What Is Plagiarism, Its Penalties And How To Shun It

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM, ITS PENALTIES AND HOW TO SHUN IT?

Introduction

There is so much dishonesty nowadays and one area it is very glaring is in the area of writing. People indiscriminately copy other people’s works and pass them off as theirs. The internet makes it easy to get ready-made material on almost every subject but what those who copy forget is that other people have access to the same material they are stealing.

“Stealing?” you ask. Yes, stealing. When you take someone’s work and claim that it is yours, that is stealing. It is called plagiarism. And there are consequences for such stealing as there are for other forms of wrongdoing. People have lost important positions and attracted indelible opprobrium to themselves because they were caught plagiarising the writings and speeches of others.

In this post, we look at accusations against one famous plagiarist to throw more light on the issue, underscore the need for Christians to eschew plagiarism although it is rampant today, break down what constitutes plagiarism to enable writers avoid it, stress the application of its rules to both formal and informal writing as well as its penalties and how to cite the works of others.

A Famous Plagiarist

In discussing famous plagiarism cases, yourdictionary.com cites the 46th US president, Joseph Biden as an example:

“Joe Biden has fallen foul of plagiarism several times throughout the years. He failed a course when he was in law school because he plagiarized a paper. According to the New York Times, Biden stated that he had ‘used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution’ in an article he wrote for the Fordham Law Review. In 1988, Biden was forced to withdraw from the presidential race due to plagiarism allegations. Some of his speeches were taken from speeches made by the Kennedys, Hubert Humphrey and Britain’s Neil Kinnock during his campaign against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.”

Even now as president, he has been plagiarising his predecessor Donald Trump’s populist policies, like, “Buy American, Hire American,” even though his immigration policies subvert those very policies.

Why Christians Should Particularly Shun Plagiarism

You may not be famous like Joe Biden but you will never attain respectability as a writer if you habitually copy from others without acknowledging or crediting them. This applies whether the work in question is published or not. And if you get emboldened in doing this, one day you will be slammed with a copyright suit when you start profiting from people’s works that you copied and sold in your own name. That is human nature and the Bible describes this tendency in these words:
“Because the sentence against evil deeds is so long in coming, people in general think they can get by with murder.” – Ecclesiastes 8:11 (MSG)

I really like the way the Message Bible translated that verse above, murder representing heinous offences. When people think they can get away with plagiarism (which is an ethical violation) because most people are not punished for it, they are likely to graduate to piracy- reproducing and selling other people’s works without authorisation, whether in their own name or the original author’s name.

Christians have no business getting involved in these kinds of violations because we represent the Lord Jesus who is the Truth (John 14:6). When a Christian decides to play with evil as the world does, God comes after them with His bulala (whip) to correct them. He might overlook wrongdoing from an unbeliever because He sees them as not knowing their right from their left (Jonah 4:11), but not so for a Christian because you ought to know better and teach others to flee from evil. By playing in it, you bring a reproach on the name of God as Paul censured the Jews in Romans 2: 17-24.

Besides, it hurts to have your work plagiarised, especially when the person involved financially profits from the theft. To have people ascribe your coinages to another, to see that person bask in the glory after you sweated to produce a work is heart-breaking. We should remember the teaching of our Lord Jesus on the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)- to do to others as we would like them to do to us-.and not visit that pain on others.

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What Is Plagiarism, Its Penalties And How To Shun It

What Constitutes Plagiarism?

It’s important to clarify what amounts to plagiarism because some people may be inadvertently committing the offence due to ignorance of the actions that can make someone culpable for it.

1. Using other people’s exact words in your work without including them in quotation marks and citing the source

Quotation marks are used to enclose direct quotations- material lifted verbatim from elsewhere. When you cite the source and omit them, you give the impression that you have rephrased what the other person said in your own words. When you don’t cite the source, you are taking the credit completely.

In fact, any lifting of several consecutive words from a source (some style guides say as little as three words) should be marked off with quotation marks. Such brief quotes are called partial quotations. So, it is wrong to think you can lift portions of people’s works as long as they are not full sentences.

It is also wrong to use someone’s work and just say “Copied” at the end, rather than giving credit to the source, something that should be done at the top to let the reader know right away you didn’t write that stuff.

2. Rewriting people’s works without giving them credit

Another erroneous impression some people have is that if they rewrite a piece of work, they are exempt from the need to acknowledge the source. Wrong!

Whether you paraphrase, transpose or summarise the contents of another’s work, you are still duty bound to cite them as the source.

3. Passing off material that you don’t know or can’t recall its source as yours

That you can no longer remember where you got something is no reason to claim it as yours. That something is lying around with no clear owner doesn’t make it yours either. You can say, “Source unknown,” in informal writing or “Anonymous” for material that has been cited as such by others. In academic circles, the title or part of it is used in place of the unknown author while citing such material.

4. Republishng your old work as new

This is called self-plagiarism and it mostly concerns professional writing. While you can use what you wrote in the past, you ought to cite it from the previous publication, not pretend that it’s brand new. You can quote yourself, yes! But you shouldn’t present what you previously published or portions of it under a new title to give the impression that it’s another work. Sometimes, people fraudulently do this to multiply the number of their works- they just rehash and repackage what they already have to give the impression they are prodigious writers.

Plagiarism rules apply in formal and informal writing

Whether you are writing a book, an academic paper for a conference or publication, an assignment for school, a social media or blog post, the rules for plagiarism are the same. Some people feel that anything on social media can be appropriated at will but there is such a thing as social media plagiarism as Think Marketing Magazine points out.

