Plagiarism: Avoid The Consequences
At a particular level or stage in our lives, we are sure to get involved in some form of writing or the other; most of these writings are professional pieces, and for them to be attributed to us, they need to be free of plagiarism.
Plagiarism could be said to be presenting the work of others without adequate acknowledgment of its source as if it were one’s own.
From deliberate cheating to casual or copying from a source without credit, plagiarism can take many forms.
Consequently, whenever you use another person’s words or ideas in your work, you must acknowledge where they came from.
We all lean on the shoulders of others in one way or the other and must appreciate the creators of the works we incorporate into the products we call our own.
Plagiarism can take a lot of forms sometimes; it could be subtle, while most times, it could be pronounced and outright.
Examples of Plagiarism
- a sequence of words enclosed without quotation marks
- unacknowledged passage paraphrased from another’s work
- using ideas, sound recordings, computer data, or images created by others as your own”
- Use a direct quote from the source, not quotation marks, in-text citations, and references.
- Paraphrasing the source and not using citations and references in the text.
- Citing a source with false bibliographic information.
- Selling or buying (or copying) papers, assignments, or exams from another student or any website that buys or sells them. This applies even if it is only partially used when submitted by the student.
- Writing a paper for another student.
- Submitting a paper, assignment, or exam that you used in a previous class and received credit for (even if the topics are the same) without seeking and receiving prior written permission from your new instructor. This also applies to “revising” papers, assignments, or exams previously submitted.
- Copying an image, audio, video, table, PowerPoint presentation, etc. without proper citation and reference
Due to a lack of experience or academic dexterity, sometimes, people plagiarize unknowingly. Another reason writers or students plagiarize is “laziness” because they don’t want to spend time researching.
Some students will knowingly plagiarize simply because completing an assignment is the easiest way.
Neither of These Cases is Allowed.
Plagiarism is not exclusive to the academic world but has spread to other fields such as literature, journalism, art, music, etc. As earlier said, there are many types. All are serious and can lead to serious offenses.
However, the advent of technology has made it easier for plagiarism to be easily detected, so everyone needs to understand what plagiarism is to avoid it at all costs.
Types of Plagiarism
There are several types. To avoid them in the future, you need to be able to identify them. As we mentioned earlier, some of these may be unintentional, but they can still have serious consequences.
This can be said as a way to avoid plagiarism. Using this technique incorrectly (if you don’t cite your sources correctly) can lead to it being considered plagiarism. Paraphrasing is an act of rewriting someone else’s content. Nowadays, this is the most abused form of plagiarism.
Commonly known as incremental or patchwork plagiarism, both of these terms represent Mosaic plagiarism.
It is similar to paraphrasing and is the process of replacing works or content with synonyms in an attempt to use another author’s work.
Students use this type of plagiarism when trying to trick their teachers. Some powerful plagiarism checkers, including Turnitin, can still detect this.
Verbatim plagiarism involves transferring content from a source into your document without attributing the source.
Some people copy content from other sources, paste it into their documents and then shorten some words or texts, but this is still literal plagiarism.
One best way to stay off verbatim plagiarism is to cite (use an in-text citation) the source.
Accidental plagiarism can occur when someone, without knowing, paraphrases another person’s work. Or when one forgets to cite the sources of content or texts used in a document. Although a writer or author can commit this type of plagiarism, it is still not allowed. Just make sure you cite correctly. There are plenty of referral generators you can use to avoid this.
5. Incorrect citing
Sometimes plagiarism occurs when citing sources. If you are in a hurry, sometimes, you can cite sources incorrectly, which can lead to plagiarism. This type involves summarizing or misquoting sources. The best way to avoid this type is to follow the citation guidelines.
6. Making Up Sources
Finding sources to support your claim can be difficult. No matter how much research you do, this is where most writers choose to come up with resources that don’t exist. Doing so will lead to plagiarism and mislead others by providing inaccurate information.
Consequences of Plagiarism
1. Consequences of Plagiarism for College Students
- As with all crimes, for prevention to be taken seriously, the punishment must be severe, and plagiarism can be very severe indeed, but what are the consequences for students?
- If a student is successfully caught plagiarizing, they may be expelled from the college or course, their work may be destroyed, or they may even face the possibility of legal action along with a range of fines or penalties.
- If you still think plagiarism is illegal or not. Additionally, many students don’t realize that if they plagiarize in college, it can damage their long-term plans far beyond their college or university plans.
- All students have an academic record, and institutions can update it with the information they see fit.
- Should a student be studying for a degree, for example, and is expelled from a course after successful plagiarism findings, it is likely that it will be challenging to gain entry to a similar course in the future. Other problems may include:
- Inability to register for other courses at other institutions
- Being stopped from progressing to a master’s or doctoral degree
- Severe impact on career goals and lifetime earning potential
2. Consequences of Plagiarism for Researchers
- Researchers worldwide are constantly reading, summarizing, and taking notes on other people’s work, but if you forget to cite other people’s work, you can set yourself up for failure.
- The same could be said for citing your work. Auto-plagiarism is the act of reusing words you have written in previous research papers and passing them off as new works.
- This act is considered highly dishonest, and if you are caught, the consequences of plagiarism could cause significant damage to your reputation and reduce the respect you will be accorded in future research papers.
- Whether researchers are reprimanded for self-plagiarism or for plagiarizing the work of others, they can expect to face loss of funding or even termination of their position at the institution.
- You could also be barred from submitting any future work, no matter how groundbreaking it may be, and run the risk of copyright infringement.
3. Consequences of Plagiarism for Other Professionals
- First, just as your reputation at the university can be damaged if you get caught, so can the reputation of your colleagues, teachers, and the institution itself, especially if you work on high-profile studies.
- It has a ripple effect on the academic system and damages the credibility and external perception of all parties involved.
- With the rise of social media, the consequences of plagiarism can very quickly be felt worldwide for other academics and institutions to see just at the click of a button.
- Very quickly, the reputations and careers of people around you who were not involved in plagiarism can be called into question and face severe punishment.
- This would be even more disturbing if any of these people already held hard-earned academic positions or even positions in the political or religious spheres.
- There is also an argument about justice here. A good piece of research can take a very long time to get to the point where it can be added to a resume.
- If you plagiarize your work and add that research or study to your resume, it immediately undermines the efforts and dedication of other professionals in your field.
- The key is to be nice. To prevent others from facing punishment, do not plagiarize.
Legal Consequences of Plagiarism
If you are caught plagiarizing, the consequences include expulsion from school, dismissal from your job, or difficulty finding alternative employment.
You may also indirectly violate several copyright laws designed to protect the interests of original authors.
If so, you may face financial penalties based on the damage caused to the author.
If the author is found to have lost any money as a result of their negligence, or if the author finds that they can no longer use their original work, as a result, these financial penalties can end up being very large sums of money.
At the very extreme, you may also face criminal prosecution that entails jail time or community service.
So the next time you consider plagiarizing, ask yourself if the consequences of plagiarism are worth it?
When writing, make sure you focus on making your work as unique as possible.
Don’t try to take any shortcuts when it comes to something as fundamental as research for your education or your job.
Consequences may seem trivial at the school level, with suspension or even expulsion. However, on a real-world level, the consequences can be worse.
It could lead to, say, just a loss of credibility and trust if you’re lucky, but a lawsuit or even jail time if you’re not.