Why do we place such importance on avoiding plagiarism? Here's a list of reasons (Columbia College, 2020):
1. The value of originality in academic scholarship
In academic scholarship, your work must display some level of originality, which is accomplished by
- Critically analyzing your sources rather than simply summarizing information
- Inserting your voice into the writing, including your opinions/thoughts, instead of replicating the source style of writing
- Drawing on your own experiences for context or to use as examples to support an argument
2. Employing critical analysis
Your assignments will require you to draw from a variety of sources, including scholarly peer-reviewed journals, and it is important that you read texts closely to determine gaps in the field of study and come up with your own research questions. Asking critical questions about texts is an expectation of the student scholar, even if the work is written by an expert in the field.
3. Academic writing is part of the scholarly conversation
The scholarship you create extends the scholarly conversation when you respond to and build upon what others have written. Citation shows that you acknowledge the ideas that came before and how they inform your work. Citation also makes it possible for readers to learn more about a topic.