The penalties and modes of citation for formal and informal writing may differ, but the writer needs to scrupulously separate what is borrowed from what is theirs to avoid accusations of plagiarism.

What do I mean by penalties and modes of citation differing?

Penalties

In academic circles, plagiarism is considered a grievous offence with specific penalties attached for lecturers and students like:

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***the loss of lectureship position

***tainting of work records that prevents future academic employment

***loss of promotion

***withdrawal of degree or other certificates

***expulsion from school

***tainting of academic records that makes admission into other schools difficult

***suspension from school

***repetition of class

***failure of courses

***reduction of grades

While many schools may not always follow through with all these punishments, one needs to be careful not to be made an example of.

Quote on plagiarism by Jackson Mahaney

On informal fora like social media, there are no stipulated penalties. Yet, the culprit may, in addition to the public humiliation of being exposed, suffer a loss of trustworthiness that may result in job loss, a limiting of employment opportunities in their professional field and a scuttling of their public aspirations, like seeking leadership positions. It all depends on how widely publicised the offence is and public mood at the time.

Citation

In terms of citation, academic bodies have rigorous citation guidelines compiled in style books for use by professionals in their field. For example, in Mass Communication as in other social sciences, we use the American Psychological Association (APA) Style which is regularly updated. Any academic paper written must follow the guidelines both in in-text citation (i.e within the work) and the References at the end. Other disciplines have their own styles, like the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style used in the humanities, the Harvard and the Chicago Styles.

No one writing informally, say on social media, is obliged to follow the detailed professional citation guidelines, but mentioning the name of the source and on occasion the work from which the material is lifted is essential.

If you habitually do this in your informal writing, you will not need reminding to do it as required in your professional writing. And you’ll have the satisfaction that whatever accolades you get for your work are well-deserved.

Conclusion

Copying other people’s work is really a waste of time and easy to expose. There are times when I have read a book or article and got suspicious. With just a little internet search, I have discovered where the bulk of it was copied from. I’m talking about the first page of my search results, right at the top- and usually it’s from Wikipedia. There is also plagiarism checking software to catch offenders with.

Instead of wasting time copying others and damaging your reputation in the process, pray for wisdom before you write. Then do some research and acknowledge the sources you find helpful.

That way, God will help you find your own voice, your message and unique way of delivering it. That will be infinitely more fulfilling than producing patchwork as content after copying and pasting material from a variety of sources or stealing wholesale from one source.

References:

Is Plagiarism Illegal? What are the Legal Consequences?

Famous Examples of Plagiarism Cases

Is Social Media Creating A Plagiarism Problem?

You may also like these related articles:

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR WRITING READABLE

5 Points to Consider before Submitting an Article

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

186 comments

  • EMMANUEL AGBOWO

    Plagiarism is not just a mistake… it’s ignorance and inhuman- to take a work and call it yours.

      • UFOH CHIDIEBERE STEPHANIE

        Plagiarism is really bad and has it’s consequences when engaged in. People should always learn to do their own write ups by themselves of course reading others people’s work help but shouldn’t engage in stealing their work.

  • Chukwuemeka Ifunanya Abigail

    Thank you ma for this knowledge that u have passed unto us. Ma really sometimes it gets so hard to rack one’s brain for new ideas, taking myself for an example, the assignment given to us gets too bulky and every part of ur being is tired so the only option will be to resort to the internet and the lecturer in question may not ask for references so we will be left with just submitting, pls ma what is ur advice to me?

    • If the lecturer asks a practical question, discuss with your mates on how to tackle it. If be specifically says he doesn’t want a Reference list, you can mention those you borrowed their ideas in the work without adding a list at the end, just like writers of newspaper articles do.

  • Okoro Ugochi Angel

    Wawoo this is wonderful, I was very careful in reading this write up 2 see d conclusion, God bless U ma, U nailed it.
    Though am also a victim of internet plagiarism, d least I write is (copied!) .

    • Thank you for your honesty, my dear! You can do better if you decide to and that decision will help you to go far in your career and life in general.

  • Isaac sopuruchi peace

    Number four is funny tho . its my work,so its my choice whether to cite it or not.

    • You are missing the point. This is what happens when someone comments after glancing at subheadings in an article without reading through carefully. Did I say you couldn’t cite your work? Perhaps, you should read that portion again. This is not a laughing matter at all.

  • Chinecherem Stephens

    I have always known plagiarism was wrong but I never knew it was this deep and serious. Thanks ma for this enlightenment.

    God help me and other students not to try it again. I wonder if there’s any Nigerian undergraduate that isn’t guilty of this.

    • My dear, many are guilty out of ignorance as I pointed out. You are richly blessed in Jesus’ name.

    • I am enlightened, it is not always easy to come up with new things, even though I have come up with many things during my secondary school days, this is really something that is educative to people.. thanks ma

      • I did not say you should throw away what you wrote before. But if you publish something and publish it again under a different title to give the impression they are different books or articles, then that is wrong.

  • Abah Okpe Gabriel

    This is so on point as it is the order of the day. The majority are guilty of this crime. People no longer want to task their brain because they are sure to get whatever they want online.
    Thank you, ma, for coming to the rescue and for throwing light on some of the implications if not all.

  • Chikwesiri Uka

    Eye-opening writeup! Thank you, ma, for explaining plagiarism in a detailed manner. To be honest, I always belived that you can lift portions of people’s works as long as they are not full sentences, but I understand now that it is still part of plagiarism. I’ve a learnt a lot from this. Thanks again!

