What is plagiarism?
Despite what many are thought to believe, plagiarism is an act of fraud. The act of plagiarism simply involves taking someone else’s work and/or ideas and using them as your own, rather than giving credit to the rightful owner or receiving consent before taking the material. Individuals of a range of ages can commit plagiarism, from those in the classroom to those in a working environment. It is often forgotten that it is also possible to self-plagiarize, which highlights the importance of citing your sources correctly. While the idea of self-plagiarism can seem ridiculous in some sense, it is a very real issue that can have significant consequences. These consequences include destroyed reputation, legal and monetary repercussions and can even result in imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case. All published and unpublished content is covered under the plagiarism definition, which you can find out more on below.
Plagiarism is defined as the practice of directly copying and then presenting an existing production without accurate citing or referencing, and/or passing off the product as one’s own, without permission from the original producer. Plagiarism is the most frequent offence under the Academic Code of Conduct, as a result of a lack of proper acknowledgement. By understanding the plagiarism meaning and being able to identify the plagiarism definition, you can be confident that you will avoid the consequences.
What can plagiarism mean?
As aforementioned, the plagiarism meaning is “to steal and pass off as one’s own”. While it is easy to find the information you are looking for online, it is how this is attributed to your own work that makes the difference. It is extremely important to have an understanding of what plagiarism is and how it is committed, in order to know how to best avoid it. One of the most common tips is to ensure that all words or ideas that have been sourced from elsewhere are accurately referenced and citied appropriately. If the reference or citation is wrong, this can still classify as plagiarism. Secondly, it is important to know that a sentence with more than two words with identical phrasing can be considered as plagiarised content, and sentences where a few words have been changed but structure and syntax is identical can also be flagged. Now that you are clear about what the plagiarism definition is and what it can mean, it is time to gage a better understanding of how plagiarised content can affect you from both perspectives.
How will plagiarized content affect me?
If you are the victim:
Has somebody plagiarized your work without your consent and/or proper credit? If this is the case, the first thing you must do is contact the writer. If the person fails to take down the plagiarized content, explaining what the consequences will be if they don’t comply may encourage the user to do what you have outlined. Someone who plagiarizes your work online may be getting paid for the content you have produced, and while it can be a longer process to get the content taken down, it is important to realize that it is wrong for someone else to post your material without permission.
If you are the culprit:
Many of us are worried about accidentally plagiarising, but providing we take our time to write a unique piece of material, there is nothing to lose sleep over. However, should you be found to have plagiarized another’s work, it is paramount that you take action – fast. If the plagiarized piece has been found online, you have a greater chance of removing it before any real action takes place, depending on the situation. Nevertheless, it is essential that you remind yourself of the plagiarism meaning, as well as the serious consequences of plagiarism, which can include:
- Hefty fines
- Destroyed student/profession reputation
- Legal repercussions
- Monetary repercussions
While it is important to know the plagiarism meaning, knowing some essential plagiarism statistics can help put the threat of copying another’s work into an even better perspective. A survey of more than 63,700 US undergraduate and 9,250 graduate students over the course of three years conducted by Donald McCabe revealed that more than half of these students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from internet source without footnoting it.” The plagiarism statistics report also revealed that 7% turn in work done by another, and another 7% admitted that they would copy materials almost exactly word-for-word from a written source, either online or in a book, without citation.
While these plagiarism statistics are astonishing alone, individuals continue to plagiarize another’s work. Regardless of whether or not you are aware that you have plagiarized material without giving proper credit or citing the source where you initially found the information, you will face the same consequences. In some cases, you will be let off the hook, but the lives of a margin of people will be completely turned upside down as a result of their careless actions. By being aware of these plagiarism statistics, the next time you go to copy another’s work, you will subconsciously think twice before copy and pasting a sentence or two, not thinking that it will make a difference to you nor the owner of the content which you have claimed as your own.
How can I check for plagiarism?
Today, checking for plagiarism is easier than ever, and due to the rise in plagiarism statistics, it is also more important than ever. The Copyleaks Plagiarism Checker helps detect plagiarized and paraphrased content using highly advanced AI technology. This helps confirm originality with algorithms that carefully scan content. Perfect for both educational purposes and for businesses, our tool is available to track text in every language, making it even more straightforward to catch out those who have copied information from the internet. What’s more, you can even scan your content with our apps to confirm the authenticity of the material you have received on the go. Now that you have a clear understanding of the plagiarism definition, why not try our Plagiarism Checker for free, today?
Learn how Copyleaks can help you avoid plagiarism automatically.