What Can Happen If You Plagiarize Work?

June 25th, 2018

Reading time about 13 min



Whether you’ve accidentally plagiarized a small section of content but it’s been flagged by our university’s plagiarism checking tool, or you’ve come across a case of deliberate plagiarism and aren’t sure what consequences the culprit could face, we’re here to answer all of your pressing questions. From ruined reputation to the potential for legal repercussions, the consequences you could face really aren’t worth the hassle. Here, we’re exploring further into just what could happen when you plagiarize work.


Removal From Position

The first and probably most obvious consequence of plagiarizing content is the potential of losing your position. This essentially means that if you are a working professional, you could lose your job and if you’re a student, you could be removed from your course or fail your degree as a result. Minor cases of plagiarism could be met with a warning, especially when there’s a substantial argument that it was an accidental case. You may have to attend plagiarism classes or your grade may be lowered depending on the severity, so it’s always best to use a plagiarism checker long before submitting any assignments.

As a working professional, you are expected to know better and where clients are put at risk as a result of your written content pieces, this is likely to result in removal from your role. You could be lucky and get off with a warning in accidental plagiarism cases, but when it appears intentional or occurs more than once, you’re more than likely to be at risk of losing your job.


Your Reputation Could Be Ruined

If losing your job or your position on a course wasn’t enough, you could also risk your reputation being destroyed. When you plagiarize, it’s likely to stick with you. Students hoping to move on from their expulsion from their University or College may find that their plagiarism case could prevent access or admittance to another educational facility. Professionals in the public eye could find that their allegation follows them from job to job – if they manage to get another job at all!


There Could Be Legal Repercussions

Anyone that produces content needs to have some understanding of plagiarism and copyright laws, or risk breaking them and suffering legal consequences. These consequences could be anything from being sued by the website or author they copied from, to a prison sentence if it’s deemed a criminal offence. Avoiding these repercussions could be as simple as knowing, understanding and following proper citation best practices. Through thorough and relevant citation, the producer of the content can ensure that credit is given to the source, therefore helping to avoid plagiarism.

Fines, being sued, being expelled or let go from your job or even imprisoned in serious cases are all consequences that plagiarizers could have to face if they are caught in the act. While accidental plagiarism cases are often left at the warning stage on a one-time basis, more severe cases or situations where it seems deliberate aren’t nearly as lucky. Making sure that you use a fully functional plagiarism checker and understanding how to avoid plagiarism from the offset will help you avoid any accusations or claims in the future.

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