  • Willie Albert Zikiye

    Wow! This is good. I never knew that a writer is supposed to cite his/her previous works (to depict that the idea is not new) when used in another book. I study Chinenye Nwabueze’s books and noticed that he always reference his previous works. Now I know the essence of his citations. Ma, thanks for the exposure.

  • Ajah Ugochi Agnes

    Indeed plagiarism is a very big crime. No matter the number of words copied, they should always be credit at the bottom.
    The number 4. “Republishng your old work as new“. Wow! I never knew there’s something called self-plagiarism until now. Most persons are victims of this number 4 without knowing they are committing self-plagiarism.
    Knowledge is power. Thanks ma.

  • Sunday Chenka Esther

    How guilty I felt after reading this piece because several times I’ve used people’s work without even caring to cite or acknowledge them if not necessary .. Thank you so much Ma for this eye opener! I never realized it was this bad especially as a very devoted Christian. I pray for forgiveness of sin and a change.

    • Thank God for your attitude. You will go far in life in Jesus’ name.

    • Obiosa Oluchukwu Reward

      Currently writing a literature on the deities in my community. and I feel guilty reading this post.
      Thank you for bring this to light ma, it takes nothing to credit the author of a book when using it.

  • Ejiofor Emmanuel

    Wow. I was surprised about the no. 4 part that talked about citing the author’s previous works, of which he is the writer. Thank you, ma, for explaining what plagiarism entails and the need to avoid it.

  • Uchechukwu Chikezie

    Thank you ma for this relevant information.I have learnt a lot from it,for my reading and writing.Once again thank you ma.

  • Eja Manifest Eji

    It’s helpful to me, I learnt a lot from this. I think people and students in general should learn from this, as it will go a long way in teaching students on possible ways of writing, and not copying people’s works.

  • Aroh Amaechi Casmir

    ;(
    so all these are the implications of plagiarism?

    You made me to understand the gravity of mistakes I had made over and over especially when writing an assignment.

    Thank you Ma and God bless you.

  • Plagiarism can ruin the academic career of a person. Not only will he likely be fired or asked to step down from his present position, but he will surely find it difficult to obtain another respectable job.

  • ILOKA SANDRA UKAMAKA

    You are very much right man ,the act of plagiarism has become a canckerworm which has eaten deeply into the minds of people. Most people are too lazy to create something of their own ,they prefer using someone’s work , the worst part is that they don’t give reference to the original writer

  • Nwatu Vera Chisom

    As always this piece was filled with too much knowledge. I learnt a thing or two from every aspects and also I was totally unaware that plagiarism had legal consequences. I pray God gives every writer out there the wisdom to make their own masterpiece.

  • Igwe Chioma Esther

    A lot of people find it hard to give people credit for a work that isn’t theirs. Acknowledge people’s work and earn the deserved respect because it shows how much learned you are as a writer.

  • Abiayi Ifeonuchukwu

    Thank you ma for this wonderful write up….
    Now I know what plagiarism is and what it entails. I feel why most people steal other people’s work most times, is solely because of laziness… Nobody wants to rack their head too much for new ideas and so they settle for re-editing what others have written.
    Thank you ma and God bless you

  • Ibaro Harrison Chidalu

    Just learnt that some of the things I see as normal are considered plagiarism. Thanks for creating this awareness ma’am!

  • Ugwu comfort

    Wow! This post is so great, thank you ma’am.I am grateful for this. often times I have full a victim in practicing plagiarism, out of ignorant thinking that it is nothing, not knowing it is a very bad thing to do.
    Ma’am sometimes people practice plagiarism out of ignorant, while others do it knowing fully well that it is a bad thing to do even the Bible is against it thank you ma’am for this awareness.

  • Thank you, ma, for explaining plagiarism in detail. I learned a lot from this.Thanks again!

  • Uchegbu Ogechi Elizabeth

    God day ma.. number 4 really answered a question that has always been on my mind.
    I now understand to that because of plagiarism people don’t create new ideas.. sometimes when u search the internet there a high chance that you will see the same thing. This is one of the reasons why Nigeria is still underdeveloped… Nobody is bringing out new ideas.. we are just doing the same thing all over again.

    Thank you so much ma.. I really learnt a lot from this. God bless you

  • Jon adoyi

    I never knew you could plagiarize yourself

  • Ugwu comfort

    Wow!! This is a very great impact to some of us that has once fallen a victim of this plagiarism, thank you ma’am for a good knowledge like this.

  • Asogwa chibuzor Henry

    Plagiarism as an intellectual crime is something we should shun. Although no man is a field b of knowledge. But while giraffing refferrences should be considered.

  • Iyorakpo Dorathy

    Wow! Thanks alot ma for this impactful write-up. I didn’t know much about plagiarism before now even when I have subsequently been hearing about it. Indeed it is an unfair and wrong act.

  • So many times I have fallen Short but with this one will take corrections I appreciate ma

  • Nwofor Gift Chinenye

    One can plagarize himself?
    So even the articles we copy from the internet for assignments is part of plagiarism?
    Wow
    Quite enlightening

  • Chukwumalume Ozioma

    I thought I knew what it was to plagiarize, but I never realized till now, that it is possible to even plagiarize oneself and writing “copied” is not enough credit. This means I’ve unknowingly been guilty! Learning really never ends! Thank you ma.

    • Oruma Nneoma Goodnews

      Up until now,I didn’t know copying or reproducing your work is a form of plagiarism.Information is really power.It hurts so much to copy someone’s work without acknowledging that person.This is practiced so much nowadays.There is monotony in almost every work published.We should learn to avoid plagiarism and if at all we must cite works,we should acknowledge the source.Thank you

  • To take the praise that is meant for someone has consequences, so do to others what you would like others to do to you.

