Why is plagiarism considered so bad? It is because not only by plagiarizing are you taking away your own ability to learn, but you are discrediting the individual who took the time to create their own idea. Plagiarizers are typically lazy or think they are smarter than everyone else, I know from being in a jam, the easiest way to create an idea on the fly is to slightly change one that may already exist. Plagiarism is committed a ridiculous amount, from copying someone else’s homework to copying definitions out of a textbook. All of this can be fixed with two clicks of your keyboard. There is a way to use someone else’s ideas without stealing them, the key next to the semicolon, the quotation key can erase all of your plagiarism problems, as putting someone’s words in quotes not only gives them credit (if cited correctly), but it also boosts credibility if the information was pulled from a reliable source. Plagiarism is not only considered stealing, but the one who plagiarizes is also committing fraud to those who read his/her work. Fraud is no small matter, as punishment for fraud is as follows; “Most criminal fraud offenses are considered felony crimes and are punishable by jail, fines, probation, or all of the above. Civil penalties may include restitution (paying the person back) or payment of substantial fines (geared to punish the behavior).” (criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/fraud.html) So, technically I could go to jail for what I have done, to be honest I didn’t think much of it, but now I am seeing the true consequences. In the United Kingdom, the plagiarism rates are very high, and the top universities conducted a survey to see how many kids were expelled from school for plagiarism, and it turns out there were more than 9,000 cases, and a whopping 143 students were expelled from school; “Larger universities with less selective admissions policies have higher rates of student plagiarism and apply less severe penalties than their more selective counterparts, new research suggests. In a survey of 93 UK higher education institutions, a total of 9,229 cases were recorded in one year, and 143 students were expelled, according to a Higher Education Academy and Joint Information Systems Committee study.Researchers found wide variations both in rates of plagiarism and in the penalties applied, which appeared to be linked to type of institution. Universities and colleges fell into three main categories when separated by their plagiarism policies by the researchers – Fiona Duggan, former head of advice and guidance for the Jisc Plagiarism Advisory Service, and Peter Tennant, a research assistant at Newcastle University. Among one group, dominated by large, less selective universities, the rate of plagiarism recorded was twice as great (1.04 percent) as among the group dominated by smaller, low-income institutions (0.51 percent).” (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/143-students-expelled-for-plagiarism/402351.article#survey-answer) Another point that creates opportunity for plagiarism is the abundance of sites that sell research papers to students. As I just found out, plagiarism has been around since the 1960’s; “Since the late 1960s, commercial services began selling term papers to students, sometimes under the euphemistic name of, academic research services. These services are particularly repugnant, as these businessmen are making a profit from the fraudulent acts of students, as well as damaging the integrity of grades and degrees from schools and colleges. Additionally, since the mid-1990s, students can simply download material from the Internet, without the bother of retyping the text. While the Internet is a great resource for plagiarists, it can also be a great resource for professors who are suspicious and want to take a few minutes with search engines, in an attempt to find the true source. Further, some commercial anti-plagiarism services have begun to prepare databases of essays, term papers, etc. for comparison with a student’s work submitted in a class, in a large-scale attempt to find plagiarism by students. Furthermore, the existence of free material on the Internet is likely to diminish, if not kill, the business of selling term papers from stock. Unfortunately, there may continue to be a business for custom-prepared papers.” (https://www.checkforplagiarism.net/cyber-plagiarism) This has become such a giant problem that teachers around the country use a form of a plagiarism search engine, such as Turnitin.com, which compares the words written in a document to documents that have been submitted on countless university sites, as well as comparing them to other papers that have been turned in by students across the country. Turnitin was created in the late 1990’s, and there is actually controversy behind its uses; “Turnitin is a commercial, Internet-based plagiarism-detection service launched in 1997. Universities and high schools typically buy licenses to use the software-as-a-service website, which checks submitted documents against its database and the content of other websites with the aim of identifying plagiarism. Results can identify similarities with existing sources, and can also be used in formative assessment to help students learn to avoid plagiarism and improve their writing. Students may be required to submit work to Turnitin as a requirement of taking a certain course or class. The software has been a source of controversy, with some students refusing to submit, arguing that requiring submission implies a presumption of guilt. Some critics have alleged that use of this proprietary software violates educational privacy as well as international intellectual-property laws, and exploits students’ works for commercial purposes by permanently storing them in Turnitin’s privately held database.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnitin) This is not all that Turnitin does, and a basic overview of how it works can also be found on its wikipedia page. ‘The essays submitted by students are stored in a database used to check for plagiarism. This prevents one student from using another student’s paper, by identifying matching text between papers. In addition to student papers, the database contains a copy of the publicly accessible Internet, with the company using a web crawler to continually add content to Turnitin’s archive. It also contains commercial and/or copyrighted pages from books, newspapers, and journals.” (Wikipedia/turnitin). The bottom line is plagiarizing on technology is nearly impossible, unless there is no record of what you are plagiarizing. The best way to plagiarize would be through handwriting, because no teacher is going to type out what you wrote into google to see if they can find a match. I am very sorry for plagiarizing my extra credit essay, especially because I wasn’t even required to do it. I am also sorry because I may have taken you for a fool and try to slip one under your nose, but I should have known that you are too smart to be finessed by one of your students. Thanks for giving me another chance, Sheesh.