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Why is Plagiarism So Bad?

Even unintentional plagiarism can affect your grades — and your reputation.

What to Do When You Don't Understand the Textbook

If you've ever written an essay, chances are you've heard your teacher warn you about plagiarism more than a few times. It's probably somewhere in the student handbook or code of ethics, as well as in your course syllabi. One thing is clear: It's considered very wrong and is usually taken very seriously by your academic institution.

But why is plagiarism so bad? Well, not only is it dishonest, but it can have devastating effects on your GPA — and even put your education in jeopardy. Here's what you need to know about plagiarism, including how to avoid it.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism amounts to taking someone else’s writing, ideas or other intellectual property and passing them off as your own. It can come in the form of direct copying or close paraphrasing and may be intentional or accidental.

Intentional plagiarism is done on purpose. A person copies another source or has someone else write their paper for them, then passes it off as their own work. Students have been known to do this since the dawn of education, for a variety of reasons. Maybe they're strapped for time, they procrastinated too long, they haven’t been learning or understanding the material, or they’re at a point where they need to pass their class in any way possible.

Accidental plagiarism occurs when a student is either unaware of how to properly cite a source or they forget to cite the source or add quotation marks. To avoid accidental plagiarism, you want to be informed on proper procedures for attribution and citation.

What Makes Plagiarism Bad?

There are many reasons plagiarism is considered morally wrong and dishonest. Here are a few:

  • Plagiarism is a form of theft. While it may seem less severe that theft of physical property, it is just as bad. When you plagiarize, you are stealing intellectual property. 
  • Plagiarism amounts to cheating. By submitting plagiarized material, you are submitting work that is not your own for credit. When teachers assign work, the reason is to help you learn and grow and to assess that learning and provide feedback. If you get a grade for work you didn’t do, this defeats the entire purpose of your education. You aren’t just cheating your teacher, you are cheating yourself.
  • Qualifications earned through cheating are unfair and fraudulent . If you earn a certificate or a degree by plagiarizing, then you are granted a qualification that does not represent your actual skill and knowledge. This degrades the value of qualifications and can be seen as a form of fraud.

What are the Consequences of Plagiarism?

Consequences of plagiarism can vary. In many classes, it means an automatic 0 on the assignment in question. This makes obvious sense as you shouldn’t expect credit for work that was not your own. But it can also lead to a 0 grade for the course entirely because academic dishonesty is seen as direct evidence of disrespect for the educational process.

Teachers may also report severe plagiarism cases to the school, and you could face disciplinary action that even goes as far as expulsion. Your understanding of the misdeed and desire to correct the mistake can go a long way, however, in helping you avoid harsher consequences.

Outside of being a student, plagiarism can have severe consequences on the offender’s career, destroying their reputation and even resulting in legal repercussions due to violations of copyright laws.

How Can I Avoid Plagiarizing?

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make sure you are fully aware of what constitutes it in the first place. Always adhere to all course policies on citing sources and quoting. Note that simply changing up a few words after copying something over can still constitute plagiarism. Your work should always be your own.

Do your writing after reading and without looking directly at any sources except for when quoting. This will force you to write using your own words.

Remove the temptation to plagiarize by planning large papers in advance, giving yourself plenty of time and working with your instructor to make sure you understand the material.

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  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Plagiarism
  • UNSW Sydney: What is Plagiarism?

About the Author

Gayle Towell is a freelance writer and editor living in Oregon. She earned masters degrees in both mathematics and physics from the University of Oregon after completing a double major at Smith College, and has spent over a decade teaching these subjects to college students. Also a prolific writer of fiction, and founder of Microfiction Monday Magazine, you can learn more about Gayle at gtowell.com.

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What Is Plagiarism and Why Is It Wrong? Essay

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Introduction

There are so many ways of defining what plagiarism means. The commonly accepted definition of plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s words in order to convey a meaning without crediting the person who originally said it. However, there are also a number of other definitions for plagiarism and this paper aims to present those other definitions as well as explain why such practices should not be accepted by the academe.

Self plagiarism is something that is fast becoming a common practice for students these days. It is like that grade school volcano project that you used every single year only now, the students do it with their research work for say, a science experiment in physics that was originally used in chemistry. All he does is he changes the look and presentation but nothing else. This is still plagiarism because he had previously used the exact same work without telling his new teacher about it. Hence, self plagiarism. Now using the same paper but adding information to it and revising the content of the paper would not be considered self plagiarism because the paper will change in content in focus.

Buying term papers off the internet is also considered to be an act of plagiarism because you would still be using someone else’s words when you submit that paper to your teacher. It is just like listening to a story and then having it told all over again. Telling the person listening to you who the source of the story is an act of properly giving credit where it is due. Just remember, if someone else said it, did it, wrote it, or even thought about it, you have to say so in the paper you are writing because the essence of what you are saying was still said by somebody else. Failure to do so is plagiarism.

So now that we know why plagiarizing is bad, I need to tell you why we should never commit plagiarism either.

I believe that anybody who is really taking the time to study and understand his lessons will be able to write a totally original paper filled with his own understanding of the subject matter. Any quotes that are used within the page should be properly cited in order to let the person reading the paper that actual research was done in order to complete the work, aside from providing extra information for the reader.

By plagiarizing a paper, the student is practically announcing to the world that he is too lazy to study and would rather not put any effort into his grades. The temptation to plagiarize is strong specially for the hard to research and write topics. It seems easier to simply paraphrase and get things over with. However, that puts your knowledge of the subject matter into question because once you are asked to explain what it is you mean, you will get caught with a plagiarized paper.

Most importantly, the penalty for plagiarism on any educational level is too severe. Various colleges have different rules regarding how to deal with a plagiarizing student but the final punishment is always the same. These punishments range from suspension to expulsion, Neither of which would look good on a future resume or student application for higher studies.

So do the right thing, learn how to research and write term papers. Learn how to properly cite your sources within a paper. Your future educational ambitions depend on it.

Sauer. 2004. Research Help! What Is Plagiarism?. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021, October 11). What Is Plagiarism and Why Is It Wrong? https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-is-plagiarism/

"What Is Plagiarism and Why Is It Wrong?" IvyPanda , 11 Oct. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/what-is-plagiarism/.

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1. IvyPanda . "What Is Plagiarism and Why Is It Wrong?" October 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-is-plagiarism/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "What Is Plagiarism and Why Is It Wrong?" October 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-is-plagiarism/.

Group of students working around a table on laptops. By Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Information about what plagiarism is, and how you can avoid it.

The University defines plagiarism as follows:

“Presenting work or ideas from another source as your own, with or without consent of the original author, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition, as is the use of material generated wholly or in part through use of artificial intelligence (save when use of AI for assessment has received prior authorisation e.g. as a reasonable adjustment for a student’s disability). Plagiarism can also include re-using your own work without citation. Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence.”

The necessity to acknowledge others’ work or ideas applies not only to text, but also to other media, such as computer code, illustrations, graphs etc. It applies equally to published text and data drawn from books and journals, and to unpublished text and data, whether from lectures, theses or other students’ essays. You must also attribute text, data, or other resources downloaded from websites.

Please note that artificial intelligence (AI) can only be used within assessments where specific prior authorisation has been given, or when technology that uses AI has been agreed as reasonable adjustment for a student’s disability (such as voice recognition software for transcriptions, or spelling and grammar checkers).

The best way of avoiding plagiarism is to learn and employ the principles of good academic practice from the beginning of your university career. Avoiding plagiarism is not simply a matter of making sure your references are all correct, or changing enough words so the examiner will not notice your paraphrase; it is about deploying your academic skills to make your work as good as it can be.

Students will benefit from taking an  online course  which has been developed to provide a useful overview of the issues surrounding plagiarism and practical ways to avoid it.

Forms of plagiarism

Verbatim (word for word) quotation without clear acknowledgement Quotations must always be identified as such by the use of either quotation marks or indentation, and with full referencing of the sources cited. It must always be apparent to the reader which parts are your own independent work and where you have drawn on ideas and language from another source.

Cutting and pasting from the Internet without clear acknowledgement Information derived from the Internet must be adequately referenced and included in the bibliography. It is important to evaluate carefully all material found on the Internet, as it is less likely to have been through the same process of scholarly peer review as published sources.

Paraphrasing Paraphrasing the work of others by altering a few words and changing their order, or by closely following the structure of their argument, is plagiarism if you do not give due acknowledgement to the author whose work you are using.

A passing reference to the original author in your own text may not be enough; you must ensure that you do not create the misleading impression that the paraphrased wording or the sequence of ideas are entirely your own. It is better to write a brief summary of the author’s overall argument in your own words, indicating that you are doing so, than to paraphrase particular sections of his or her writing. This will ensure you have a genuine grasp of the argument and will avoid the difficulty of paraphrasing without plagiarising. You must also properly attribute all material you derive from lectures.

Collusion This can involve unauthorised collaboration between students, failure to attribute assistance received, or failure to follow precisely regulations on group work projects. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are entirely clear about the extent of collaboration permitted, and which parts of the work must be your own.

Inaccurate citation It is important to cite correctly, according to the conventions of your discipline. As well as listing your sources (i.e. in a bibliography), you must indicate, using a footnote or an in-text reference, where a quoted passage comes from. Additionally, you should not include anything in your references or bibliography that you have not actually consulted. If you cannot gain access to a primary source you must make it clear in your citation that your knowledge of the work has been derived from a secondary text (for example, Bradshaw, D. Title of Book, discussed in Wilson, E., Title of Book (London, 2004), p. 189).

Failure to acknowledge assistance You must clearly acknowledge all assistance which has contributed to the production of your work, such as advice from fellow students, laboratory technicians, and other external sources. This need not apply to the assistance provided by your tutor or supervisor, or to ordinary proofreading, but it is necessary to acknowledge other guidance which leads to substantive changes of content or approach.

