Plagiarism is becoming increasingly common both in universities and in society in general.To a certain extent it is encouraged by modern media such as the computer, where downloading information from sources is easy.If plagiaristic practices become general, however, they will destroy the basis of the university, and university staff are resolved to take draconian action against especially those who plagiarise knowingly and with intent to pass off the work of others as their own.
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is theft compounded by fraud, or, as defined in the university policy on plagiarism taking and using the ideas, writings, works or inventions of another as if they were one's own. (The full policy on plagiarism can be found at: http://oldwww.ru.ac.za/intranet/policies/plagiarism_policy.pdf)
In short plagiarism is when you use work that is not your own and pretend that it is your own work B this applies to individual and group work.
In an intellectual community (as universities are meant to be) this is tantamount to stealing somebody=s possessions B except in this instance you are stealing their ideas or research.
There are various degrees of plagiarism but all are serious.
If you plagiarise you learn absolutely nothing! Producing assignments and essays is an important learning experience and should be treated as such. In addition, if you plagiarise you will end up losing your DP, having a permanent statement of your dishonesty on your student record, or being rusticated from the university.
If you are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, speak to the lecturers or tutors. The onus is on you to make sure you have a clear understanding of what plagiarism is, and ignorance will not be considered a suitable defence!