What is Plagiarism, and What Laws Apply to it?
If you are writing your first assignment for academic purposes or writing a blog for your newly created website, you will hear the term “Plagiarism.” This is not only a term for students and writers. It’s like a nightmare for them, which can cause several consequences.
Academic institutes and search engines (SEs) also have some laws for plagiarism, and if someone doesn’t follow them, it can cause several consequences.
If you are also curious to know what plagiarism is, its consequences, and the laws applied to it, then this article is for you.
Here we will talk about everything related to this topic, so stick to the end!
What is Plagiarism?
The word “Plagiarism” is derived from the Latin word “Plagiarius,” which means “kidnapper.” It is the act of copying someone else written work and representing it as own without giving proper attribution to the real author. It is most commonly found in students and writers’ work.
As you know, on the internet, everything is available for free, which has made our lives easier because we can get answers to any of our problems.
However, people also make misuse this advantage by copying and representing others’ work as their own for fame, academic benefits, money, personal interests, etc., which leads to plagiarism.
So, this was an overview of plagiarism. Now, let’s talk about types of plagiarism.
Types of Plagiarism
Here are some types of plagiarism:
- Direct/Complete Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism occurs when you copy the same exact word and use it as your own without giving credit. You can also say this is what plagiarism is.
- Mosaic/Patch Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism occurs when you take some phrases from one source and some from another and join them to create a new version of the text.
- Accidental/Unintentional Plagiarism: This plagiarism occurs when you forget to mention the source, or the credits you provided aren’t correct. It can also occur when you write your own work but accidentally it is found plagiarized.
- Paraphrasing Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism is found in your writing when the paraphrasing isn’t done effectively like you only change a few words.
- Self-Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism is very rare because it occurs when you are assigned to write on the same topic you have done in the past.
So, these are some types of plagiarism. Now, without any stay, let’s talk about its consequences.
Consequences of Plagiarism
Here we will talk about three categories that have to face the consequences of plagiarism.
1. Academic Consequences
For students of colleges and universities, plagiarism is like the worst nightmare. If the institute finds more than 15% of plagiarism in the student’s assignment, it can lead to several consequences, which are
- Leads to failing: If plagiarism is detected in the student’s assignment, they can fail him/her without any further argument.
- Revoke the Degree: Institute has the authority to even revoke your degree if they find too much plagiarism in the write-up.
- May Suspend from Institute: If a student’s assignment is found plagiarized, then the institute also has the authority to suspend the student, which means his/her degree will be wasted.
- Penalty: Students can also get a penalty to pay a fine because of stealing others’ work. The penalty cost can be from $1,000 to $250,000, which a normal student can’t afford.
So, these are some academic consequences of plagiarism.
2. Professional Consequences
By all means, here, professional stands for a writer who writes content for websites. As you know, every website is run on search engines like Google.
So, to keep the environment safe, these SEs are also against plagiarism, and they have some criteria and rules for it. If a writer doesn’t follow these rules, he/she can face the consequences, which are:
- Low Ranking: Search engines use crawlers that scan every single blog post publish on any website. If those crawlers find plagiarism of more than 5%, they can lower your site ranking.
- Penalize your Site: If the crawlers find plagiarism in your website blogs, then you can also get a penalty from search engines or may be chances that SEs disable your site domain.
- Warning: If the real author finds that you have copied his/her work, he/she has a right to complain and get all the profits you have generated using his/her work.
So, these were some consequences of plagiarism for professional persons (writers).
Laws Regarding Plagiarism
Now, we are going to talk about the laws of plagiarism. We will only talk about some big and populated countries in the world, like the United States (US), Australia, and Canada.
- United States: Plagiarism is not specifically a criminal offense in the US, but it can result in civil penalties such as fines or lawsuits. Along with this, in many academic institutions, there are very strict policies against plagiarism and may impose disciplinary actions on students whose write-ups exceed the percentage criteria.
- Australia: In Australia, plagiarism is somehow not considered a criminal offense, but it is considered a serious violation of academic integrity. Universities and other educational institutions have policies and procedures in place to deal with cases of plagiarism, which can result in disciplinary action. The consequences are already mentioned above.
- Canada: However, in Canada, plagiarism is considered a very serious academic offense. Colleges and Universities have strict policies against it. And to deal with cases of plagiarism, they can take disciplinary actions against students.
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
Now, after discussing the consequences and laws of plagiarism, let us show you some ways that you can opt to avoid/eliminate plagiarism from your written work. But first, let’s see how you can identify which part of your text is taken from another source.
For this, an easy and quick method is using an online plagiarism detector because checking it manually isn’t possible since there are a billion sites, journals, eBooks, and articles available on the Internet.
You just have to copy/paste the text into the tool, and its advanced AI will analyze it over all data sources and find out any traces of plagiarism. If the plagiarism detector finds it in your writing, it will highlight and also provide you with source links, which can help you for citation purposes.
After checking plagiarism, here is how you can eliminate it from your text.
- You need to cite the information properly in the appropriate style. There are different citation styles available, i.e., APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian. In academic writing, APA and MLA are widely used.
- You can also quote the plagiarized text by using quotation marks (“”) so that whenever someone reads, he/she gets to know that the information is taken from another source.
- You can also avoid plagiarism with the help of paraphrasing. It is the process of changing the original text into different words without altering the real meaning. So, this is the best and easy method to avoid plagiarism.
Let’s rewind this article.
Plagiarism is a serious crime that can cause many issues for both students and professional persons. There are multiple types of plagiarism, and no matter if it is found accidentally or if you have copied the entire text of others, you must avoid it.
The reason is academic institutes and SEs have some laws regarding plagiarism, and if you don’t follow them, you have to face the consequences.
So, we advise you to eliminate any traces of plagiarism from your written work.