Use of material written by professional agencies or other persons You should neither make use of professional agencies in the production of your work nor submit material which has been written for you even with the consent of the person who has written it. It is vital to your intellectual training and development that you should undertake the research process unaided. Under Statute XI on University Discipline, all members of the University are prohibited from providing material that could be submitted in an examination by students at this University or elsewhere.

Auto-plagiarism You must not submit work for assessment that you have already submitted (partially or in full), either for your current course or for another qualification of this, or any other, university, unless this is specifically provided for in the special regulations for your course. Where earlier work by you is citable, ie. it has already been published, you must reference it clearly. Identical pieces of work submitted concurrently will also be considered to be auto-plagiarism.

Why does plagiarism matter?

Plagiarism is a breach of academic integrity. It is a principle of intellectual honesty that all members of the academic community should acknowledge their debt to the originators of the ideas, words, and data which form the basis for their own work. Passing off another’s work as your own is not only poor scholarship, but also means that you have failed to complete the learning process. Plagiarism is unethical and can have serious consequences for your future career; it also undermines the standards of your institution and of the degrees it issues.

Why should you avoid plagiarism?

There are many reasons to avoid plagiarism. You have come to university to learn to know and speak your own mind, not merely to reproduce the opinions of others - at least not without attribution. At first it may seem very difficult to develop your own views, and you will probably find yourself paraphrasing the writings of others as you attempt to understand and assimilate their arguments. However it is important that you learn to develop your own voice. You are not necessarily expected to become an original thinker, but you are expected to be an independent one - by learning to assess critically the work of others, weigh up differing arguments and draw your own conclusions. Students who plagiarise undermine the ethos of academic scholarship while avoiding an essential part of the learning process.

You should avoid plagiarism because you aspire to produce work of the highest quality. Once you have grasped the principles of source use and citation, you should find it relatively straightforward to steer clear of plagiarism. Moreover, you will reap the additional benefits of improvements to both the lucidity and quality of your writing. It is important to appreciate that mastery of the techniques of academic writing is not merely a practical skill, but one that lends both credibility and authority to your work, and demonstrates your commitment to the principle of intellectual honesty in scholarship.

What happens if you are thought to have plagiarised?

The University regards plagiarism in examinations as a serious matter. Cases will be investigated and penalties may range from deduction of marks to expulsion from the University, depending on the seriousness of the occurrence. Even if plagiarism is inadvertent, it can result in a penalty. The forms of plagiarism listed above are all potentially disciplinary offences in the context of formal assessment requirements.

The regulations regarding conduct in examinations apply equally to the ‘submission and assessment of a thesis, dissertation, essay, or other coursework not undertaken in formal examination conditions but which counts towards or constitutes the work for a degree or other academic award’. Additionally, this includes the transfer and confirmation of status exercises undertaken by graduate students. Cases of suspected plagiarism in assessed work are investigated under the disciplinary regulations concerning conduct in examinations. Intentional plagiarism in this context means that you understood that you were breaching the regulations and did so intending to gain advantage in the examination. Reckless, in this context, means that you understood or could be expected to have understood (even if you did not specifically consider it) that your work might breach the regulations, but you took no action to avoid doing so. Intentional or reckless plagiarism may incur severe penalties, including failure of your degree or expulsion from the university.

If plagiarism is suspected in a piece of work submitted for assessment in an examination, the matter will be referred to the Proctors. They will thoroughly investigate the claim and call the student concerned for interview. If at this point there is no evidence of a breach of the regulations, no further disciplinary action will be taken although there may still be an academic penalty. However, if it is concluded that a breach of the regulations may have occurred, the Proctors will refer the case to the Student Disciplinary Panel.

If you are suspected of plagiarism your College Secretary/Academic Administrator and subject tutor will support you through the process and arrange for a member of Congregation to accompany you to all hearings. They will be able to advise you what to expect during the investigation and how best to make your case. The OUSU Student Advice Service can also provide useful information and support. 

Does this mean that I shouldn’t use the work of other authors?

On the contrary, it is vital that you situate your writing within the intellectual debates of your discipline. Academic essays almost always involve the use and discussion of material written by others, and, with due acknowledgement and proper referencing, this is clearly distinguishable from plagiarism. The knowledge in your discipline has developed cumulatively as a result of years of research, innovation and debate. You need to give credit to the authors of the ideas and observations you cite. Not only does this accord recognition to their work, it also helps you to strengthen your argument by making clear the basis on which you make it. Moreover, good citation practice gives your reader the opportunity to follow up your references, or check the validity of your interpretation.

Does every statement in my essay have to be backed up with references?

You may feel that including the citation for every point you make will interrupt the flow of your essay and make it look very unoriginal. At least initially, this may sometimes be inevitable. However, by employing good citation practice from the start, you will learn to avoid errors such as close paraphrasing or inadequately referenced quotation. It is important to understand the reasons behind the need for transparency of source use.

All academic texts, even student essays, are multi-voiced, which means they are filled with references to other texts. Rather than attempting to synthesise these voices into one narrative account, you should make it clear whose interpretation or argument you are employing at any one time - whose ‘voice’ is speaking.

If you are substantially indebted to a particular argument in the formulation of your own, you should make this clear both in footnotes and in the body of your text according to the agreed conventions of the discipline, before going on to describe how your own views develop or diverge from this influence.

On the other hand, it is not necessary to give references for facts that are common knowledge in your discipline. If you are unsure as to whether something is considered to be common knowledge or not, it is safer to cite it anyway and seek clarification. You do need to document facts that are not generally known and ideas that are interpretations of facts. 

Does this only matter in exams?

Although plagiarism in weekly essays does not constitute a University disciplinary offence, it may well lead to College disciplinary measures. Persistent academic under-performance can even result in your being sent down from the University. Although tutorial essays traditionally do not require the full scholarly apparatus of footnotes and referencing, it is still necessary to acknowledge your sources and demonstrate the development of your argument, usually by an in-text reference. Many tutors will ask that you do employ a formal citation style early on, and you will find that this is good preparation for later project and dissertation work. In any case, your work will benefit considerably if you adopt good scholarly habits from the start, together with the techniques of critical thinking and writing described above.

As junior members of the academic community, students need to learn how to read academic literature and how to write in a style appropriate to their discipline. This does not mean that you must become masters of jargon and obfuscation; however the process is akin to learning a new language. It is necessary not only to learn new terminology, but the practical study skills and other techniques which will help you to learn effectively.

Developing these skills throughout your time at university will not only help you to produce better coursework, dissertations, projects and exam papers, but will lay the intellectual foundations for your future career. Even if you have no intention of becoming an academic, being able to analyse evidence, exercise critical judgement, and write clearly and persuasively are skills that will serve you for life, and which any employer will value.

Borrowing essays from other students to adapt and submit as your own is plagiarism, and will develop none of these necessary skills, holding back your academic development. Students who lend essays for this purpose are doing their peers no favours.

Unintentional plagiarism

Not all cases of plagiarism arise from a deliberate intention to cheat. Sometimes students may omit to take down citation details when taking notes, or they may be genuinely ignorant of referencing conventions. However, these excuses offer no sure protection against a charge of plagiarism. Even in cases where the plagiarism is found to have been neither intentional nor reckless, there may still be an academic penalty for poor practice.

It is your responsibility to find out the prevailing referencing conventions in your discipline, to take adequate notes, and to avoid close paraphrasing. If you are offered induction sessions on plagiarism and study skills, you should attend. Together with the advice contained in your subject handbook, these will help you learn how to avoid common errors. If you are undertaking a project or dissertation you should ensure that you have information on plagiarism and collusion. If ever in doubt about referencing, paraphrasing or plagiarism, you have only to ask your tutor.

Examples of plagiarism

There are some helpful examples of plagiarism-by-paraphrase and you will also find extensive advice on the referencing and library skills pages.

The following examples demonstrate some of the common pitfalls to avoid. These examples use the referencing system prescribed by the History Faculty but should be of use to students of all disciplines.

Source text

From a class perspective this put them [highwaymen] in an ambivalent position. In aspiring to that proud, if temporary, status of ‘Gentleman of the Road’, they did not question the inegalitarian hierarchy of their society. Yet their boldness of act and deed, in putting them outside the law as rebellious fugitives, revivified the ‘animal spirits’ of capitalism and became an essential part of the oppositional culture of working-class London, a serious obstacle to the formation of a tractable, obedient labour force. Therefore, it was not enough to hang them – the values they espoused or represented had to be challenged.

(Linebaugh, P., The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1991), p. 213. [You should give the reference in full the first time you use it in a footnote; thereafter it is acceptable to use an abbreviated version, e.g. Linebaugh, The London Hanged, p. 213.]

Plagiarised

  • Although they did not question the inegalitarian hierarchy of their society, highwaymen became an essential part of the oppositional culture of working-class London, posing a serious threat to the formation of a biddable labour force. (This is a patchwork of phrases copied verbatim from the source, with just a few words changed here and there. There is no reference to the original author and no indication that these words are not the writer’s own.)
  • Although they did not question the inegalitarian hierarchy of their society, highwaymen exercised a powerful attraction for the working classes. Some historians believe that this hindered the development of a submissive workforce. (This is a mixture of verbatim copying and acceptable paraphrase. Although only one phrase has been copied from the source, this would still count as plagiarism. The idea expressed in the first sentence has not been attributed at all, and the reference to ‘some historians’ in the second is insufficient. The writer should use clear referencing to acknowledge all ideas taken from other people’s work.)
  • Although they did not question the inegalitarian hierarchy of their society, highwaymen ‘became an essential part of the oppositional culture of working-class London [and] a serious obstacle to the formation of a tractable, obedient labour force’.1 (This contains a mixture of attributed and unattributed quotation, which suggests to the reader that the first line is original to this writer. All quoted material must be enclosed in quotation marks and adequately referenced.)
  • Highwaymen’s bold deeds ‘revivified the “animal spirits” of capitalism’ and made them an essential part of the oppositional culture of working-class London.1 Peter Linebaugh argues that they posed a major obstacle to the formation of an obedient labour force. (Although the most striking phrase has been placed within quotation marks and correctly referenced, and the original author is referred to in the text, there has been a great deal of unacknowledged borrowing. This should have been put into the writer’s own words instead.)
  • By aspiring to the title of ‘Gentleman of the Road’, highwaymen did not challenge the unfair taxonomy of their society. Yet their daring exploits made them into outlaws and inspired the antagonistic culture of labouring London, forming a grave impediment to the development of a submissive workforce. Ultimately, hanging them was insufficient – the ideals they personified had to be discredited.1 (This may seem acceptable on a superficial level, but by imitating exactly the structure of the original passage and using synonyms for almost every word, the writer has paraphrased too closely. The reference to the original author does not make it clear how extensive the borrowing has been. Instead, the writer should try to express the argument in his or her own words, rather than relying on a ‘translation’ of the original.)

