Every student is conversant with the “P” word, probably because it is among the leading reasons for their penalization in school. However, some are clueless about the consequences of plagiarism. If you are among the group that keeps on making this mistake, this blog post will enlighten you on what plagiarism is and the basics on how to avoid it. Before that, let us first define plagiarism and the context in which a person is said to have plagiarized someone’s work.
What is plagiarism?
In simple terms, plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. Case scenario is when a person writes a scholarly paper, and sources for information from books and journals then fails to acknowledge the writers of the texts. There are two types of plagiarism, which are intentional and unintentional plagiarism. Both have consequences; thus, it is critical for students to take measures to ensure that they do not plagiarize in any way.
Plagiarism is not only common in educational institutions, but also the working realm. Companies have had to stop fights between employees after one copied ideas from the other then claims them as theirs. In the learning sector, plagiarism can be accomplished in more than one way. For instance:
- Cutting snippets of content, then putting them together to form a complete text without citing the sources
- Using information from an old term paper in a new assignment
- Failure to present the facts from a source as they should be
- Paying someone to write content on your behalf
How to avoid plagiarism
You can use one or all of the following methods to ensure you do not fall prey of this act.
- Cite your sources
- Include content links
- Use plagiarism checker
When working on an article or scholarly piece of work, ensure that you cite the sources of information that you used. Several citation formats are available for this work. These are the likes of APA, MLA, Chicago, and Oxford among others.
If yours is a case of article writing, where you source for information from other websites, the best way to go about this is to provide the links to your information sources at the end of the text.
Another way to ensure you do not steal someone’s ideas is to use a plagiarism checker. This comes in handy when you forget to write down the name of the author and book you picked information from. With the help of a secure internet connection, the software will highlight data that has been taken from other sources, then prompt you to cite it.
Writers at times are required to research content then come up with an article, that is not necessarily scholarly. They use plagiarism checkers to keep their work clean.
What happens if I do not cite my sources?
The consequences of plagiarism are usually massive, especially in the case of academic plagiarism. Students and lecturers who fail to acknowledge other people’s work risk facing several implications. If you have been asking yourself, “What are the consequences of plagiarism,” here are some of the most prevalent ones.
- Legal action – If you are caught passing other people’s work as yours, the original writer of the document can decide to take legal action by suing you. If the plaintiff finds enough evidence against you, the court may force you to apologize in public and also pay compensation fees for aggravating them.
- Expulsion – Educational institutions do not want to be implicated in the legal consequences of plagiarism. As such, you may be expelled from the school indefinitely if you are caught plagiarizing work.
- Defamation – Another consequence of plagiarism in college is the stigma that comes with it, especially if you are ousted in public. It is challenging to recover from such shame when everyone knows you broke the academic rule number 1.
- Destroyed work reputation – This happens in cases where a professor or highly respected scholar plagiarizes work by others in his or her field. Even if the person was a renowned writer, the minute word gets out that they are involved in such a scandal, people will begin questioning the authenticity of their past work.
- Canceled work contract- Lecturers and professors who are implicated in plagiarism can risk losing their jobs in the educational institutions they work in. This is because no university or college wants to be associated with people who do not keep the stipulated code of conduct.
It is essential to know what are the consequences of plagiarism so you can be consciously aware of it. As such, you will exercise restraint when you next feel like you want to steal someone’s ideas. Always remind yourself that just because everyone is doing it does not make it right. Remember to use a plagiarism checker so you can evade being the receiver of the consequences of plagiarism.