlines makes students feel stressed and they do not work on it very much. The last choice is that they search for the same topic or the existed literature, cut or copy the whole or parts of it and paste it as their own works. Plus there were also many commitments to take into consideration that makes students come to the dead-end and they plagiarize on other works as a ticket to complete all the assignment.

The fourth reason of plagiarize is because of the weakness of the student themselves. For example he or she have very poor in academic writing which must be completed in English language. This also maybe because clarifying the topic sentence to make it reader friendly. As overall, the student may do not know how to organize their writing. Students who are poor in English, they usually pay hard to paraphrase the meaning of sentences and they tend to just copy and paste without they need to spend long time to interpret the meaning. As a simple frankly say, the students is actually lazy to learn that thing.

Last but not least, the factor of plagiarism is because they do not aware about plagiarism and they do not know that they had committed plagiarism. They also did even know how to cite properly to give credit to the authors they used their opinions. The students who really met the deadlines do not take careful notes where they get the information from.

Basically, plagiarism comes from many attentions. It may come from the students itself who are not aware or refuse to know about it and change or really because of the deadlines or commitments. So, in order to solve or minimize this problem, we can take numerous considerations which will include the whole community of the tertiary level education that fight for the best result and best productivity in line with integrity.

Recommendations to Address the Challenges in Plagiarism among University Students.

In addressing to these challenges, few recommendations can be proposed. Though we tertiary level issue, the most appropriate community to be includes are the students and lecturers together with the strategic management of the institution. First of all let we focus on the students.

Students must learn to properly and accurately quote and cite and give credits to the owner of the ideas or opinion. They must use proper citation in their reference or in text citation. There were such formats when write citation. According to LIU there are American Psychological Association (APA) styles, Modern Language Association (MLA) style, American Medical Association Manual (AMA) style, Turabian Citation Style and Chicago Citation Style which students can use when citing their references. They must acknowledge them properly when do in text citation in order to be honest that they gain the information from secondary data.

Aside from the students, the lecturer must also be strict enough to ban plagiarism among the students. They must warn the student with the term of plagiarism and educate them on what plagiarism is. To make the students being well known on the impact of plagiary, the teacher must tell them the reality that they can detect if the students plagiarize in their assignment.

The advancement in technology also makes the plagiary seem to be hard for plagiary. This is because there are now devices to detect it. According to Vibiana Bowman who edited The Plagiarism Plague, she stated that Turnitin, MyDropbox, Eve2, WordCHECKsystems, Glatt Plagiarism Services, CopyCatch and Viper software are now available and able to detect this unethical habit. For personal experience, this paper will be going to be traced with Viper software to detect plagiarism.

The lecturer and also academic management of the university must also treat the student with such penalties when they commit plagiarism. They must be educated that to gain good grades, they must struggle by themselves not by cheating. When they plagiarize, even they gain such a brilliant grades, there are no quality to be proud of because they are cheating with stealing others work and papers. Herman Melville 2012 had stated his quote that; "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation". Thus, by implement penalties on the action, such as get expelled from college and prohibited to sit for exam, the students will values other works and can preserve their integrity.

Another recommended solution to challenge plagiarism before it be a major problem faced in the tertiary level of education is through education approach. This means to make the assignments connect with the critical thinking of the students. Students are always just sitting in a class together and listening to tutorials or lectures. But sometime, it is very good approach when the lecturer let the students to brainstorm on a topic which need them to think critically. Same goes to the assignments. They must be given a general topic and they need to narrow down in to be very specific. This exercise can develop their thinking because they will generate as many as alternative that he or she can develop an academic writing. An article I had read provided by UiTM say that "lecturers are the key persons who have the capacity to lessen if not eliminate plagiarism". For example, in doing this paper, the lecturer allow students to generate essay on the topic regarding ethic. There are many branch of ethic such as in workplace, in social life and education. Next, students will explain more detail on the topic they selected according to the subtopic that had been attached together.

Top management are also not excepted in the effort to make plagiarism really an offense. According to Jonathan Hall in his article, he provide for top management and also the lecturers and the students to fight the trends of plagiary. He stated that the strategy can be expressed in four principles. They were through pedagogy, conduct dialogue on plagiarism in campuses, involving the students in anti-plagiarism programs or activity. The principle is about to gain awareness among university students and to understand the effect of plagiarism, and the teaching approach that can reduce or prevent plagiarism.


To conclude, plagiarism has many definition derived from individuals, academician and organization. Therefore we could not reject the reality that numerous organizational locally, nationally or globally established in information management and tertiary education have supported the concept and also apply and enforce its rules and implement punishments. The question for now is how far is our students get to understand this term and aware about it or they just ignore such banner or seminar that told them about the danger of plagiarism. Do they take consideration on what do plagiarism gives input and output to them? Do they care on the result on them in the future? It is Because sometime grade is not just an output. It is also the real story about the input that we apply to achieve he grades. Frankly say that the effort that implement to fight plagiary is just a waste without full sense of understanding and fulfillment.