Non-plagiarised

  • Peter Linebaugh argues that although highwaymen posed no overt challenge to social orthodoxy – they aspired to be known as ‘Gentlemen of the Road’ – they were often seen as anti-hero role models by the unruly working classes. He concludes that they were executed not only for their criminal acts, but in order to stamp out the threat of insubordinacy.1 (This paraphrase of the passage is acceptable as the wording and structure demonstrate the reader’s interpretation of the passage and do not follow the original too closely. The source of the ideas under discussion has been properly attributed in both textual and footnote references.)
  • Peter Linebaugh argues that highwaymen represented a powerful challenge to the mores of capitalist society and inspired the rebelliousness of London’s working class.1 (This is a brief summary of the argument with appropriate attribution.) 1 Linebaugh, P., The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1991), p. 213.

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  • Consequences of Mild, Moderate & Severe Plagiarism

Consequences of Mild, Moderate & Severe Plagiarism

Published on October 18, 2021 by Tegan George . Revised on May 30, 2024.

If you use someone else’s words or ideas without properly crediting them, you could be committing plagiarism . The consequences of plagiarism vary based on the severity of the offense.

Consequences of mild, moderate, and severe plagiarism
Level of plagiarism Examples Likely consequence
Mild Grade penalty or automatic zero
Moderate Failing grade on course
Severe Academic probation or expulsion

Plagiarism can also have serious consequences in high school and during the college application process . Many high schools use plagiarism checkers and treat plagiarism the same way colleges do, and admissions officers will typically disregard your application if they find you’ve plagiarized any part of it.

Table of contents

What colleges say about the consequences of plagiarism, why is plagiarism so serious, frequently asked questions about plagiarism.

Plagiarism in college has serious consequences, even when committed by accident. You can usually find the details of your institution’s plagiarism policy and examples of plagiarism in your code of conduct. If you’re unsure about the specifics, ask your instructor.

Some examples from different institutions are shown below.

  • American University
  • Cerro Coso Community College

“Academic Integrity Code violations are treated very seriously. The misperceived short-term gain from these acts is not worth the long-term consequences of the penalty.

“Sanctions for code violations include loss of credit for the assignment, a failing grade for the course, a permanent notation on the transcript, and dismissal from the university. Second offenses will result in suspension or dismissal from the university.”

Source: American University

“While it is recognized that scholarly work often involves reference to the ideas, data and conclusions of other scholars, intellectual honesty requires that such references be explicitly and clearly noted. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence.”

Source: University of Calgary

“If you are found responsible for academic misconduct, appropriate grade penalties for the infraction will be at the discretion of the instructor in accordance to the syllabus or the course/department policy, if applicable. Grade penalties can range from a grade reduction on the assessment to failure of the course.

In addition, you may also be assigned college sanctions by the Office of Student Academic Affairs.   Most first-time offenses of academic misconduct result in a college-level sanction of disciplinary probation.  

Source: University of Michigan

“An instructor who determines that a student has cheated or plagiarized has a range of many options, which may be as severe as giving the student a failing grade for the course. Furthermore, the student may face other penalties as stated in the college’s Student Conduct Policy. Finally, it must be understood that a student who knowingly aids in another student’s cheating e.g., permitting the other student to copy a paper or examination question, is as guilty as the other of the offense.”

Source: Cerro Coso Community College

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

You might wonder why universities and other organizations impose such serious consequences for plagiarism, even when it’s accidental.

Plagiarism amounts to theft, and there are good reasons for institutions (and for you!) to take it seriously. Plagiarism:

  • Is dishonest : When done deliberately, plagiarism indicates that the person responsible is not honest about their work, which is a problem in any context.
  • Harms the person you’re plagiarizing: It’s easy to see why you wouldn’t want your writing stolen and passed off as someone else’s—especially in publishing.
  • Hinders the learning process: If you’re stealing words and ideas from others, your own creativity is not being tested, and you’re not learning.
  • Obscures the sources of ideas: All academic writing builds on the ideas of others, and it’s important that the reader can clearly trace where those ideas came from.
  • Results in bad writing: Whatever the quality of the text(s) you’re plagiarizing, a paper made up of a patchwork of different unacknowledged sources is usually a mess.

The consequences of plagiarism vary depending on the type of plagiarism and the context in which it occurs. For example, submitting a whole paper by someone else will have the most severe consequences, while accidental citation errors are considered less serious.

If you’re a student, then you might fail the course, be suspended or expelled, or be obligated to attend a workshop on plagiarism. It depends on whether it’s your first offense or you’ve done it before.

As an academic or professional, plagiarizing seriously damages your reputation. You might also lose your research funding or your job, and you could even face legal consequences for copyright infringement.

Plagiarism has serious consequences , and can indeed be illegal in certain scenarios.

While most of the time plagiarism in an undergraduate setting is not illegal, plagiarism or self-plagiarism in a professional academic setting can lead to legal action, including copyright infringement and fraud. Many scholarly journals do not allow you to submit the same work to more than one journal, and if you do not credit a co-author, you could be legally defrauding them.

Even if you aren’t breaking the law, plagiarism can seriously impact your academic career. While the exact consequences of plagiarism vary by institution and severity, common consequences include: a lower grade, automatically failing a course, academic suspension or probation, or even expulsion.

Plagiarism is a form of theft, since it involves taking the words and ideas of others and passing them off as your own. As such, it’s academically dishonest and can have serious consequences .

Plagiarism also hinders the learning process, obscuring the sources of your ideas and usually resulting in bad writing. Even if you could get away with it, plagiarism harms your own learning.

Accidental plagiarism is one of the most common examples of plagiarism . Perhaps you forgot to cite a source, or paraphrased something a bit too closely. Maybe you can’t remember where you got an idea from, and aren’t totally sure if it’s original or not.

These all count as plagiarism, even though you didn’t do it on purpose. When in doubt, make sure you’re citing your sources . Also consider running your work through a plagiarism checker tool prior to submission, which work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts.

Scribbr’s Plagiarism Checker takes less than 10 minutes and can help you turn in your paper with confidence.

Self-plagiarism means recycling work that you’ve previously published or submitted as an assignment. It’s considered academic dishonesty to present something as brand new when you’ve already gotten credit and perhaps feedback for it in the past.

If you want to refer to ideas or data from previous work, be sure to cite yourself.

If you’re concerned that you may have self-plagiarized, Scribbr’s Self-Plagiarism Checker can help you turn in your paper with confidence. It compares your work to unpublished or private documents that you upload, so you can rest assured that you haven’t unintentionally plagiarized.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

George, T. (2024, May 30). Consequences of Mild, Moderate & Severe Plagiarism. Scribbr. Retrieved July 10, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/plagiarism/consequences-of-plagiarism/

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A publication of the harvard college writing program.

Harvard Guide to Using Sources 

  • The Honor Code
  • Why Does it Matter if You Plagiarize?

Scholars place a premium on careful, original thought. Academic writing is essentially an ongoing conversation among scholars. As a college student, you are part of the community of scholars who are working to answer genuine questions in their fields by building on the knowledge and ideas that others have contributed. When you use sources to write a paper, you have the responsibility to represent others' ideas accurately and to contribute your own ideas to the discussion. Your professors expect you to do your own thinking, and they assign research and writing so that you can figure out what you think rather than reporting or parroting someone else's thoughts. You actually don't learn anything when you take your ideas from someone else; you learn by analyzing the ideas you have read about and developing your own responses to them.

At Harvard, the commitment to creating knowledge and contributing to a community that values learning and creation is expressed in the Honor Code, which makes explicit the value of both doing your own thinking and building on the knowledge created by others.

The Harvard College Honor Code

Members of the Harvard College community commit themselves to producing academic work of integrity – that is, work that adheres to the scholarly and intellectual standards of accurate attribution of sources, appropriate collection and use of data, and transparent acknowledgement of the contribution of others to their ideas, discoveries, interpretations, and conclusions. Cheating on exams or problem sets, plagiarizing or misrepresenting the ideas or language of someone else as one’s own, falsifying data, or any other instance of academic dishonesty violates the standards of our community, as well as the standards of the wider world of learning and affairs.

You can read more about the  Honor Code here .

When you conduct research for your own paper, you rely on the citations provided by other authors to find material relevant to your topic or question. Similarly, when you write an essay, you are responsible for providing a roadmap for your readers back to your source material so that they, too, can follow the conversation. By citing your sources you provide guidance to the scholars who come after you. In this way, anyone who wants to enter the conversation, to take a position different from yours, or to build on knowledge or ideas in your paper can do so.

So, for example, if you're asked to write a literature review for a psychology paper, part of your task is to provide clear information for your readers about where you found the literature you're reviewing. Similarly, if your Expos assignment asks you to read and critique Stanley Milgram's report of his famous obedience experiments and you come up with an argument that is informed by C.D. Herrera's (2001) claim that the deception in the experiments did not cause the subjects to suffer, then you must cite Herrera's article in your paper (Herrera, C.D. (2001) Ethics, deception, and 'those Milgram experiments.' Journal of Applied Philosophy , 18(3), 245-256.) and explain how his argument influenced your own thinking.

