🔎 What Is & Isn’t Plagiarism?
In the following sections, we’ll discuss the definition of plagiarism and its features in more depth.
To begin with:
Plagiarism refers to the act of using someone’s words or ideas without properly crediting them. It’s important to highlight that it can be intentional and unintentional. In either case, an act of plagiarism might lead to failing grades and more severe consequences.
Some tools will allow you to do a quick plagiarism check. However, identifying what the problem is in its different forms is necessary for a successful writing process.
🖊️ What Plagiarism Is...
Knowing how to check papers for plagiarism is crucial for your work. In this section, we’ll analyze all types that you should be aware of.
There are quite a few examples of intentional plagiarism:
|Word-for-word plagiarism||This is a situation when you deliberately present an exact copy of the information in your work. It’s copying the text from the source into the paper without acknowledging the author.|
|Global plagiarism||Just as word-for-word plagiarism, this form is an act of deception. It occurs when a person presents someone’s entire work as their own. Even if you have someone write a text for you or copy someone’s work, you’re plagiarizing. This a serious act of academic misconduct and might have severe consequences.|
|Incremental plagiarism||It’s another form of literary theft. An author takes certain parts of the text and adds them into his own work, with no clear acknowledgments. This might include combining sentences or ideas from different sources, while most of the writing is original.|
|Invented source||Creating a fake source is an act of intentional deception. Sometimes, people cannot find the necessary article to cite and decide to make one up. Regardless of the cause of such behavior, a fake source creates the illusion of credibility. By providing evidence from a paper that doesn’t exist, you commit an act of academic dishonesty.|
Accidental plagiarism consists of the following forms:
|Mosaic writing||Paraphrasing another work without properly citing it still might be considered plagiarism. That might happen, even if the writer rearranges the words. Adding synonyms or new phrases and mixing them with unique writing may not help as well. The original wording and the structure of the sentence are still relatively easy to notice.|
|Self–plagiarism||Most students understand that copying ideas or whole texts from another author is wrong. However, many don’t realize that copying their own work is no better. When reusing parts or entire previous papers, a student deceives a professor.|
|Incorrect citation||Failing to provide data about your source is a serious form of academic violation. It might occur for different reasons. For instance, a person might reference a source that is incorrect or doesn’t exist. It misleads the reader and negatively affects credibility. If you use the secondary source information yet cite the primary one, you still plagiarize.|
It is necessary to check your paper for plagiarism in free online tools to see whether you copied content. Such an approach will help you avoid all of the possible related problems. We’ll discuss them in the later sections.
🖊️ What Plagiarism Is Not...
Given that there are so many types of plagiarism, it’s easy to wonder whether anything you write is original. In this section, we’ll discuss what is not considered plagiarism.
✔️ Common knowledge
Information that is widely known and accepted by many is common knowledge. It does not require any citations. You can include data in your text without any acknowledgments if it is well-known:
- in the world;
- in your country;
- or even in a specific field.
For instance, you might mention that alcohol consumption is unhealthy. This is a well-known fact and does not need to be attributed to a source. If you refer to any statistics or unusual information, you have to provide a citation.
✔️ Quotes or ideas
To use the ideas or direct quotes of others, it is necessary to attribute them to authors. Whenever you want to include someone’s writing into your work, make sure to do it correctly. Paraphrase the text well or put it into quotation marks. That way, you’ll demonstrate that you understand the author’s point. Don’t forget to cite the source!
✔️ Public domain
Some documents, images, or other creative works are not restricted by copyright. As a writer, you can access any text in the public domain without any fee. However, that does not mean that you can use direct words, phrases, or sentences without citing sources.
The initial purpose of the public domain is copyright issues. Copied information from sources without acknowledgment is considered plagiarism.
In any case, if you are not sure about the originality of your work, you can use our paper checker. It will scan your full document and highlight similarities.
👮 Consequences of Plagiarism
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Copying someone’s work might negatively affect a person’s life. Here, we’ll go through the possible consequences a person has to deal with after plagiarizing.
Some consequences are as follows:
Completing many assignments with a significant amount of research might result in plagiarism. Whether it’s intentional or not, universities tend to determine punishments for students. These tend to vary in severity:
- You might receive a mark of zero on a small assignment.
- On more significant tasks, such as writing a thesis or dissertation, a student might get expelled or suspended.
Whatever the punishment, being accused of plagiarism is embarrassing for students. Thus, they are encouraged to use anti-plagiarism software to check their assignments.
As you can see, most problems related to plagiarizing arise once you are caught. Yet, there are some personal outcomes as well. Being dishonest with the professor affects your peace of mind and copying someone’s work impairs your own learning.
A significant number of journalists and writers have been accused of replicating material. Such accusations cost them their jobs and reputations.
Plagiarism often leads to people being dismissed from their positions. They may even be forced to choose a career field other than writing. Besides, being used to duplicating material makes it more challenging to find a job.
If your final work contains plagiarism, you might face some serious legal ramifications. Duplicated content could result in a monetary fine. One might also go through criminal prosecution, which might lead to charges or imprisonment.
Website traffic issues
If you’re writing for a web page, unique and fresh material is necessary to attract readers. Unknown and exciting content will draw more visitors to your website.
The more duplicated information you have, the fewer people will visit your pages. Your whole website might suffer a lowered ranking. That means that your page will not be one of the first ones in the Internet search results.
Thank you for reading our article. Use our online plagiarism checker and check your work. Share this page with others so that they can also use our tool!
- What is Plagiarism – Plagiarism.org
- Plagiarism – Oxford Students, University of Oxford
- The Common Types of Plagiarism – Office of the Dean of Students, Bowdoin College
- Plagiarism and Citing Sources (Health Affairs): What is Plagiarism? – LibGuides at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Types of Plagiarism: Academic Integrity – the University of Guelph, Canada
- The Consequences of Plagiarizing – LibGuides at Dean B. Ellis Library, Arkansas State University