  • An eye-opening write up I must say.
    Never knew plagiarism was this harmful to the academic community.

  • Ezeh Loveth chinemerem

    Plagiarism in Nigeria has being on the increased.In our society people commit plagiarism because they don’t know the outcome of it and also plagiarism should not be taken for granted.thank you ma for making us to understand that when one published an old work as new work it is also self-plagiarism

  • Indeed this post is of great importance particularly we the aspiring journalist, with the help of the message or information passed on the post I should stay off clear from any form of plagiarism at early stage before it may become habit… Like the illustration on the post.

  • Ifeanyichukwu Chioma Ruth

    Plagiarism has made some authors lose interest in writing, and funny enough some people think it’s right to copy because they think the money or profit should go round. Social media has added more salt to the injury, in all, plagiarism is a crime, an intellectual crime that should be avoided

  • I really appreciate your efforts on this write up. Plagiarism is wrong. I think people fall victim because of their ignorance and lack of awareness about the consequences of plagiarism.

  • Sochi

    Thank u ma for this piece. I love the part that u called plagiarism “stealing” because that’s what it really is. It is really painful because even apart from writing,I know how painful it is when my parents praise any of my sibling for sth I did. I just wish all these plagiarists will realize how much pain and anger they cause the original owners of these books and sayings and abstain from it

  • Chibuife Isaac Chukwuebuka

    Plagiarism is wrong in all aspects. Although I was once guilty but as soon as I realized how heinous the crime was, I retraced my steps. Like you said its best one prays for God’s wisdom because wisdom is profitable to direct and also inevitable. Thank you ma for this insightful topic.

  • Amarachi Juliet

    Plagiarism as bad as it is seems to be the order of the day. I also think that more effective measures should be put in place to curb this manace

  • Ibeh Lorretta Chiamaka

    The issue of plagiarism is usually taken for granted in our society. Have seen a post from different people but I couldn’t identify the real source. This tend to decrease the writer’s confidence, like it’s pains to see someone receiving credit to your own effort. I never knew that republishing your old work as new is plagiarism, thanks Ma for this educative write up

  • Emmanuel Eze

    It is quite confusing to stay on the borders what constitutes plagiarism in this internet age and I’m also guilty of this but with this piece, I surely have to do better

  • Obiogwu Onyinye

    Wow, how ignorant of me. I really didn’t know the sin of plagiarism was this deep, used to just “copy and paste”, no references whatsoever. Buh I’m learned now, I hope I’m able to desist from the act. Thank you ma’am

  • Dick-Unegbu Jennifer

    This is indeed helpful, I believe that one can try their best at least, rather than going the other way around stealing people’s work and the rate at which is done is so alarming. I also enjoyed reading the short story about the current American president and the bible quotes. Thank you, Ma.

  • Udegbulam Favour

    This is really going to help me because most times I copy people’s work without caring to acknowledge them.I used to think if i acknowledge them I won’t get a better grade. But I’ve understood that it’s all plagiarism, just like someone taking my belongings without my permission which i would not like.
    Thank you Ma for this.

  • Udop Reyner Ivor

    This is great! A lot of us are guilty of this, I am too. I didn’t know how deep it was but now i know. Thanks for the knowledge.

  • Udop Reyner Ivor

    This is great! A lot of us are guilty of this, I am too. I didn’t know it was this deep before but now I know. Thanks for the knowledge.

  • Amaugo, Stephanie Chidinma

    Hmmm…this is a serious matter oh! I’ve fallen prey to this countless times. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as self-plagiarism. Thank you, Ma, for this enlightenment.

  • Alaedu Chioma Gloria

    Plagiarism is illegal and offensive
    We should always give credit to the source of the owner of the work. On a second thought I never knew plagiarism was this serious
    Thank you ma for the enlightenment

    • Nwoke uchenna

      You nailed it ma.
      This actually bad.
      Plagiarism is stealing.

    • Nnadi peace sopuluchi

      Thanks madam for your advice, you made me understand how bad it is to copy peoples articles. of course it is stealing!! We all should be careful.

    • Akpan Sarah Precious

      Wow!
      Plagiarism is more serious than I thought, a lot of times I use people’s work and never gave references, counted it as nothing but now I know better.
      Thank you ma for this

  • Akpom Chinazor Kamdilichukwu

    Plagiarism is very wrong. It reduces the thinking factory of the brain. Makes the person lazy and thereby sorting to look into the internet to steal. It makes the person very weak mentally and not confident about themselves

  • I’ve known about plagiarism and it’s dangers before reading this, but self plagiarism? It’s my own writing so what makes it a plagiarism?

    Ma please explain

  • Plagiarism is not just an intellectual theft, it is selfishness, taking another person’s honour as your own. It is not good and it requires serious punishment.

  • Sambo Deborah Friday

    So many people are guilty of this lfact, including myself at some point, due to sharing someone’s post either on whatsapp or nay other social media handles but your post is really an eye-opener for us all. Thanks ma’am

  • Eze Esther Nzubechukwu

    Nice write-up Ma
    Am guilty of this,I sometimes write people’s work without giving credit to the writer
    I know better now . thank you ma

  • Mecha Favour Onyedikachi

    We commit this offence of plagiarism even when we do assignments. Thank you ma for enlightening us on this .