  • What Constitutes Plagiarism?
  • The Exception: Common Knowledge
  • Other Scenarios to Avoid
  • How to Avoid Plagiarism
  • Harvard University Plagiarism Policy

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  • Avoiding Plagiarism
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  • Indian J Orthop
  • v.50(6); Nov-Dec 2016

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What is plagiarism and how to avoid it?

Ish kumar dhammi.

Department of Orthopaedics, UCMS and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India

Rehan Ul Haq

Writing a manuscript is an art. Any clinician or an academician, has a hidden desire to publish his/her work in an indexed journal. Writing has been made mandatory for promotions in certain departments, so the clinicians are more inclined to publish. Often, we note that we (Indian Journal of Orthopaedics) receive more articles from China, Turkey, and South Korea (abroad) instead of from our own country though the journal is an official publication of Indian Orthopaedic Association. Therefore, we have decided to encourage more and more publications, especially from our own country. For that reason, we have decided to educate our members by publishing an editorial on “How to write a paper?,” which is likely to be published soon. In one of our last editorials, we discussed indexing. In this issue, we will be discussing the plagiarism. In forthcoming issues, we are planning to discuss “Ethics in publication,” How to write Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Referencing, Title, Abstract, and Keywords, and then how to write case report which is acceptable. The editorial team tries to help out our readers, so that their hidden instinct of writing their own work could be made true.

D EFINITION OF P LAGIARISM

Plagiarism is derived from Latin word “ plagiarius ” which means “kidnapper,” who abducts the child. 1 The word plagiarism entered the Oxford English dictionary in 1621. Plagiarism has been defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as ones own.” 2 It is an act of forgery, piracy, and fraud and is stated to be a serious crime of academia. 3 It is also a violation of copyright laws. Honesty in scientific practice and in publication is necessary. The World Association of Medical Editors 4 (WAME) defines plagiarism as “… the use of others’ published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source.”

In 1999, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) 5 , 6 defined plagiarism as “Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others’ published and unpublished ideas including research grant applications to submission under new authorship of a complex paper, sometimes in a different language. It may occur at any stage of planning, research, writing or publication; it applies to print and electronic versions.”

F ORMS OF P LAGIARISM

  • Verbatim plagiarism: When one submits someone else's words verbatim in his/her own name without even acknowledging him publically. Copy and paste from a published article without referencing is a common form of verbatim plagiarism. Most commonly, it is seen in introduction and discussion part of manuscript 2 , 7
  • Mosaic plagiarism: In this type of plagiarism each word is not copied but it involves mixing ones own words in someone else's ideas and opinions. This is copying and pasting in patchy manner 2
  • Paraphrasing: If one rewrites any part/paragraph of manuscript in his/her own words it is called paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is a restatement in your own words, of someone else's ideas. Changing a few words of the original sentences does not make it your writing. Just changing words cannot make it the property of borrower; hence, this should be properly referenced. If it is not referenced, it will amount to plagiarism
  • Duplicate publication: When an author submits identical or almost identical manuscript (same data, results, and discussion) to two different journals, it is considered as duplicate (redundant) publication. 9 As per COPE guidelines, this is an offense and editor can take an action as per the COPE flowchart
  • Augmented publication: If the author adds additional data to his/her previously published work and changes title, modifies aim of the study, and recalculates results, it amounts to augmented publication. Plagiarism detection software usually do not pick it because it is not same by verbatim. This self plagiarism is as such technical plagiarism and is not considered with same strictness as plagiarism. The editor may consider it for publication in the following three situations: If author refers to his/her previous work; if ’methods’ cannot be written in any other form; and if author clearly states that new manuscript contains data from previous publication 10
  • Segmented publication: Also called “Salami-Sliced” publication. In this case, two or more papers are derived from the same experimental/research/original work. Salami-sliced papers are difficult to detect and usually are pointed out by reviewers or readers. The decision regarding such manuscript is again on editor's shoulder. The author must be asked to refer to his/her previously published work and explain reasonably the connection of the segmented paper to his/her previously published work
  • Text recycling: If the author uses large portions of his/her own already published text in his/her new manuscript, it is called text recycling. It can be detected by plagiarism software. It can be handled as per the COPE guidelines.
  • Cyber plagiarism: “Copying or downloading in part or in their entirety articles or research papers and ideas from the internet and not giving proper attribution is unethical and falls in the range of cyber plagiarism” 2
  • Image plagiarism: Using an image or video without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is plagiarism. 7 “Images can be tampered on support findings, promote a specific technique over another to strengthen the correctness of poorly visualized findings, remove the defects of an image and to misrepresent an image from what it really is”? 11

H OW TO D ETECT P LAGIARISM ?

It is generally difficult to detect plagiarism, but information technology has made available few websites which can detect/catch plagiarism. Few of them are www.ithentical.com , www.turnitin.com , www.plagiarism.org , etc. 12

Besides this, learned and watchful reviewers and readers can detect it due to his/her familiarity with published material in his/her area of interest.

H OW TO A VOID P LAGIARISM ?

Practice the ethical writing honestly. Keep honesty in all scientific writings. Crediting all the original sources. When you fail to cite your sources or when you cite them inadequately, you commit plagiarism, an offense that is taken extremely seriously in academic world and is a misconduct. Some simple dos and don’ts 5 are outlined in Table 1 .

Dos and don’ts of plagiarism

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is IJOrtho-50-581-g001.jpg

In the following situation, permission is required to use published work from publisher to avoid plagiarism. 8

  • Directly quoting significant portion of a published work. How much text may be used without approaching publisher for permission is not specified. The best approach is whenever in doubt, ask for permission
  • Reproducing a table
  • Reproducing a figure/image.

H OW TO D EAL W ITH P LAGIARISM

Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and breach of ethics. Plagiarism is not in itself a crime but can constitute copyright infringement. 7 In academia, it is a serious ethical offense. Plagiarism is not punished by law but rather by institutions. Professional associations, educational institutions, and publishing companies can pose penalties, suspensions, and even expulsions of authors. 7

As per the COPE guidelines, “If editors suspect misconduct by authors, reviewer's editorial staff or other editors then they have a duty to take action. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. Editors first see a response from those accused. If the editors are not satisfied with the response, they should ask the employers of the authors, reviewers, or editors or some other appropriate body to investigate and take appropriate action.” 6

If the editor is satisfied that the act of plagiarism has taken place, minimum he should do is “reject” the manuscript if it is in different stage of editorial process and “retract” if it is already published.

To conclude, we must increase awareness about plagiarism and ethical issues among our scientists and authors. We must be honest in our work and should not violate copyright law. There should be serious steps against authors, which should bring disrespect to author and even loss of his academic position.

We will end it by quote of Albert Einstein “Many people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist, they are wrong, it is the character.”

R EFERENCES

Why Plagiarism Is Wrong: A Discussion of the Definition, Ethics and Consequences of Plagiarism

  • Kathy Foust
  • Categories : Online learning , Education
  • Tags : Education online learning topics tips

Why Plagiarism Is Wrong: A Discussion of the Definition, Ethics and Consequences of Plagiarism

Understanding What Plagiarism Is

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s written work and passing it off as your own or not giving due credit to the author of the work. It is considered stealing and that’s why plagiarism is wrong. Below are some instances of plagiarism

  • Not citing direct quotations of written work in written materials. For example, John Doe writes a book on earthworms and discusses the implications of earthworms being used to cultivate compost by saying, “Earthworms are responsible for 20% of the proteins harvested through use of compost.” You write a paper and use those same words but do not cite the author. That is plagiarism.
  • Modifying written words and claiming them as your own. Using the example above, let’s say that you write the sentence “20% of proteins harvested through the use of compost are due to the use of earthworms.” Even though you rewrote the sentence, this is still considered a form of plagiarism if the author is not referenced or given credit for this knowledge. Obviously your knowledge was gained by using theirs, so why not give them credit?
  • Buying Essays. Though you pay for them and the sellers will try to convince you that this is completely legal, it is still plagiarism. Buying an essay and passing it off as your own is illegal and is just another reason why plagiarism is wrong.

Plagiarism and Morals

If you don’t write for a living, you may not really understand why plagiarism is wrong. Some of the information below may help to clear up this question for you.

  • Copyright violations. Once something is published, it is assumed to have copyright protection. That means that whoever wrote and published it owns the copyright to it. This is similar to a patent. How would you feel if something you designed was licensed to someone else and they reaped the benefits of it?
  • Receiving undo credit. When you plagiarize, the people who read it assume that you have written it. That means you are going to get the credit for someone else’s hard work. If you have morals, that isn’t going to sit well with you.
  • Cheating yourself. If you plagiarize, you’re doing yourself a disservice. If you have to write something for school, then your teacher has a goal that he or she is hoping you meet. They may want you to explore the topic, learn how to write in a specific format or just want you to develop writing skills you will need later in your educational and professional life.
  • Setting examples. If you have children, you generally want to set a good example for them. Would it be alright for them to cheat on a test or take credit for something they didn’t do? Plagiarism is wrong because when you do it, you open a whole new door of gray areas about what you consider to be right and wrong.

Penalties for Plagiarism

Though the penalties for plagiarism may vary from academic community to academic community, some general concepts remain the same. Read below to learn some of the penalties associated with plagiarism.

  • Loss of scholarship. In many academic communities, plagiarism is on the same level as cheating and can be penalized by loss of scholarships and other means of financial aid.
  • Loss of respect. Imagine being a teacher who finds out a student has committed plagiarism. How likely would you be to respect or believe that student afterwords in other instances?
  • Loss of future references. Throughout college you will obtain many sources that will assist you in your career later in life. Wouldn’t you rather know that a potential or current employer could contact any one of your professors and hear only good things about you? A potential employer learning of plagiarism is not likely to have any reason to trust you with their business.
  • Loss of self-respect. Knowing that you used someone else’s work and passed it off as your own is enough to make you not want to look in the mirror. While you may be happy to get that “A” on your paper, you will not have earned it and likely will have no knowledge about the material that was written about in the first place. It is entirely possible that your paper will be used for reference by someone else in the future. Wouldn’t you rather know what it was about if they contact you?

