Instructors warn students about plagiarism during writing workshop

One of the more recurring themes of college, plagiarizing is highly unacceptable in the eyes of instructors and faculty alike. To make sure that the students of Alcorn State University understand, the Department of English held a seminar to clarify expectations. 

The special event was hosted by English instructor Dr. Murray Shugars, whom during the seminar, gave students expert advice on how to properly avoid plagiarism. Along with Shugars advice, however, was him explaining the reality of being caught. “The student/teacher bond from then on is broken,” said Shugars. “After a person does it once, I feel like I can’t trust that student.”

During the seminar, Shugars gave the students and other on-lookers the Webster-Merriam and MLA definition of plagiarism. “It is defined as to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own,” he said. “It is to commit literary theft.” 

Shugars also explained how professional reputations are on the line along with a student’s future with the university. “I have zero tolerance,” he said. “I will fail a student if they copy a single sentence.” One of the many main mistakes is that many don’t attribute their or give credit to the source. The main job for many instructors is to teach students how to detect when they have plagiarized, and how to correct the mistake. 

The room was filled with students interested in how to be certain that their work is theirs. “I found the seminar to be helpful and informative,” said Nadiri Washington, a 21-year-old biology health and science major from Chicago, Illinois. “It could most definitely be used in not only just English class but in other areas as well.” 

Plagiarism is something that all students, instructors, and faculty alike should avoid at all cost.