Plagiarism can be defined as the act of taking another individual’s work and using it as though it was your original work. Plagiarism is more common in academic writing that it is in areas of music, artwork, and ideas. Plagiarism is illegal and should therefore be avoided.

Extent of Plagiarism

Comparing the work of the student with the original source, it is clear that portions of sentences have been taken as they are and some more information is added to try and give the original sentence a new meaning. In other cases, a list of phrases has been interchanged but the sentence is still the original one.

Rephrasing Plagiarized Sentences

The rigorous scientific tools are incorporated by the biomedical research and is critically scrutinised by peers (Crossen, C. 1994: p166).

Some of the reasons why the information cannot be warped include: ending a study because the results are disappointing, changing the rules at the middle, trying not to publish negative results, publicizing preliminary results with less positive results in hand, and failure to acknowledge drawbacks (Crossen, C. 1994: p167).


How to Recognize Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be recognized by the presence of direct quotes in the work of the student without showing the source of the direct quotation (Lise, 1999: p.5). It can also be recognized by the replacement of some words with some other words that have the same meaning.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarism, a writer should try and avoid the use of direct quotes in his or her work without showing their sources. In case some work has been borrowed from another person and has been used in ones work, it is always important to cite these sources (Lise, 1999: p.5). This way, one won’t be accused of plagiarism.


Plagiarism is an illegal act and is punishable just like any other illegal acts. It is therefore important for one to avoid plagiarism by making the necessary citations in case another person’s work has been used.


Lise, B. (1999). Perspectives on plagiarism and intellectual property in a postmodern world.


New  York: Suny Press Ltd, 3-10.