In the end you have far too much to lose by committing plagiarism and the cost just isn’t worth it. There are just too many penalties for plagiarism. If you need help on a paper, contact your instructor or ask a fellow student to give you a hand. Most instructors are completely understanding of such situations and will either help you themselves or lead you in the right direction to get the help you need.

essay on why plagiarism is wrong

Quetext

Why is Plagiarism a Violation of Ethics?

  • Posted on November 24, 2023 November 24, 2023

Plagiarism is the copying of another’s writing for any reason without proper attribution and is a massive ethics violation that will get you in trouble at any level of your career. Plagiarism means you took someone else’s work in a way that wasn’t fair use and passed it off as your own idea without giving credit to the original author for their ideas. From middle school to a college program to the professional world, using the ideas of others without citing the original source is an offense against the academic and scientific community that will not go unpunished.

This article will look at the definition of plagiarism, the multiple forms of plagiarism, why plagiarism is wrong, what can happen if you’re caught and what you can do about it instead.

Ethics of Plagiarism

When you do not cite the works of others in your writing, you are taking credit for their labor, which falls under the umbrella of serious academic and ethical issues. Essentially, plagiarizing is the same as theft or stealing, except it is another individual’s creative or intellectual property you’re taking rather than a physical item.

Regardless of if you utilize another person’s work in its entirety or merely another person’s ideas without proper attribution, you’re in violation of ethical principles either way.

When you write a paper and borrow ideas or quotes from other people, you must cite your sources in a specified format that allows other people, such as your readers, to find those works again. Correct citations ensure that original ideas get credited to their original author, who deserves recognition for the effort they put into researching and formulating the ideas.

Why is Plagiarizing Wrong?

You can plagiarize any creative or published work. That includes:

  • Published works such as books, magazine articles, or newspaper columns
  • Visual or graphic art such as paintings, photography, branding, or web designs
  • Musical compositions, beats, rhythms, or lyrics
  • Digital content such as blog posts, online zines, or even social media posts

Borrowing or stealing others’ intellectual property and passing it off as your own is wrong predominantly because of the harm it causes the original creator. Oftentimes, you may get the rewards – such as financial gain, academic accolades, et cetera – where the creator should get it instead. This diminishes, dilutes, and taints the original author’s work with the fake or lower-quality version that you are putting out and claiming.

Note that if you are found guilty of copyright infringement, this is even more serious than academic violations. Copyright laws are not known to be gentle, even if you claim your act of plagiarism was by mistake. Rather, the laws are in place to protect original creators, so they are protected and feel safe putting time and energy into unique artistic pursuits.

Most people understand that stealing another’s artistic work is both wrong and very stupid. In today’s digital world, you are increasingly unlikely to get away with this intellectual theft. However, it’s important to note that there exist several types of plagiarism; many of which most people don’t even know.

Forms of Plagiarism

An important note about plagiarism is that it includes the un-cited use of any type of previous work. Whether you are summarizing, paraphrasing, or directly quoting , there’s a citation for that – and if you fail to use it, you are committing plagiarism. Let’s examine several forms more closely:

Direct Plagiarism

If you completely neglect to annotate your papers in a way that acknowledges the material has been derived from an external source, that’s an act of direct plagiarism . Note that you must include a citation even if you are only borrowing an idea. Any type of original idea that is not simply a commonsense one, requires attribution.

Self-Plagiarism

When you’re creating something that is supposed to be original work, and you reuse your own previously written content without indicating so, you’re committing self-plagiarism . In college or high school, this can be a serious academic issue because you are failing to complete the assignment as instructed. In science, academia, or the professional world, this creates a significant problem because you could be re-publishing old findings in a setting that prizes new information. Just like with the works of others, you need to cite your previous works if you opt to use them in a new piece of writing.

In this case, copyright law is less of a concern, because it’s your own work and you’re unlikely to sue yourself. However, this isn’t guaranteed. If, for instance, you’re writing a book for one publisher and reusing words you wrote in a book for a different publisher without attribution, the original publishing house will not be happy with you.

Inaccurate Authorship

Inaccurate authorship is when you cite sources, but you do so incorrectly. You might attribute work to a different author than who wrote it, unintentionally or intentionally, to avoid giving credit to someone whose work you don’t want to acknowledge. Or you might simply list out their information incorrectly in such a way that your readers cannot find the correct source in the future. Even though you attempted to provide attribution, incorrect citations still constitute plagiarism.

Patchwork Plagiarism

Patchwork plagiarism is when you pull pieces together from many different authors’ work and rearrange them so that it’s hard to tell where the information came from. In this situation, you still aren’t doing any original work of your own and are passing off the works of other authors as yours. With the sophistication of today’s online plagiarism checking software, this kind of misdeed will no longer fly under the radar.

Accidental Plagirarism

Accidental plagiarism is when you commit an act of plagiarism by accident. This includes small unintentional mistakes, such as improper paraphrasing or forgetting the quotation marks when using a direct quote. Although you may have tried to avoid plagiarism, even accidental plagiarism is still considered stealing from the original author and will lead to consequences.

Common Excuses for Plagiarism

Many people think that plagiarism has to be intentional, and that’s just not true. You can think of direct, intentional plagiarism as the first-degree murder of the plagiarism world. However, manslaughter still carries a considerable sentence. The equivalent in academia or career settings is still going to be serious for you, even if it was unintentional.

That said, the “I didn’t know” excuse does not carry weight anymore. Considering the amount of time and effort teachers and professors put into helping students understand what plagiarism is and how it happens, it’s hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t know what they were doing. However, accidentally failing to cite sources, or citing them wrong can happen. That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re attributing everything correctly – more on that in a bit.

Other excuses include “I was tired” or “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong”. Unfortunately, none of these will help your case. If someone else created it, and you used it without proper citations, then you’re in the wrong.

Consequences of Plagiarism

Even famous songwriters and authors have been caught and penalized for cases of plagiarism, much to their non-delight. George Harrison paid upwards of half a million dollars to correct his lapse when he failed to notice that “My Sweet Lord” sounded a whole lot like “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons. New Yorker author Jonah Hill lost his career when he self-plagiarized and falsified a bunch of quotes by Bob Dylan, all of which Dylan himself refuted.

Again, copyright laws don’t let you off the hook simply because you didn’t know what you were doing. If you’re in a professional setting and there are financial stakes involved, you might genuinely suffer legal consequences.

However, even in an academic setting, where you aren’t breaking the law, ethical violations are still taken very seriously. You might be expelled from a certain department, lose a scholarship, pay fines, be expelled from the entire college or university, be forced to issue a public apology, and more. As none of the consequences of plagiarism are enjoyable, it’s logical to take additional steps to avoid being identified as a plagiarist. It’s definitely better to avoid the sanctions of higher education, adhere to plagiarism policy, and avoid academic dishonesty and research misconduct altogether.

That’s where the alternatives come in.

Alternatives to Plagiarism

The simplest strategy to avoid plagiarism is by committing to creating your own original work. That means wherever possible, you should avoid directly quoting others. If you can paraphrase and then attribute work, do that. If you can come up with unique ideas, do that. If you absolutely have to use someone’s work in quoted form, that’s fine, as long as you use the correct text citations and works cited page. Attribution is the answer to any potential plagiarism charge, and it will protect your academic integrity from middle school onward.

However, since so many plagiarism charges accrue to people who had no idea they were committing an ethical violation, it makes good sense to ensure you’re citing sources correctly. That’s where a plagiarism checker comes in. It can help you recognize and avoid citation issues in your papers, so you’re always in the clear.

A handy tool such as Quetext will help you determine any instances of unoriginal wording, so you can avoid accidental plagiarism and prevent copying from a previously published work of your own. Better yet, if the plagiarism checker detects any unoriginal wording, it also includes an easy-to-use citation generator to help you automatically create and insert the required citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

Now that you understand the ethics of plagiarism, as well as how to avoid it, you’re better prepared to face the rigors of school and the professional world with academic integrity in hand. Avoid punishment, keep your name in sparkling good order, and enjoy the ease and simplicity of creating perfect citations every time.

Sign Up for Quetext Today!

Click below to find a pricing plan that fits your needs.

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Reassessing Academic Plagiarism

  • Published: 24 May 2023
  • Volume 22 , pages 211–230, ( 2024 )

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essay on why plagiarism is wrong

  • James Stacey Taylor   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8020-8941 1  

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I argue that wrong of plagiarism does not primarily stem from the plagiarist’s illicit misappropriation of academic credit from the person she plagiarized. Instead, plagiarism is wrongful to the degree to which it runs counter to the purpose of academic work. Given that this is to increase knowledge and further understanding plagiarism will be wrongful to the extent that it impedes the achievement of these ends. This account of the wrong of plagiarism has two surprising (and related) implications. First, it follows from this account of the wrong of plagiarism that replication plagiarism might not be an academic wrong at all. (Replication plagiarism consists of the direct quotation or paraphrase of another’s work without attribution. The replication plagiarist thus plagiarizes primary sources, purloining for her own benefit the ideas of their authors). Second, even if replication plagiarism is still held to be an academic wrong, it will be a lesser wrong than bypass plagiarism. (Bypass plagiarism occurs when one quotes from, or provides a paraphrase of, a primary source, but although one cites the primary source one did not identify the quotation or provide the initial paraphrase oneself. Instead, one took the quotation, or drew upon an existing paraphrase, from a secondary source—and one did so without citing the secondary source to credit it as the source of one’s information about the primary source). Holding that bypass plagiarism is worse than replication plagiarizes reverses the usual assessment of the relative wrong of these two types of plagiarism.

