This essay outlines that the cost of education should be a motivating factor for those students who truly want to gain knowledge and work skills for the future. However, plagiarism not only hurts the individual who is wasting their time and efforts in the endeavor, but also infringes on the intellectual rights of the original individual responsible for the work/data/quotation/etc. As students, we are often call upon to deliver papers and assignments which describe and/or explain specific topics of study which incorporate hard fact and reference with individual assessment and explanation. In this way we are necessarily required to build off the prior work of others, if in no other capacity as evidence to support our own views.
However, it is paramount as responsible students that we recognize and separate our own intellectual property and perspectives as they relate to the critical examination and analysis of a subject and those aspects of the text which were directly or indirectly lifted from the work of another.
Avoiding plagiarism is the only ethical route. It is simple to do this, as you must simply pay attention and make certain that you give credit to the original author/work. In most cases, divulging the citation source often builds credence rather than hurting the final work.