The notion “Plagiarism” is a comparatively new phenomenon at high schools and colleges. Earlier, people did not pay so much attention to it, but nowadays it has become a real problem.

Plagiarism means to use other people’s thoughts and ideas and do not present the source of the information used. At colleges and high schools students everyday hear and read important thoughts and ideas, and it is very important not to plagiarize them, but to analyze them and present your own interpretation on this or that subject. To avoid plagiarism it is always necessary to quote another person’s theory or opinion.

Internet is one of the sources of the plagiarism. On the one hand, Internet is just necessary for the academic integrity, because it gives an immediate access to numerous articles, books and editions and now students spend less time looking for the necessary source. On the other hand, students lose their creative abilities because of the Internet, because they can find any information and so do not have to analyze different phenomena and situations. There are students who just find some information and present it as their own. This phenomenon is called plagiarism. The causes of plagiarism can be different: some students are cut in time, others want to get a high grade, and others are just lazy and do not want to work. There are a lot of reasons but all of them can not approve plagiarism.

Students’ own ideas and opinions is the most important thing of the scholarly work, because they show the student’s academic integrity, his or her understanding of the material and his/her future potential. Nevertheless, there are students who try to cheat their professors using others’ thoughts instead of their own, and so they make an impression that they are professionals in this field. Cases of plagiarism must be treated very seriously because it is a kind of crime, it can be even called “theft of intellectual property” (“The Ethics of Plagiarism”, 2000).

It is even more dangerous when the cases of plagiarism are noticed among professors at high schools and colleges, who are considered to be professionals in their subject, and should be example for imitation for their students. It is theft of intellectual property and it must be punished as a crime. “Unlike the company president who steals sentences for a Rotary Club speech, or the congressman who pilfers phrases for a campaign brochure, the professor who plagiarizes undermines his very profession” (Bartlett and Smallwood, 2004, p. 12).

Such cases discredit not only these professors, but also cast a shadow on all the professors and we will not even speak about bad example for students, especially for those, who have already tried to plagiarize. Plagiarism also is extremely harmful for the original writers, because their ideas being used without proper quotation are considered to be ideas of the person who has plagiarized them.

There are a lot of methods, which should be used to avoid inadvertent and deliberate plagiarism. The first rule is to take into quotation marks all the direct citations and mention their author in brackets. Another method is to paraphrase someone’s opinion. In this case it is necessary to express the idea in your own words but in no case just to change one or two words in the original phrase. Paraphrasing someone’s ideas you must also put the author’s name in brackets. The next step is to compare your text with the original to make sure that you have not accidentally used the same phrases. Plagiarism can be deliberate or inadvertent. Deliberate plagiarism presumes “Copying/pasting from a source into a paper or project without giving credit” (“Avoiding Plagiarism”, 2004) or giving professor a paper written by someone professional from academic writing services.

Inadvertent plagiarism, in its turn, can be characterized by the usage of too many the same words from the original source or the presentation of someone’s idea without mentioning the author. It is necessary to remember these typical kinds of plagiarism.

These are only technical steps, which should be taken to avoid plagiarism. Another important moment is to make sure students at schools and colleges that plagiarism is really a problem.

Professors must necessarily check their students’ works for plagiarism and strictly punish them for it. It is also very important to have special talks with students; these talks can help students to understand, why their original work is so important and why it is necessary to avoid plagiarism. Professors should also praise students for their creative and original works. These are just common rules but they really help to deal with plagiarism and eliminate both inadvertent and deliberate plagiarism. Consequences of plagiarism are really very serious. The student, who has been noticed in plagiarism, either fail a course, or an assignment, or he is expelled from the university, or he can even be sued by the original author of the plagiarized work. Taking into account all this information, it is obvious that plagiarism is a real problem and it must be avoided (“Plagiarism: What Should a Teacher Do?”, 2005).