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Beyond Trust: Plagiarism and Truth

For an outline of the various types of plagiarism see the taxonomy developed by Dougherty ( 2020 ), 2-3.

Replication plagiarism can thus be either literal plagiarism or disguised plagiarism, as these are defined by Dougherty ( 2020 ), 2.

Compression plagiarism (where a plagiarizer distills “a lengthy scholarly text into a short one”; Dougherty ( 2020 ), 3) could thus be either replication plagiarism or bypass source plagiarism, depending on whether the plagiarized passage is an exegesis of another source or the expression of ideas original to it.

See, for example, John Finnis’ comments on the allegation that the (then) Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch committed bypass plagiarism. Finnis is quoted by Whelan ( 2017 ).

How academic institutions make decisions concerning hiring, tenure, and promotion in Alternative Academia is mysterious, but competitive committee avoidance is said to be involved.

For an example of a recent work that was published anonymously, see Anonymous ( 2001 ).

This does not imply that plagiarism is always wrong.

In David Lodge’s novella Home Truths , Fanny Tarrant asked “‘Which writers are you thinking of?’” to which the response was given “‘The same ones that you’re thinking of’” (Lodge,  1999 , 44).

This response also indicates that there is a tension in standard thinking about plagiarism. While the credit-based account is widely accepted, the standard response to a revelation of plagiarism (i.e., that it is an offense against the academic community) is not that which would be supported by the credit-based account.

More examples of replication plagiarism are outlined in Part V.

This section is illustrative, rather than accusatory. These examples have all been previously documented. I discuss Kruse’s replication out of the available examples of this type of plagiarism as it has not yet been discussed in the academic literature.

White Flight was based on Kruse’s 2000 PhD thesis. After Magness’ allegations were made public an ad hoc committee of Princeton’s faculty was convened to investigate the charges. They determined that Kruse was not guilty of research misconduct, as his plagiarism was “the result of careless cutting and pasting; there was no attempt made to conceal an intellectual debt”. (Extracted from a confidential report; this quoted section was shared by Kruse with permission of the committee. See Bailey,  2022 ).

Magness’ claim that Kruse plagiarized this list from Bayor is strengthened by his (Magness’) observation that both this list and the sentences that preceded it in Bayor’s Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta appeared in Kruse’s Cornell dissertation. (Magness,  2022 ).

Magness supports his claim that Kruse plagiarized this anecdote from Fowler by noting that other elements of Kruse’s One Nation Under God “showed similarities to Fowler's prose, with only minor changes; in total, the textual commonalities continue for more than a page” (Magness,  2022 ).

Radin’s concern was with protecting an “ideal of personhood” that “includes the ideal of sexual interaction as equal nonmonetized sharing” (Radin,  1986 , 1921) rather than one on which intimacy was a preferred attribute of sexual interaction. (“[E]qual nonmonetarized sharing” is distinct from intimacy; the former is compatible with casual sex in a way that the latter is not).

Those parts of the original that Brennan and Jaworski misquoted are in bold; words and punctuation that they inserted are in brackets in bold. Note that this passage is excerpted from a much longer one; the first elision is of 13 lines, while the second is of 9.

Almost but not exactly; they introduced a typographical error.

By contrast, while Yew-Kwang Ng ( 2019 , 30) also replicated Brennan and Jaworski’s misquotation of Hayek he cited them as his source of it. He thus avoided committing bypass quotation plagiarism.

Dougherty identifies Schulz only as “N” in his article as at the time of its writing Schulz’s work was only suspected rather than confirmed plagiarism. Subsequent to the publication of Dougherty’s article was retracted owing to its translation plagiarism. See Weinberg ( 2019 ).

The same is not true of a successful bypass plagiarist. This comparison between a forger and a plagiarist occurs frequently in discussions of plagiarism (see e.g., Ritter, 2007 , 734).

For a discussion of this in the context of comparing the wrong of an academic publishing a journal article that contains plagiarized sections and an Op Ed that contains plagiarism, see Hiller and Peters ( 2005 ).

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Taylor, J.S. Reassessing Academic Plagiarism. J Acad Ethics 22 , 211–230 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-023-09478-4

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Accepted : 14 April 2023

Published : 24 May 2023

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-023-09478-4

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Essay On Why Plagiarism Is Wrong

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature , Education , Students , Copyright Law , Plagiarism , Dishonesty , Journalism , Habits

Published: 01/18/2020

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Plagiarism is an act of imitating the ideas, thoughts and language of another person without acknowledging them. Plagiarism is a serious offence in school that can lead to expulsion. This is because plagiarism is wrong. This paper discusses why plagiarism is wrong. Firstly, based on moral grounds, plagiarism is an act of dishonesty. This is because the plagiarist appropriates another author`s work and deviously presents the work as his or her own original piece. A plagiarist makes potential employers to doubt their integrity and academic performance. Secondly, plagiarism denies students a chance to learn. Normally, school assignments are meant to expand a student`s knowledge and understanding on a particular subject. However, plagiarism impedes this process because the plagiarist merely duplicates another person`s work. Plagiarism denies the plagiarist a chance to practise skill which may be essential in their careers in future. Thirdly, most authors today copyright their work. Therefore, plagiarism may result into copyright infringement. Thereby, it exposes the plagiarist to potential law suits by the original authors. In addition, plagiarism denies the original author acknowledgement for their work. Fourthly, plagiarism is injurious to the plagiarist reputation as well as any academic institution or publisher that allows it. Plagiarism shows disrespect to the plagiarist`s peers who did their original work. In certain professions such as journalism and scholarly publishing, it can destroy ones career. Fifthly, plagiarism can turn into a habit even after graduation. Plagiarists who get away with acts of plagiarism are more likely to engage in plagiarism even after graduation exposing them to more serious consequences. In conclusion, plagiarism is wrong due to several reasons. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty, it can lead to legal action, it denies one a chance to learn, destroys one reputation and it can develop into a habit.

Eakin, P. J. (2004). The Ethics of Life Writing (Illustrated ed.). Newyork: Cornell University Press. Follette, M. C. (2004). Stealing Into Print: Fraud, Plagarism, and Misconduct in Scientific Publishing (Illustrated ed.). California: University of California Press. Lathrop, A., & Foss, K. (2005). Guiding Students from Cheating And Plagiarism to Honesty And Integrity: Strategies for Change (Illustrated ed.). Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited,.

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Jill Biden's Ex-Husband Once Accused Joe Of Stealing From Him. Here's What Biden Allegedly Took

Joe Biden smiles behind a podium

Giving speeches is a huge part of political life, especially for someone like President Joe Biden, who began his first Senate term at just 29 years old and has been an active part of U.S. politics ever since. Coming up with original material for your speeches probably becomes difficult after so many years, but is it possible that some of Biden's stories  aren't  original after all? That's exactly what Bill Stevenson, first lady Jill Biden's ex-husband, has claimed. 

In a conversation with the  New York Post , Stevenson revealed that the president once stole a story from him and passed it off as his own. What's worse, Stevenson claims Biden committed this act of oral thievery right in front of him. This situation supposedly happened at the beginning of Biden's political career in the 1970s but, unfortunately, it may not be an isolated incident. Stevenson isn't the only one that has witnessed this behavior from Biden, as it appears that this alleged bad act was just the start of a longstanding bad habit of borrowing other people's stories without asking — or giving them credit.  

Bill Stevenson claims Joe Biden lifted one of his stories

Bill Stevenson was married to Jill Biden in the early 1970s, when President Joe Biden was just a Senate hopeful in Delaware. Unfortunately, Biden made a very negative impression on Stevenson when the two first met. In 2023, Stevenson told the  New York Post  that the soon-to-be senator brazenly passed off one of Stevenson's stories from prep school as his own. The incident allegedly happened in 1972 when Biden was visiting Stevenson's night club, Stone Balloon. According to the article, Stevenson told Biden about a funny experience he had, and Biden borrowed the story just a few hours later. As Stevenson remembers: "I just stared at him in shock ... He just acted like it was his own story." 

Furthermore, Stevenson noted that this incident was only the beginning of Biden's bad habit of appropriating other people's words: "People are only now starting to think that something is wrong with Joe, but back then I saw the roots of his plagiarism." This situation clearly left its mark on Stevenson, who has repeatedly made harsh claims against the first family . For example, in a Newsmax interview, Stevenson described how Biden allegedly led him into tax-related legal troubles while he was still in the process of divorcing the first lady. He even goes as far as calling the Bidens "The Biden Crime Family" in the interview. 

This isn't Joe Biden's first foray into plagiarism

Although Bill Stevenson's descriptions of Joe Biden may raise a few eyebrows, this isn't the only time the president has faced consequences for pilfering parts of his speeches, stories, or campaign materials. In the late 1980s, Biden made an early bid for the presidency and got caught red-handed recycling the words of several other politicians. In 1987, Time described coverage of this very public act of plagiarism as "... endless TV sequences of Biden's words on the campaign trail juxtaposed with almost identical oratory coming from the mouth of Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, and British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock." Less than a month later, another Time article announced Biden's withdrawal from the race in response to the scandal. 

However, the president's history of failing to cite his sources doesn't end there. In 2019, Biden came under fire for plagiarism yet again when The Washington Post reported that campaign staffers hadn't included proper source attributions in multiple documents. Political scientist Leah Stokes explained this situation: "Biden appears to be taking ideas from other people and not giving credit. You can't do that ... It speaks of pulling an all-nighter and reading off of your friend's essay." It appears Biden didn't take the lessons he learned about plagiarism from his 1980s campaign to heart.

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saving science —

Peer review is essential for science. unfortunately, it’s broken., there's no incentive to fix the system, which was never designed to catch fraud anyway..

Paul Sutter - Jul 12, 2024 11:00 am UTC

Peer review is essential for science. Unfortunately, it’s broken.