  • OkaforAgatha Ifeoma

    Plagiarism is the act to copy someones work in the form of your own work without citing the person and that attract punishment

  • Ossai Judith mmesoma

    Plagiarism is bad and we should desist from it. Thank you ma

  • Ezema Johnmartins Kelechi

    Thanks ma for the awareness. It really hurts when one’s work is plagiarized and accolades given to the pirate.
    But there’s something I don’t understand. Assuming one did a personal research for the sake of knowledge which helped him form a new opinion about an issue having consulted different sites and materials, do you mean s/he has to refer those sources that helped him form such opinion if s/he is to write down the formed opinion? If so, what then does originality of content mean because I believe that what we know, we must have learnt from somewhere?

    • Good question! There will be no end to referencing if we nitpick in the way your last sentence suggests. But, say, you’re writing an assignment and define a concept in various ways, it would be better to cite some sources for the earlier definitions before you offer a composite based on your research.

      • Chinweuba Blessing Oluchi

        Plagiarism is a punishable of fence. In the case of reading different articles, write-ups of different people and creating your own work,yet there are snippets of the works you read in your work. Ma,is this also plagiarism?

        • If you lift something exactly and don’t say where it comes from, people may think you composed it and attribute it to you. All the ideas we see in other people’s work are not necessarily theirs exclusively. Some are already general information and public knowledge, so we don’t have to cite them for it. For example, you don’t need to cite someone to state the fact that Trump was America’s 45th president and he was replaced by Joseph Biden after the Nov. 2020 elections.

  • Nnadi peace sopuluchi

    Thanks madam for your advice, you made me understand how bad it is to copy peoples articles. of course it is stealing!! We all should be careful.

  • Olusola Esther

    Thanks for the write-up Ma’am…. Sometimes we do things ignorantly, not knowing the effect and consequences of our actions.

  • Nkan David

    A word they say is enough for the wise, and we christian’s should remember the golden rule as cited in this work “do unto others, as you would want them do unto you”…..The reason why people, most especially students still get indulged in ” Plagiarism” is simply because they do not get Seriously punished, like being expelled from school, being returned to start afresh from level one, failure in that particular course, or being imprisoned… Plagiarism is an academic theft, and we should say no to it as Christians, by giving credit to whom credit is due…

    Thanks alot Ma, for this post and the advice you’ve given in the final two paragraphs

    • You can’t be imprisoned for plagiarism. It’s not even a crime unless it escalates to copyright infringement and selling someone else’s copyrighted work without their knowledge. Even then, it would only attract fines and damages. Maybe, that’s why people commit plagiarism so easily.

  • Chukwu Blessing

    Wow wow honestly, I didn’t know that republishing my old work as a new work can be seen as a form of self -plagiarism….that’s a shocking fact that I learnt by reading this article maam

  • Ikeh Christiana Chinenye

    Plagiarism is a very big offence that attracts punishment and can tarnish our image and as such, should be avoided.

  • Igwenagu Somtochukwu Osinachi

    Plagiarism is a very big offense in regards to writing and culprits are liable to be punished severely if being caught. So in every writing we are to make use of work citation which is very important so as to make our work unique

  • Makwe Covenant Nkiruka

    Plagiarism also called “Academic theft or Literary Poaching”, is a big academic crime,which comes with so many implications attached to it,most common among students,lecturers,and writers. The need for self-discipline,is higly emphasized,so as to imbibe and extol its virtues. The need for orientation and enlightenment is really important and to be highly elucidated.

  • Chinenye Enwerem

    This is quite educating, recently plaidgiarism has become the order of the day, people copy people’s work without give credit to them. Some of this copycats do it with so much confidence such that if the real owner confront them they will still claim right. However I find the write up quite long.

  • Ugwu Somtochukwu

    An adage says’Give honour to whom it’s due to’. We should commend these sources and look up to them.That way, we’d gain insights and more knowledge. Thank you very much Ma.

  • Victor Izuchukwu

    I found this very insightful and knowdgeable,I never knew one could plagiarize himself,wow! Plagiarism has become a normal act in recently where you see people copying another person’s work, plagiarism is an act that should therefore be shunned in our society.

  • Esther Sopuluchi

    First of all, thank you ma for this lessons, indeed it is full of realities. Plagiarism is highly increasing especially in this 21st century, nobody is ready to work hard. Once again,thank you ma and may God continue to bless you with wisdom and Understanding

  • Nebo prince ogenna

    Plagiarism is an ill to the society and also to the educational system..if sanctions are made ..the level of plagiarism I believe will reduce .

  • Ado-Okoye Stanley

    Plagiarism is illegal and it’s not a good thing to do as a Christian because it’s practically stealing. I also think writers should also copyright their work in other to avoid plagiarism.

    • ???

      You think people don’t plagiarise copyrighted work? Copyrighting only helps you to sue if they reproduce and maybe sell your work without permission. It doesn’t stop all the copying without attribution.

  • Stealing others work can destroy ones future as in the case of Joe Bidden. Taking credit for others intellectual work is evil and the bible also condemns it. I never knew one can plagiarise oneself. Thank you ma for this knowledge.

  • Wakwe Stephanie Ada

    Plagiarism has become a major problem in our society where people become academic thieves. It’s wrong and we need that to change.

  • Maureen

    This article!! So much enjoyed it. Funny enough, most of us plagiarize due to the ignorance of the fact that it is a crime. I mean, we most times copy a well articulated new month wishes sent to us and resend to others Lol.

  • Okwa Ihuoma Jessica

    Thank you ma for this wonderful and timely post ma. I have learnt a lot from this post and one important thing I have learnt is to get acquainted with a style book which will help me properly cite my sources

  • It hurts to see someone taking credit for your work, most people copy other’s work without citing them. We mostly see it in assignment. Thanks ma .

