Many students plagiarize and are caught. The truth is that in order to provide depth of research, a writer will need to combine primary and secondary sources. In the sciences, for example, raw data is important, but how that data has been interpreted by others, over the years, is also very significant. You need to cite that work and not merely present it as your own. It is important to use academic libraries, online databases such as ProQuest, and Google Books and Scholar, in order to find these sources and put them into action. Beware collecting or holding on to irrelevant information, which is sometimes a temptation. It is easy to get sidetracked and create a “bulge”—a part or paragraph of the essay that has no real connection with the thesis. It is also easy to forget where your work starts and where someone else s begins. That is how a lot of plagiarism begins. You copy a lot of quotes into your paper hoping to use them and cite them properly, but over the weeks you begin to forget what work is yours and what work is not. There are many examples of this happening to students (Richardson).
An article by Sue McGowan and Margaret Lightbody provides a lot of useful information about plagiarism and its consequences. The authors of this paper are deeply concerned about it. They suggest that instead of threatening to punish students who plagiarize work, a more effective approach is to educate them about the affects and consequences of plagiarism. The authors describe an experiment to help educate accounting students. The study asked students a number of important questions relating to plagiarism. For example, when is it necessary to cite references. What does it mean to paraphrase? What are the potential punishments or disciplinary actions for performing an act of plagiarism? The authors concluded that providing students with an incentive to put references in their work is a good way to avoid acts of