Rescuing Science: Restoring Trust in an Age of Doubt was the most difficult book I've ever written. I'm a cosmologist—I study the origins, structure, and evolution of the Universe. I love science. I live and breathe science. If science were a breakfast cereal, I'd eat it every morning. And at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I watched in alarm as public trust in science disintegrated.

But I don't know how to change people's minds. I don't know how to convince someone to trust science again. So as I started writing my book, I flipped the question around: is there anything we can do to make the institution of science more worthy of trust?

The short answer is yes. The long answer takes an entire book. In the book, I explore several different sources of mistrust—the disincentives scientists face when they try to communicate with the public, the lack of long-term careers, the complicitness of scientists when their work is politicized, and much more—and offer proactive steps we can take to address these issues to rebuild trust.

The section below is taken from a chapter discussing the relentless pressure to publish that scientists face, and the corresponding explosion in fraud that this pressure creates. Fraud can take many forms, from the "hard fraud" of outright fabrication of data, to many kinds of "soft fraud" that include plagiarism, manipulation of data, and careful selection of methods to achieve a desired result. The more that fraud thrives, the more that the public loses trust in science. Addressing this requires a fundamental shift in the incentive and reward structures that scientists work in. A difficult task to be sure, but not an impossible one—and one that I firmly believe will be worth the effort.

Modern science is hard, complex, and built from many layers and many years of hard work. And modern science, almost everywhere, is based on computation. Save for a few (and I mean very few) die-hard theorists who insist on writing things down with pen and paper, there is almost an absolute guarantee that with any paper in any field of science that you could possibly read, a computer was involved in some step of the process.

essay on why plagiarism is wrong

Whether it’s studying bird droppings or the collisions of galaxies, modern-day science owes its very existence—and continued persistence—to the computer. From the laptop sitting on an unkempt desk to a giant machine that fills up a room, “S. Transistor” should be the coauthor on basically all three million journal articles published every year.

The sheer complexity of modern science, and its reliance on customized software, renders one of the frontline defenses against soft and hard fraud useless. That defense is peer review.

The practice of peer review was developed in a different era, when the arguments and analysis that led to a paper’s conclusion could be succinctly summarized within the paper itself. Want to know how the author arrived at that conclusion? The derivation would be right there. It was relatively easy to judge the “wrongness” of an article because you could follow the document from beginning to end, from start to finish, and have all the information you needed to evaluate it right there at your fingerprints. That’s now largely impossible with the modern scientific enterprise so reliant on computers.

To makes matters worse, many of the software codes used in science are not publicly available. I’ll say this again because it’s kind of wild to even contemplate: there are millions of papers published every year that rely on computer software to make the results happen, and that software is not available for other scientists to scrutinize to see if it’s legit or not. We simply have to trust it, but the word “trust” is very near the bottom of the scientist’s priority list.

Why don’t scientists make their code available? It boils down to the same reason that scientists don’t do many things that would improve the process of science: there’s no incentive. In this case, you don’t get any h-index points for releasing your code on a website. You only get them for publishing papers.

This infinitely agitates me when I peer-review papers. How am I supposed to judge the correctness of an article if I can’t see the entire process? What’s the point of searching for fraud when the computer code that’s sitting behind the published result can be shaped and molded to give any result you want, and nobody will be the wiser?

I’m not even talking about intentional computer-based fraud here; this is even a problem for detecting basic mistakes. If you make a mistake in a paper, a referee or an editor can spot it. And science is better off for it. If you make a mistake in your code... who checks it? As long as the results look correct, you’ll go ahead and publish it and the peer reviewer will go ahead and accept it. And science is worse off for it.

Science is getting more complex over time and is becoming increasingly reliant on software code to keep the engine going. This makes fraud of both the hard and soft varieties easier to accomplish. From mistakes that you pass over because you’re going too fast, to using sophisticated tools that you barely understand but use to get the result that you wanted, to just totally faking it, science is becoming increasingly wrong.

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Something Has Gone Deeply Wrong at the Supreme Court

Jurists who preach fidelity to the Constitution are making decisions that flatly contradict our founding document’s text and ideals.

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F orget Donald Trump . Forget Joe Biden. Think instead about the Constitution. What does this document, the supreme law of our land, actually say about ​​lawsuits against ex-presidents?

Nothing remotely resembling what Chief Justice John Roberts and five associate ​justices declared​ in yesterday’s disappointing Trump v. United States decision​. The Court’s curious and convoluted majority opinion turns the Constitution’s text and structure inside out and upside down, saying things that are flatly contradicted by the document’s unambiguous letter and obvious spirit.​

Imagine a simple hypothetical designed to highlight the key constitutional clauses that should have been the Court’s starting point: In the year 2050, when Trump and Biden are presumably long gone, David Dealer commits serious drug crimes and then bribes President Jane Jones to pardon him.

Adam Serwer: The Supreme Court puts Trump above the law

Is Jones acting as president, in her official capacity, when she pardons Dealer? Of course. She is pardoning qua president. No one else can issue such a pardon. The Constitution expressly vests this power in the president: “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States.”

But the Constitution also contains express language that a president who takes a bribe can be impeached for bribery and then booted from office: “The President … shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” And once our hypothetical President Jones has been thus removed and is now ex-President Jones, the Constitution’s plain text says that she is subject to ordinary criminal prosecution, just like anyone else: “In cases of Impeachment … the Party convicted shall … be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

Obviously, in Jones’s impeachment trial in the Senate, all sorts of evidence is admissible to prove not just that she issued the pardon but also why she did this—to prove that she had an unconstitutional motive , to prove that she pardoned Dealer because she was bribed to do so. Just as obviously, in the ensuing criminal case, all of this evidence surely must be allowed to come in.

But the Trump majority opinion, ​written by Roberts, says otherwise​, ​proclaim​ing that “courts may not inquire into the President’s motives.” ​In a later footnote all about bribery, the Roberts opinion says that criminal-trial courts are not allowed to “admit testimony or private records of the President or his advisers probing the official act itself. Allowing that sort of evidence would invite the jury to inspect the President’s motivations for his official actions and to second-guess their propriety.”

​​But ​​​such an inspection is​​​​ exactly what the Constitution itself plainly calls for​​​. An impeachment court and, later, a criminal court would have to​​ determine whether Jones pardoned Dealer because she thought he was innocent, or because she thought he had already suffered enough, or because he put money in her pocket for the very purpose of procuring the pardon. The smoking gun may well be in Jones’s diary—her “private records”​—​or in a recorded Oval Office conversation with Jones’s “advisers,” as​ was the case in the Watergate scandal​​​. Essentially, the​ Court ​in Trump v. United States ​is declaring the Constitution itself unconstitutional​.​​ Instead of properly starting with the Constitution’s text and structure, the ​​Court has ended up repealing them​​.

In a quid-pro-quo bribery case—money for a pardon—Roberts apparently would allow evidence of the quid (the money transfer) and evidence of the quo (the fact of a later pardon) but not evidence of the pro: evidence that the pardon was given because of the money, that the pardon was motivated by the money. This is absurd.

In the oral argument this past April, one of the Court’s best jurists posed the issue well: “Giving somebody money isn’t bribery unless you get something in exchange, and if what you get in exchange is [an] official act … how does [the case] go forward?” The answer, of course, is by allowing evidence of all three legs of the bribery stool—the quid (the money), the quo (the official act), and the pro (the unconstitutional and vicious motive). Yet Roberts’s majority opinion entirely misses the thrust of this oral-argument episode.

Claire Finkelstein and Richard W. Painter: Trump’s presidential-immunity theory is a threat to the chain of command

This is astonishing, because the impressive jurist who shone in this oral exchange was none other than the chief justice himself. John Roberts, meet John Roberts.

And please meet the John Roberts who has long believed that the judiciary shouldn’t be partisan. Over the course of his career, Roberts has repeatedly said that there are no Republican justices or Democratic justices, no Trump justices or Obama justices or Biden justices—there are just justices, period. Yet the ​​Court​ in Trump v. United States ​ split along sharply partisan lines—six Republican​ appointees,​​ three of whom were named to the Court by Trump himself,​ versus three Democrat​ic appointees​​​. ​Roberts failed to pull these sides together​​.

This is precisely the opposite of what happened in the celebrated ​​​decision United States v. Nixon ​​, also known as the Nixon-tapes case, in which​ the Court​—including three justices appointed by Richard Nixon himself—issued a unanimous no-man-is-above-the-law ruling against the president. (A fourth Nixon appointee—William Rehnquist, for whom a young Roberts later clerked—recused himself.) The ​opinion​​​ also made clear that presidential conversations with top aides are indeed admissible when part of a criminal conspiracy.

​​​​Yesterday’s liberal dissenters came much closer to the constitutional mark, but they, too, made mistakes. ​The​ir​​ biggest blunder in Trump was relying on a 1982 case, Nixon v. Fitzgerald , that simply invented out of whole cloth broad immunity for ex-presidents in civil cases. If liberal precedents lacking strong roots in the Constitution, such as Roe v. Wade , are fair game for conservatives, then mistaken conservative precedents ​ought to​​ be fair game for liberals. Fitzgerald made stuff up, and ​the liberals should have said​ so.

No one is above the law​—or, at least, no one should be​. Not presidents, not ex-presidents, and not justices either. Because the Constitution itself is our highest law, jurists across the spectrum must prioritize that document’s letter and spirit above all else. In Trump v. United States , the Court failed to do this and also failed to live up to America’s highest ideals: nonpartisan justice and the rule of law.

Plagiarism in Business: Why It Matters and How to Avoid

Table of contents

  • 1.1 Types of plagiarism in business
  • 2.1 Major causes of plagiarism in business
  • 2.2 The outcome of plagiarism in business
  • 3.1 Examples of business plagiarism
  • 3.2 Cases of plagiarism in business
  • 4 7 Proven tips to avoid plagiarism in business
  • 5 Conclusion

This guide aims to take you through some typical cases of plagiarism in business and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Plagiarism in business

Generally, plagiarism in business is a critical issue, as it undermines the integrity of the work and can lead to legal and reputational consequences. In the corporate world, originality and creativity are highly valued, and using someone else’s work without permission or proper attribution can harm the company’s reputation and credibility.