  • Eze Goodness mmesoma

    Thank you ma for the wonderful article this copy right has grown wide even among us student . But with a serious punishment we will stop plagiarism

  • Plagiarism of people’s content is not good and the bible also condemned it. I never knew one can self plagiarise, this is article full of knowledge thank you ma for this exposure

  • Nwoke uchenna

    You nailed it ma.
    this is actually bad
    Plagiarism is stealing

  • Nwoke uchenna

    You nailed it ma. This is actually bad.
    Plagiarism is stealing

  • Asogwa Christian Tochukwu

    Thank you ma for making us know the possible ways out in which plagiarism can be avoided. It is evident that one can never be a successful blogger or writer by copying someone’s work.

  • Nwokedi Fortune Odinakachi

    Copying other people’s work is indeed a waste of time! Why copy when you can cite? Plagiarism is a sin on its own if directed to Christianity; although it sometimes can be done ignorantly.
    Wonderful piece!

  • This write-up has really educated me on the consequences of plagerism…Plagiarism seriously damages the education process in a number of ways,it prevents students or writers from developing the skills of creative thinking and copy a work without giving credit to the original writer. Thanks

  • Akpom Chinazor Kamdilichukwu

    The truth is that I am highly guity of this. Being too lazy to do your own writeups and sorting the internet for other people’s work has become a norm. I don’t think there’s any undergraduate even secondary school student who is not guilty of this. This is really an eye opener to everyone and to me most especially. Thank you ma

  • Adimorah Perpetual

    I learnt alot from this I must say,its readily comprehensible.

  • Plagiarism prevents us from learning. Copying others work without citing it gives an unfair advantage over other people who are doing their own work and if caught and punished for plagiarism can damage one’s reputation. Thanks for the write-up.

  • Njom Kosisochukwu Irene

    Thank you ma for shedding more light about plagiarism…I will put that into practice

  • Eze hyacienth

    To do to others as we would like them to do to us(Matthew 7:12) for me plagiarilism disencourages hard work if everyone should fall a victim .

  • Ebeyi Emmanuel

    Thanks for broadened my view towards plagiarism

  • Anayo precious

    Plagiarism is the rampant now.everyone participates in it but I never thought it would be these serious.

  • OWOSENI Kehinde

    Plagiarism is an unfortunate venture and it is modern-day witch craft. Many prolific writers have scored cheap point on this and many are not acknowledged because they we’re not given due credit for their work

  • Ede Ndidiamaka Patience

    Most times, if people find out that a write up is educative, they will copie and decide not to cite it so that others after reading it, will hail their inteligency. You have said it all ma, what you would not like others do to you, don’t attempt doing it to them. Besides, I never knew that requoting oneself is also a plagiarism.

  • Nwoye Chiamaka Favour

    I am so much enlightened after reading this piece . I never knew about self plagiarism until now. Thank you so much for all you do to make us better communicators .

  • Obajie Chinonyerem

    This is very informative. Plagiarism has become what is rampant in the world today. Writers should always endeavor to make reference to writers, whose work they copied from. As to the case of someone plagiarising him or her self, I feel it’s a case of one’s choice to either mention themselves in their new works. Regardless, I find the post very long.

    • You’re an undergraduate and you’re complaining of the length of an educational article. That we remarked that people don’t like to read long stuff on social media does not mean you should carry that attitude to an academic setting.

      Besides, you misunderstood the concept of self-plagiarism. I suggest you read it again. Bless you!

  • Ugwu Mmesoma

    Thank you so much ma
    I am equally guilty of using other people’s exact words in my work without including them in quotation mark or even citing the source

  • Nebo cynthia chinaza

    People should try and desist from practicing plagiarism and try to do their work themselves.

  • Obong Phebe

    Plagiarism is another for of stealing, and any act of theft deserves due punishment. Even the bible made it clear that “thou shall not steal” and also in our world today, the law and ethics of the society shuns stealing. So I would say that as a heaven bound christian it is mandatory to obey all of God’s commandments to avoid his wrath. Also as a law abiding and patriotic citizen it is mandatory to follow the rules and regulations of your state to avoid its punishment. Lastly I would also say that for an individual to be able to abide be rules and regulations of his or her country, the person must be a lover of God. Someone who keeps God’s law dearly, cause its not possible to violate the rules of the society and keep God’s law. You either keep both or none.

  • Richards Orighomisan Mercy

    I have also found out that plagiarism makes you as the writer feel incompetent as a writer. You may never trust your ability to write and your originality, you may never know that there’s more to you because you’ve gotten used to “stealing the works of others”

  • Ibrahim Mariam

    Plagiarism is not just a common mistake but intellectual theft like was said in the post when ever you want to write pray to God for inspiration honestly you will be amazed ideas that will come to you,also you wouldn’t want your own work to be copied.tanks ma.

  • I sincerely want to appreciate you ma’am for this piece. In recent time i don’t find it interesting reading write-up on the internet because they are almost repeated or copied. Plagiarism is not the real thing and should be neglected, let’s face the real thing. As you said conclusively that “instead of wasting time copying others and damaging your reputation in the process, pray for wisdom before you write.” It’s only God that can inspire and make our work unique.

  • OGBONNA THANKGOD OBIECHINA

    Thanks a lot for this post, because it made me understand the ways i ignorantly plagiarize other peoples work. i

  • Thank you ma for broadening my knowledge on Plagiarism… This write up made me realize how big of a deal the issue”plagiarism” is.

