In the United States, any form of plagiarism is considered to be a dishonest and serious offense. The author of any writing is considered to “own” those words.
So to use another person’s words, ideas, or analysis may be seen as a form or stealing.
But in my country . . .
If you are not from the United States, American attitudes about plagiarism may be new to you.
In some cultures, to use the words of others is a sign of honor and respect. In your country, the ownership of words may not be as important as it is in the U.S., where high value is given to using your own words. As a result, some actions that are considered “plagiarism” in the U.S. may be acceptable in your country.
Even though your instructors here may understand and respect your culture, they will judge your work by American standards. They will not tolerate plagiarism. Serious actions may be taken if you plagiarize.
Don’t American students plagiarize?
Yes, sometimes they do! In fact, plagiarism is a serious problem in American colleges and universities. When plagiarism is discovered, they get into serious trouble.
Why do students plagiarize?
- Sometimes, they are just dishonest.
- Sometimes, they don’t plan for enough time to do their own writing.
- Sometimes, they don’t know how to cite their sources correctly.
- Sometimes, they don’t know how to paraphrase or summarize.