Sadly, several professionals are not overly concerned about the consequences of plagiarism in business. So, they keep repeating it in their operations regardless of the outcome. Unfortunately, the act can lead to potential legal action and loss of trust from customers and stakeholders.

So, businesses must have clear policies to detect and prevent plagiarism. They also need to educate their employees on the importance of ethical practices in the workplace.

What is plagiarism in business?

There are diverse definitions of plagiarism in business. But generally, it refers to using another person’s ideas, words, or work, attributing it to them, or obtaining their permission, before presenting it as your original effort.

This can occur in various contexts in business, such as social media plagiarism, copying content from a competitor’s website, presenting someone else’s research as one’s own, or using another company’s branding or logo without permission.

Plagiarism in business is unethical and can bring legal consequences. It can damage the reputation of a firm and cause the customers and stakeholders to lose their trust. As such, businesses must create policies to guide all employees and stakeholders to pursue ethical practices in their work.

Types of plagiarism in business

At the corporate level, plagiarism comes in different forms, including:

  • Copying and pasting

This is one of the most common type, which nearly every individual in the business space understands. Copying and pasting are commonly referred to as direct plagiarism. It involves taking texts from another source, such as a website or a document, without altering the information and pasting it into a present task.

  • Paraphrasing without citation

Restating another person’s ideas or words in a different way constitutes paraphrasing. This can still be considered plagiarism if there is no proper credit to the main source. For example, plagiarism in politics is also found, where candidates increase their chances of winning by finding plagiarized data in the form of a speech or political education.

  • Accidental plagiarism

It occurs when someone unintentionally uses another person’s ideas, words, or work without proper attribution or citation. It can happen for various reasons, including a lack of knowledge about rules, careless note-taking, or failure to paraphrase or quote sources properly.

While it may not be intentional, it still constitutes plagiarism and can have serious consequences, such as loss of credibility, academic sanctions, and legal penalties in some cases.

  • Image plagiarism

As the name suggests, when you use images in your work without obtaining permission or giving proper credit to the main source, it’s called plagiarism. This can include copying and pasting pictures from the Internet or utilizing copyrighted images without permission.

  • Data plagiarism

It involves using data or statistics from another source without proper attribution. This kind of plagiarism is commonly seen in research, marketing, or other types of business analysis, where data is a vital instrument that supports claims or conclusions.

Plagiarism in the business sector

As stated earlier, it is a common aspect in the corporate world, with the majority of business owners imbibing the strategy.

But businesses that value originality, innovation, and ethical conduct tend to have a very low tolerance for plagiarism. Many companies have policies and procedures to prevent and detect, and employees are often required to sign agreements acknowledging that they understand and will comply with these policies.

Although this move can help to mitigate the act, the possibility of eradicating piracy completely from the system is farfetched.

Major causes of plagiarism in business

There are several reasons behind piracy in the corporate world. Usually, businesses adopt this approach due to poor time management. Here are some more causes of plagiarism in a business setting include:

  • Time constraints

Professionals may be under pressure to meet deadlines and may resort to copying and pasting from existing sources instead of taking the time to create original content.

  • Lack of knowledge

Some professionals may not understand what constitutes plagiarism and the importance of giving proper credit. They may unintentionally use content without attribution.

  • Easy access to information

With the Internet and other technology, finding and copying content from various sources is easy. This can make it tempting to use someone else’s work without proper attribution.

  • Competitive pressure

Professionals may sometimes feel burdened to produce content similar to their competitors’ work. This can lead to plagiarism as they try to replicate the same ideas and language to impress their readers or audiences.

Some professionals may simply be lazy and not want to put in the effort to create original content. They may copy and paste from existing sources rather than doing the work themselves.

The outcome of plagiarism in business

It comes with several consequences, some of which could ultimately damage your firm’s reputation. A few common outcomes of plagiarism in business may include:

  • Damage to reputation

If a company plagiarizes, it can harm its status among customers, partners, and other stakeholders. This can lead to a loss of trust and credibility, harming the business’s ability to attract and retain customers and investors.

  • Legal consequences

Plagiarism can lead to lawful action, including lawsuits and fines. This can be particularly damaging for small businesses, which may not have the resources to fight legal battles.

  • Loss of income

Plagiarism can result in a loss of income for the plagiarized party, including the company itself. Aside from this fact, if a business plagiarizes a competitor’s product, it may be forced to pay damages or even cease production of the offending party.

  • Loss of business opportunities

Plagiarism can also lead to losing chances, as customers and partners may choose to work with companies they perceive as more ethical and trustworthy.

Examples of plagiarism in business & some famous cases

There are many instances where individuals can apply it in the corporate world, including academic fraud, copying and pasting market materials and business plans, and so on.

Examples of business plagiarism

  • Copying marketing materials

It can occur when a company copies advertising materials from another corporation, such as slogans, logos, taglines, and advertisements, without permission or attribution. This can lead to legal issues and negative publicity for the company.

  • Academic fraud

In the business world, qualifications and certifications are highly valued. Plagiarism can occur when individuals falsely claim to have earned degrees or certifications or submit a job that doesn’t belong to them to obtain academic qualifications.

  • Copying business plans

Plagiarism can also occur when a firm copies another company’s plan or proposal without permission or attribution. Again, this can bring about legal disputes and a loss of reputation for the company.

  • Copying website content

Businesses can also be guilty of plagiarism when they copy content from other sites without proper attribution. This can result in search engine penalties, loss of credibility, and legal action.

Cases of plagiarism in business

Here are some famous case studies of plagiarism in the business world.

  • Volkswagen’s emissions scandal

In 2015, it was revealed that Volkswagen had installed software in their diesel engines to cheat emissions tests. The application was detected during the car test, reducing emissions to meet regulatory standards. However, during normal driving conditions, the car emitted up to 40 times the allowed limit of nitrogen oxides.

This scandal was a clear case of plagiarism, as Volkswagen copied the technology from other car manufacturers without their permission.

  • Apple’s copying of Xerox’s GUI

In the late 1970s, Xerox developed the first graphical user interface (GUI) for computers. This technology revolutionized how people interacted with computers, which inspired Apple to develop its own GUI for the Macintosh computer.

However, the outcome of Apple’s GUI appeared very similar to Xerox’s. The company believed that Apple made a copyright infringement of its GUI and sued Apple for the same. To settle the lawsuit Xerox filed against Apple, Apple granted the company access to its technology and shares.

  • Microsoft’s Windows OS

Microsoft was also accused of copying code from other operating systems to create its version of the Windows OS. This case saw many legal battles, with many companies claiming that Microsoft had copied their technology without prior consent or attribution.

However, in the end, Microsoft settled the lawsuit by paying millions in damages and promising to stop using certain parts of the competing operating systems.

  • Oracle vs Google

In 2010, Oracle sued Google for copying its Java code to create its Android operating system. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in the end, Google was found not guilty of copyright infringement due to a ruling that declared application programming interfaces (APIs) are free from copyright law.

  • Apple vs Samsung

In 2012, Apple sued Samsung for copying the design of its iPhone. The case continued for several years, with both companies claiming the other had copied their technology without permission. Ultimately, Apple was awarded more than $1 billion in damages from Samsung.

  • Adobe vs Apple

In 2010, Adobe sued Apple for using its Flash technology without permission on the iPhone. The case eventually settled out of court, with Adobe receiving a licensing agreement and payment from Apple.

7 Proven tips to avoid plagiarism in business

Misinterpreting the idea of information is one of the quickest ways to indulge in piracy. However, you can use a few tips to avoid the temptation, as plagiarism can have serious consequences in the business world. Check them below:

  • Whenever you use someone else’s ideas, data, or words, ensure you give them credit by citing and referencing the source appropriately. This applies to any content, including reports, presentations, and social media posts. In addition, include your ideas and analysis in your work, post, article. This will show that you deeply understand the topic and are not simply regurgitating information from other sources.
  • Many effective tools are available online, and the Fixgerald plagiarism checker is one of them. You might be wondering how do plagiarism checkers work and if they are accurate. This tool is useful for identifying any instances of unintentional plagiarism in your work. Moreover, the accuracy of the results is impressive, as the tool identifies not only exact matches but also paraphrased content, which is essential when checking for plagiarism.
  • Instead of copying and pasting text from other sources, paraphrase and summarize the information in your words. This will help you avoid accidental plagiarism. But always remember to give credit to the source of information.
  • Make sure that you and your team members understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. This can include providing training and resources, such as style guides and checklists.
  • Ultimately, the best way to avoid plagiarism in business is to foster a culture of integrity within your organization. This includes leading by example, encouraging open communication, and emphasizing the importance of ethical behavior.

Generally, plagiarism can have severe consequences for businesses, including damage to their reputation, legal action, and financial losses. This makes it crucial for professionals to understand the causes of piracy and take steps to ensure that they’re creating original content and giving proper credit where it’s due.

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  1. Why is Plagiarism So Bad?

    There are many reasons plagiarism is considered morally wrong and dishonest. Here are a few: Plagiarism is a form of theft. While it may seem less severe that theft of physical property, it is just as bad. When you plagiarize, you are stealing intellectual property. Plagiarism amounts to cheating.

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  5. What Is Plagiarism?

    Plagiarism means using someone else's work without giving them proper credit. In academic writing, plagiarizing involves using words, ideas, or information from a source without citing it correctly. In practice, this can mean a few different things. Why is it wrong? It makes it seem like these are your own words.

  6. Why is plagiarism wrong?

    Plagiarism is a form of theft, since it involves taking the words and ideas of others and passing them off as your own. As such, it's academically dishonest and can have serious consequences. Plagiarism also hinders the learning process, obscuring the sources of your ideas and usually resulting in bad writing.

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