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An example of intentional plagiarism would be taking large portions of an encyclopedia article and using them verbatim without quotation marks for a report that was due the next morning. An example of unintentional plagiarism would be where the student puts quotation marks around a direct quote and lists the source in the bibliography, but forgets to mention who was the author of the quotation.
Intentional plagiarism is performed with the purpose of cheating or fraud; unintentional plagiarism occurs due to carelessness or ignorance. The tough academic penalties for plagiarism are typically created to combat intentional plagiarism; however, students who are not intending to plagiarize also need to ensure that their citations and references are made properly to ensure that they do not commit unintentional plagiarism. Although plagiarism may be unintentional, how will an instructor know whether a student is telling the truth?
Pla"gia*rism, n. Etym: [cf. F. plagiarisme.]
1. The act or practice of plagiarizing.
2. That which plagiarized.
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