The other day ,Aashu,my five year –old son, rushed in with all excitement.
“Oh Mom! Today we witnessed a wonderful thing . Our teacher took us to the large pool inside our school campus and what was the surprise ,you see?”
“What---?”I retorted. “There were two small dolphins and some other types of colourful fish . The dolphins started chasing the smaller ones and the others were trying to seek refuge as if they were playing hide and seek. Then our Miss scattered some powder inside the pool and they started eating. Our Miss also explained that dolphins can do many tricks . She told us about the mimicry which the dolphins do. But as the school was over, we could not stay longer ,but our Miss has promised that she would take us to the dolphinarium once more. Is n’t it something amazing?” he asked. “But Miss has also asked us to write some words about Dolphins.”he added.
“Sure !sure!”I answered and helped him undress and asked him to wash and take his lunch. Later when he went to bed, I thought and thought about these dolphins and started collecting some information about these dolphins from the encyclopaedia. Later I also surfed the net for some information as Aashu was too small to do all these and he had got also his abacus classes to attend. I wished I could copy and paste the information so that my time and labour would be saved a little bit .But the term “plagiarism” haunted me again and again. “Am I plagiarising or am I gathering information? Am I copying or am I counterfeiting another’s ideas ,words or work? Am I writing a poem on Dolphin or am I considering about the facts for an objective analysis of the creature and its origin?” I opened my “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English” by A S Hornby and found that “Plagiarism” means “an act of plagiarising something” and “to plagiarize” means to copy another person’s ideas ,words or work and pretend that they are your own. According to Chambers Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms-edited by Martin H. Manser , plagiarism means borrowing, copying, counterfeiting, lifting ,infringement, ,piracy, reproduction and theft.
But if I search for some information and write them in my own words, what is wrong with that ?Facts cannot be fiction. And if your writing is based on some information to quench the thirst of this info-hungry world, what is the second option?
History teaches us about so many facts .Does that mean the historians have plagiarised and can be charged of borrowing and copying? Scientists have done so many experiments based on
’s theory, does that mean they have plagiarized his ideas? Newton