Plagiarism – What is it?

Plagiarism is a concept all writers should be aware of so they can avoid it in any shape or form. Most people know that copying another’s work without giving the author credit is plagiarism, but many may not realize the other areas that are considered plagiarism also.

In Pioneering Success, a Delta College textbook, on page 164 it states “Using another writer’s words, content, unique approach, or illustrations without crediting the author is called plagiarism and is illegal and unethical.”

Plagiarism not only includes you writing down words verbatim from a source without crediting that source, but it also includes other aspects that most people wouldn’t consider as plagiarism. Some of these include paying a person or service to write your paper for you, or using the same paper you have written for more than one class project in one year or over several years.

Unfortunately, there are many students across our nation who haven’t pushed themselves to learn to write better and rather than taking the time to do so, they have located a service that provides papers on any subject for a price.

I read an article several months ago in The Reader’s Digest in which a person that wrote these papers made very good money from students that didn’t take the time to develop their own ability to write their own papers. He didn’t work for himself, but for a company that specialized in writing papers for students.

He said that many of the students, even if they were finishing their degree or even working on a Masters or Doctorate, couldn’t manage simple spelling when requesting help to write their papers.

Another form of plagiarism is to incorrectly paraphrase the material you are using for research. This happens when the paraphrase is very close to what was stated previously in the material. The best way to stay honest in writing is to read larger sections of material, close your book and then write what you remember.

When only reading several sentences at a time it may be harder to write in your own words without duplicating the authors tone or too many of the same words to be considered completely your own paper.

Don’t ruin your college career by partaking in any form of plagiarism. Be informed in all the aspects plagiarism takes so you can be honest in all areas of your research and writing, and then after graduation into your career itself. If you want to know more, check out your college handbook to make sure you are steering clear of this form of cheating and lying.

433 words


Planning Ahead

Have you ever dealt with procrastination, or known someone who procrastinated a lot? I know I have.  I’ve met many people who procrastinate.  When younger I never thought I had that problem, yet over the years I find that I’m many times in the same boat. It could be because I get involved in too many things all at once, so something has to give. That is the majority of my problem I think.

What I want to talk about today is planning ahead which we all could get better at I’m sure.

I work in a retail store. The holidays are fast approaching. There is always much to do, presents to buy, deciding how much to decorate. Are you going to use your decorations from last year, or keep your eye out for new items that you would enjoy owning?

The store I work in sells leftover items on clearance after the Holidays are over, but lately, in the past few years, they’ve put things on mark-down several weeks before the Holidays. I’m sure they are hoping to sell the items at a smaller discount that they would be when marking them down after the event. Even though I’m mainly referring to Christmas, this could be applied to any Holiday throughout the whole year: Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, summer holidays, and other personal events like weddings and showers.

The store I work at lets you buy something, and if it goes on sale within two weeks, you can bring the receipt back and get the current discount for the item. I would recommend shoppers taking advantage of this if the item they want is running out of current stock. It would be better to purchase it then rather than wait for a sale that may never happen, or the item disappearing and not being re-ordered in time for the event.

A situation happened recently where one customer found an item and wanted a rain-check for several more. We used to give out rain-checks taking the customers word on whether the item was really out of stock or not. Someone finally realized that not everyone was being honest in this regard and would get a rain-check even if the item in question was still in stock. So now, we have to call the department first to make sure we are really out. If we find that there is more in the back room, the stock guys will bring it to the floor and oftentimes bring up the quantity of the item the customer wanted. If out, then we can write out a rain-check.

Some things on our ad are specialty items and aren’t in stock on a regular basis. For instance, I got a rain-check for some Bounty paper towels a few years ago. I don’t think I ever did see them again on the shelves, because it was a package size that we don’t normally carry. If you get an ad for your favorite store, I’d recommend that you not wait until the end of the week to purchase the item, even it that is your normal shopping day. The earlier in the day you can come in the better also, then if it’s a particularly busy day we should still have the desired items in stock.

Getting back to the customer I had recently, she was upset with me that I wouldn’t just hand her the rain-check, as she was in a hurry. (I’m not going to comment on that one, another pet peeve of mine). After checking with the department I found out that we don’t give out rain-checks when the item is a percentage off. Later after my shift was over, I went to the department to see where the item was and found well over fifty of the same item in stock.

Even remodeling fits with the idea of planning ahead. When you are ready for the tub enclosure, you would hate it if you found out that Lowe’s sold the last one yesterday. What if it takes a few weeks to get another one? Anything in life that we want to do, we should do some type of planning ahead, and follow through with whatever needs taken care of then rather than later, or tomorrow.

I think many people would say, “Of course, planning ahead is necessary, who doesn’t know that?” I see where it gets missed in other situations. For instance, in the business I co-ordinate, there are those that plan on getting their windows cleaned before a wedding or something similar. They plan ahead on everything for the wedding, and they know they want the windows cleaned, but they neglect to let us know what they are planning and call us several days before the wedding, expecting us to drop anyone else we have scheduled to fit them in.

One of our current employees in our window cleaning business told me that when he worked in Florida, it was common for those that needed wood to repair their boats to wait until the season began again to try to purchase the wood. When they waited until the last-minute, rarely was there any wood available. They weren’t too happy to learn they had to wait for the new shipment to arrive.

So it behooves all of us to plan ahead in all situations in life. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, if at all possible. It should help eliminate some of that stress we all deal with also.


Opinion paper

For my opinion paper, I’m going to write about the unemployment rate. Our country faces unemployment problems many times relating to individuals not wanting to work. This is my opinion, which I’ve had for some time now, say at least ten years, Obviously this is not the case with everyone that isn’t working. I don’t mean to imply that you or a family member that isn’t working has this problem, but I know it is a problem.

I’m a business owner and in one year, while trying to keep nine people on the payroll, we went through seventy-five employees. That’s a pretty big turnover.

If I’m able to find research that corroborates my opinion I will be surprised and happy.