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Lessons Learned - Plagiarism, Proper Citations, Paraphrasing
A Masters Degree in Information Systems builds on the student's former education, gives the student new, specific tools for using, understanding and building hardware and software, and prepares the student for valuable work in perhaps the most important global system developed to date. In obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems, the student must learn state-of-the-art knowledge, with one phase building on the one before it, and enabling the student to keep learning throughout his/her life and keep developing new systems to keep up with demand. In obtaining this Degree, the student must learn to recognize and avoid plagiarism, use proper citations and properly paraphrase.
Plagiarism is using the thoughts and words of another as your own, without giving credit to the original author (Bouville, 2008). Plagiarism is currently a major problem in education and in business. In fact, though plagiarism is officially considered a serious violation in education and business, it is apparently so common that many individuals see no problem with committing it (Lofstrom, 2011). As a result of widespread plagiarism, Information Systems are used to detect it in education (Thurmond, 2010). In addition, written and online tutorials are given to help students understand exactly what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it (Risquez, O'Dwyer, & Ledwith, 2011). All this knowledge and the continuing development of this knowledge is particularly important for someone obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems: as the world becomes "smaller" with more and more individuals using the internet worldwide, there will be a greater demand for systems that can detect and avoid plagiarism (Aziz, Hashim, & Razak, 2012); in order to develop new and better systems for detecting and avoiding plagiarism, a student obtaining a Masters Degree must learn exactly what constitutes plagiarism and blend that knowledge with his/her knowledge of Information Systems to continually develop better hardware and software for detection and avoidance of plagiarism. In addition, when any student and particularly a student obtaining a Masters in Information Systems plagiarizes, he/she cheats himself/herself: education builds from one phase to the next and if a student "skips" a step by simply parroting someone else's thoughts and words, the student fails to learn (Lofstrom, 2011); with each small instance of plagiarism, the student cheats himself/herself out of a little bit of education. Finally, plagiarism actually costs something for the cheated author: in many cases, being properly acknowledged as the author of an idea or of specific words literally means income to the author (Aziz, Hashim, & Razak, 2012); consequently, any student and particularly a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems who uses an author's thoughts and words as his/her own may be depriving the true author out of income that should properly be paid to that author. Though plagiarism is apparently common, it is also an expensive violation for the original author, for the student and for the educational/business worlds; consequently, a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems must learn within himself/herself and with state-of-the-art hardware and software to detect, recognize and avoid plagiarism.
Proper citation is attributing a passage or thought to another writer and doing so in a commonly accepted form (Barry, 2006). Proper citations properly give credit where credit is due (Aziz, Hashim, & Razak, 2012). This is important to any student and particularly to a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems for several reasons. First, a proper education demands integrity. Integrity requires that any student appreciates and acknowledges the hard work of others. Integrity particularly requires that a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems use proper citations. Secondly, proper forms and substance of citations are recognized by educated people; consequently, a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems must learn, understand and properly use all these forms in order to communicate capably with other well-educated educated people (Bouville, 2008). Finally, Information Systems stretch across the globe in real time and a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems must be able to use proper citations that are recognized by people across the continually shrinking globe in order to effectively work with people from all corners of the earth. Clearly, proper citation is important to the student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems, as well as the educational and business systems across the globe for the sake of integrity, being able to converse with other knowledgeable people and working worldwide.
Paraphrasing is rewording a passage or thought from another writer (Fisk & Hurst, 2003). By paraphrasing thoughts that a student meets in researching any topic, the student has to read, comprehend and form a new and ideally clearer way to understand the original thought (Barry, 2006). This helps both students in general and a student obtaining a Masters in Information Systems in particular in several ways. First, it forces the student to use his/her mind, sometimes in new ways, to comprehend material (Fisk & Hurst, 2003). Education is supposed to give students some basic tools to learn and keep learning throughout a Masters program and throughout their lives; consequently, using their minds to comprehend new material is one of the key tools obtained in education. Secondly, paraphrasing helps any student and particularly a student in a Masters program in Information Systems obtain a solid education with few or no gaps. Since each phase of education builds on the phase before it, comprehending material each step of the way is important to avoid gaps in education and build a solid knowledge base from which the Masters student can continue to learn (Fisk & Hurst, 2003). Third, learning to paraphrase has been shown to help students recognize and avoid plagiarism (Fisk & Hurst, 2003). As the articles by Barry, Fisk and Hurst show, the more knowledgeable a student is about recognizing, understanding and properly citing his/her sources, the greater his/her understanding is about exactly what constitutes plagiarism and how it can be avoided (Barry, 2006; Fisk & Hurst, 2003). Although plagiarism, proper citation and paraphrasing are all important for a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems, paraphrasing may be the most important. It forces the student to use his/her mind in new ways, build a solid education to learn now and keep learning throughout the student's lifetime, helps the student recognize and avoid plagiarism, and particularly helps a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems to understand and continually build better hardware and software.
A student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information Systems is especially helped by a thorough knowledge of plagiarism, proper citations and paraphrasing. Plagiarism, which is using the thoughts and words of another as your own without giving credit to the original author, is a widespread problem that can affect any student. Knowledge about plagiarism is important to all students but is particularly important to Information Systems that have and will continue to develop systems for detecting and avoiding plagiarism. As the many studies on plagiarism have shown, plagiarism cheats the original author, cheats the student who is plagiarizing and cheats the education and business systems who must rely on the integrity and capability of individuals. Proper citation, which is attributing a passage or thought to another writer and doing so in a commonly accepted form, is important to any student and particularly important to a student obtaining a Masters in Information Systems: integrity and proper credit where credit is due are important mainstays of dealing globally in hardware and software; in addition, in dealing with other educated people, the Masters student and eventual Information Systems professional must deal effectively with other educated people and must deal with them knowledgeably; also, the global nature of Information Systems means that there is a pressing demand for state-of-the-art hardware and software that can detect, recognize and produce proper citations. As the globe continues to "shrink" with information systems stretching across the earth, a professional dealing in information systems must have state-of-the-art knowledge about properly citing in order to develop effective hardware and software, and capably deal with knowledgeable people worldwide. Finally, paraphrasing, which is rewording a passage or thought from another writer, is important for all students and particularly for a student obtaining a Masters in Information Systems. While knowledge about plagiarism, proper citation and paraphrasing are all important, paraphrasing may be the most important aspect for a student obtaining a Masters Degree in Information systems: it increases the "tool kit" of knowledge by forcing the student to comprehend and more clearly state whatever thoughts he/she might encounter from another author; it builds a solid education with little or no gaps as each phase of learning builds on the state of learning that went before it; it helps the student and eventually the professional in Information Systems recognize and avoid plagiarism, which has become a serious problem for both the education and business communities. In sum, a thorough knowledge of plagiarism, proper citation and paraphrasing is essential for any student and particularly for a…[continue]
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