This passage discusses plagiarism and its effects on the school system.
Although many students do not see plagiarism as a significant problem in our public and private school systems, it is a form of academic dishonesty that is both serious and punishable. When someone plagiarizes, he or she claims credit for words or ideas that belong to someone else. This can be done by deliberately omitting quotation marks from someone else's words, by copying sections of someone else's paper, or by turning in someone else's work as one's own. In any of these cases, there can be severe consequences for students. Some of the consequences may be imposed by others: school officials may expel plagiarizing students or note violations in school records, parents may punish their sons or daughters, and other people may discredit the offending students or their work. There are also more personal consequences. In addition to contributing to what may already be low self-esteem, students deprive themselves of valuable opportunities to learn and grow. Though less visible, this consequence may be the most damaging of all.