Plagiarism: New and Unique + Punishment

So according to some people plagiarism is the act of stealing another’s ideas. A while back my class had a discussion on whether or not its possible to come up with anything new and unique anymore. If this is true, then isn’t written nowadays plagiarism? I would say no, though I do not agree with the general definition of plagiarism. If a person were to copy down word for word, then yes that’s plagiarism. But sometimes people come up with an idea that they have no idea came from somewhere besides inside their head. I do not know a “good” way of defining plagiarism but if we look off of the new and original ideas, it is technically impossible to not plagiarize anymore.

When it comes to punishing those who plagiarize, what should be the protocol? Personally, I agree with my class, that when a teacher catches a student plagiarizing, rather than punish, they should teach them otherwise. Sometimes a student is unaware that they plagiarized or even know what plagiarizing is. However, if the essay is word for word or if the incident has occurred more than once, then the student should be punished and written up. Plagiarism is a delicate situation to deal with, whether the teacher punishes or teaches the student, he or she needs to learn the difference before he runs into some serious consequences.

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