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Using Definition Essay Examples: Is It Plagiarism?


Approaching a definition essay is different from how other essays are approached. The purpose of this particular form is to elaborate on the meaning of a definition, which forces the student to complete their research in a way that stays very close to other sources which have also thoroughly written about the definition.

It’s for this reason that many students, either through little understanding or to take the shortcut, find it easy to run a greater risk of stealing other published work. In other words to plagiarize it. The guidelines for this are foggy sometimes. For instance, when a student wants to use an example of a definition essay, how much can they use before it’s plagiarised? Depending on the use of the content will determine if it is so.

Why Use Definition Essay Examples?

From the beginning there is a standard format to follow when writing different essays. Along with that there is also a process that allows the student the freedom to research their topic. This is supported and encouraged to a certain extent.

A student’s essay can be created using collected ideas from other sources including other definition essays. It’s expected in the research process that the student would come across similar works which may present ideas that help elaborate on a definition. For this reason, essay writing allows this source to be included with the new work. The confusion comes with how and how much of it to use. If used incorrectly, the student will be committing an act of plagiarism.

How To Use Essay Examples

It’s difficult to understand why a student would be committing plagiarism if they’re using previous work of their own in new work. This is allowed but under the same standard format as it applies to all work.

Depending on the instructor, they will state which standard to use for the essay. These standards are:

  • Oxford
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago

Any of these can be used to cite the work. Depending on the specific standard, it will refer to the amount of words used from the original source which will either be quoted directly or paraphrased, which is preferred.

The only difference in what is plagiarised or not is whether the source is cited. These standards will also detail exactly how the student will reference the work at the bottom or the end of the essay. It’s like giving credit at the end of a movie.

Taken Seriously

Plagiarism is an offense that all those in publishing of any kind take very seriously. A student who doesn’t follow the rules correctly will only put the institution in jeopardy along with their credibility. Each institution has their way of consequences applied from a bad grade to lawsuits, whether the student did it intentionally or not, for the protection of the original work and its author.

 
 

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