  • To take credit for another person work is not right i.e dishonesty we should always acknowledge source when using someone work

  • Nweke Onyenuche Destiny

    Shun plagiarism to protect your reputation as a writer

  • Anarah Chisom

    Plagiarism is a product of laziness and non-challant attitude towards researching… perhaps if we can understand that researching increases our stock of knowledge.. and even broaden our sense of reasoning.. we would learn and Imbibe the habit of doing our thesis and term papers ourselves. As Christians, consider the pain a writer goes through trying to put imaginations into ink, only to find a pirated copy of your work. I’m a writer myself, so I know how much of the determination and grit we writers go through just to see that our work comes out successful. Everything is all about standards. Set standards for yourself, stick to those standards, and you’ll be doing everything right ?. I really appreciate our HOD for bringing this into the limelight so that lazy students can see it. Ma, more grease to your elbows ?

  • Nwawulu Arinze

    Plagiarism is a bad way to write as a journalist ,it should not be supported

  • Elijah Akuma

    This piece is apt and adequate for the times we are in today. Plagiarism we must understand is an abuse to originality and reduces the integrity of a writer. Thank you ma for speaking in this line as it is necessary for writers to develop uniqueness in their writing careers.

  • Iwuchukwu Vivian Chinagolum

    This is needed! Recently, plaidgiarism is the other of the day as some people have become too lazy to create original works.

  • David Nneka

    I learnt that the citing of people’s work in our papers is not wrong, but doing it without giving them the proper credit to them is what is wrong
    Everyone regardless of what religion we belong to, we should avoid plagiarism, for everyone is entitled to the sole ownership of their intellectual works.

  • Chisom Efobi

    Ma’am this message is really an eye opener for me
    I must confess that I’m also guilty of this one time or the other either by being in a haste or being ignorant

    I will also add that, Sometimes, we are guilty of this intentionally… Intentionally, based on the fact that we know its bad but we just go ahead because of laziness.

  • Agbedo ebubechukwu

    Plagiarism I must say is very wrong, although I’ve been guilty of this, didn’t know it was that deep… Thanks for shedding more light ma.

  • Ugwuanyi Charity Ugochukwu

    It’s not just a dishonest thing to steal others work but also a heartbreak and discouragement to the writer.

  • Chukwuma Ifeanyi Williams

    Plagiarism is common now even I am guilty of this.
    Like you said let’s pray to God to give us our own voice, let’s also do some research.
    And if we must cite a person’s work a reference must be given.
    Thank you ma
    This is really educative.

  • Mogekwu Esther

    This piece open my eyes to the subtle ways plagiarism can be done e.g writing from a book,the internet,social media,etc without proper quotation. Plagiarism is stealing whether done in ignorance or not, so we should shun all appearances of plagiarism.

  • Odey-Oko Victor

    Plagiarism Plagiarism! Plagiarism!! It is seen almost everywhere on the internet. Plagiarism as done more harm than good. I pray God touches the hearts of plagiarists to stop their evil deeds and I will also keep them in my prayers.

  • Plagiarism is illegal and it’s not a good thing to do as a Christian because it’s practically stealing. I also think writers should also copyright their work in other to avoid plagiarism because I see it as theft it

  • Uyanna Joseph

    Plagiarism is an illegal act which is very overlooked in our society. Most of the reasons why people still involve in it is because they are not severely punished. From what I’ve read I can say that everyone including myself have been involved in the act of plagiarism at one particular point in time. But with your post you’ve helped raised awareness about the disadvantages of plagiarism. Thank you Ma

  • Oh wow,i am among those who plagiarise people’s work without giving them accreditation,i now know that it is wrong. Thank you ma for enlightening me about this.As for rate of plagiarism in our society it needs to be checked and curbed entirely to avoid deceit.

  • Plagiarism I must say is very bad… I’d also admit I’m guilty of it, didn’t know it was that deep until I read the article, thanks for shading more light Ma.

  • Orazulume udochukwu victoria

    Exactly ma , nowadays people choose to copy than to make their own work . The internet has made people lazy , because someone can just go there ,copy and paste ,and then claim they have done their assignment. Thank you ma! for these piece. I also enjoyed the story about Biden.

  • plagiarism is not good and is a sin against God and man,the essence of writing books is for you to read and grab knowledge from it not for you to copy other people’s work even if you want to copy, try and acknowledge or cite that person’s work.

  • Orazulume udochukwu victoria

    Exactly ma, nowadays people choose to copy than to make their own work. The internet has made people lazy, because someone can just go there copy and paste and then claim they have done their assignment. Thank you ma for these piece,I also enjoyed the story about Biden

  • Omeje Chinenye Martha

    Plagiarism can ruin someone’s future.

  • Zita Ezechi

    So plagiarism is this grievous?
    I’ll be sure to avoid it from today

  • I never knew that plagiarism is an offence ,I taught it is a failure in writing like, term paper work.pls ma I want to ask a question .pls ma u is it wrong when writing a work like term paper and I did not do in-text citation but I reference it t at the back

    • Reference inside as well. It does have to be a direct quote. Just author’s surname and year in brackets beside the idea you borrowed from him or her. It looks more authentic than listing references that no one can tell how you used them.
      You must realise that why you include references is also to help other people consult those works if they wish. If they don’t know how they helped you, why would they bother to check them out?

  • Ossai Joy Adanne

    plagiarism is a big offense in the country one should not dwell in copying other people hard work.

  • Nnochiri Chinecherem Nnabuike

    Tge issue of plagiarism has actually been neglected in our society. It is a form of stealing, therefore it should be eschew. Thanks Ma for educating us

  • Enemuwe John Paul

    Well said ma’am. But I disagree with the fact that the punishment God gives to Christians is different or more intense than that of unbelievers.

  • Ben-Egbe Nneoma Andrea

    Thank you very much much for this post, it has really explained a lot.
    I’ve always known plagiarism as a crime but had no idea it was this serious.

  • Njepuome Nmesoma .O.

    So many of us are guilty of this one way or the other.
    Mostly out of ignorance.
    I hope to be more conscious this.
    Thanks for sharing ma.

  • Ekeh ifunanya Cynthia

    It is even more fulfilling to have a work that you can confidently call yours

  • Aguguesi God'sfavour Idimmachukwu

    I learnt that you may never attain responsibility as a writer if you copy people’s work whether you are caught or not.

  • Ojobo somtochukwu praise

    Plagiarism is a crime, that is a fact. Most cases of plagiarism are considered misdemeanors and a lot of writers are guilty of this, that is why one most be very cautious to avoid copying one’s work directly because it is done unintentionally most of the time. Even if one must include someone’s work it should be in quotation.

  • Josh-mba Amara

    I never knew plagiarism of oneself is possible
    From everything I read, it means I am very guilty of plagiarism
    I will try to stop it from now on

  • Plagiarism is not advisable. But sometimes it’s quite hard to come up with ideas straight from the brain, so most people result to plagiarism. It is quite tasking to write but with the points in this write up, one can sit down to think and actually come up with an idea to write on and not plagiarize someone’s work. Thank you Ma for this enlightening post.

  • People are mostly lazy or should I say unable to think about ideas to write about so they end up stealing people’s work, but after reading this article, I am more enlightened on why it is bad to plagiarize peoples works.

  • Ama Mitchelle Chisom

    Plagiarism is definitely not something that an aspiring writer would want to be associated with. It’s unethical and unprofessional.

  • Plagiarism is a very bad thing. It is not bad to use someone’s work I feel you should always give credit. Plagiarism is also a sin in the Christian setting because it is seen an stealing. Also as students we should never engage in this because it does not help to task our brain whenever we are giving any assignments whatsoever. The development of ICT has also aided this because even the works we see on the internet whenever we make researches on any work is not ours therefore even if we must make use of them we should always give acknowledgement to the owners of such works

  • Emeka Nnaji

    We may not learn new things every day but we can learn better. I have always known plagiarism to be bad but not up to this magnitude. Well I can’t claim to be innocent but have learnt from it.

  • Ikechukwu Fountain Chidera

    This is very nice,so insightful.we should all learn from this as it will go a long way in teaching student on writing and not copying someone’s work.

  • Ojobor Malachi maxwell

    Plagiarism reduces one’s ability to exploit more and should be reduced to the nearest minimum if not avoided.

  • Agbo Chidiebere

    I think it is important that every writer pays attention to the message delivered here. Plagiarism is stealing and should be shunned like the evil it is.
    It isn’t right to take credit for people’s work and we shouldn’t partake in such especially as Christians. This is a very educative piece. I’m so glad I read it.

  • Victor-sunday Daniel

    Plagiarism is an academic theft no matter the perspective, and is purnishable without compromise. This article reminds me of my cousin who did not graduate with his mates for Plagiarism,he left the university of uyo to university of Ibadan, copied another student’s project work and presented, his work was the best and was read in one popular seminar/ price giving day, a Prof. drew the attention of the general public that those work was peculiar to someone’s write-up, after many investigation result turned positive as claimed, therefore he was denied the certificate and appointment as a Junior lecturer in the school.
    Please avoid Plagiarism.

  • Ehiakhamen Daniel

    Wow never knew this was a very serious offence both in academics and also the society, but sadly enough I don’t think our politicians know about this.
    I will try my best to avoid plagiarism because I’m a victim of it

  • Stephen Ofojeh

    Plagiarism is a really bad act, and writers should not be involved in it.

  • Azoribe Blessing Amarachi

    It’s a very good write up. While reading it what keeps ringing in my ear is reference and citation whenever we are asked to write term paper. One can ignorantly plagiarize without knowing. I love the fact that it ends with “do to others what you want them to do to you”

  • Onuzulike Chukwuebuka Prosper

    Plagiarism is a form of stealing, therefore it should but eschew. Though am confuses about what you mean by republishing an old work is a form of plagiarism, I never knew this. Thanks Ma for educating us.

  • Iheme Akunna

    I will submit that “never attain respectability as a writer if you habitually copy from others without acknowledging or crediting them” is detrimental to would be writers, not particularly referring to Christians alone. I’d rather say it is detrimental to everyone and anyone doing the copycat so that the referencing doesn’t only sound too religious per se as being captioned.

  • ALEX-UGORJI ESTHER

    I’d rather say it is detrimental to everyone and anyone doing the copycat so that the referencing doesn’t only sound too religious per se as being captioned.

  • Olenyi Nnamdi Paul

    Ma, what language is bulala?
    Your writing about plagiarism is only lamenting on writings and speech, is plagiarism limited to writing and speeches? What other ways do one plagiarize?

    • What types of questions are you asking? You seem to be asking questions that are unrelated or that you already know the answers. Stealing of intellectual property is theft, no matter in what form it comes. So yes, it can be more than writings and speeches. Songs too, for instance, but you realise they’re written before they’re sung, so the person will be stealing the composition- lyrics and instrumental arrangements. Stealing and reproducing an already released song is copyright infringement.

  • Emmanuel Ejiofor

    Plagiarism is a crime that people especially Christians should take very serious. It is something comparable to physically robbing someone of his/her money. That way,the gravity of the crime is described.

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