It is always not safe to walk along the edge of a cliff as there is a possibility to fall down. Naturally, it is the same dangerous to violate law or cheat people as once you can be caught red-handed. Though plagiarism is not referred to crimes, it has many features of a crime and the consequences might be incredibly serious and disappointing. It is closely connected with copyright and may result in the same sky-high pricey lawsuits that sometimes destroy people’s lives.
Nowadays, many companies and individuals have already transformed plagiarism into business. Ones earn money plagiarizing the articles on the Web, the others remake other people’s creations pretending that they are original ones. And what is the most disgusting thing is the fact that sometimes it is impossible to prove that something was plagiarized and punish the person, who committed a crime. If a person wishes to hide the hints on plagiarism, he will undoubtedly do that. The fact is that sometimes even master’s work is detectable and can be caught and now it is time to think whether the consequences were worth a try to cheat or it was better to spend more time but invent something genuine. Plagiarism was and still is a very risky industry and it is always important to decide what is better: to earn easy money and answer for this in the court, for example, or make some efforts and spend time to create something unique. Each person chooses himself.
Plagiarism was and still is a very risky industry and it is always important to decide what is better: to earn easy money and answer for this in the court, for example, or make some efforts and spend time to create something unique.
Anti-plagiarism system or how to avoid academic plagiarism
Plagiarizing is one of the main characteristics of modern students’ works. Tutors and professors are fed up with rereading downloaded from the Internet papers. Moreover, how can you give a student an excellent grade if he or she hasn’t lift a finger to complete the assignment? Such forgeries have inspired the staff of many educational establishments to take some measures and offer disciplinary penalties for breaking academic rules. Of course, to fight plagiarism is the same thing as to fight corruption in the country: it is incredibly difficult and requires much strength and stamina, but still it is possible.
Contemporary institutions offer several types of punishment for plagiarizing:
- Precaution: each student must be aware of the possible consequences he or she might experience if caught cheating.
- Reprimand: of course, not every person will accept this kind of punishment close to heart, but still there are students, who having cheated to the first time and received a reprimand, will never make the second effort.
- Poor mark: this kind of punishment will influence the general academic achievements and be a signal for other tutors.
- Rewriting of the assignment or completion of an additional task: there is hardly a worse punishment for students than to study more thoroughly than they used to, so it can be a good example how to avoid similar situations in future.
- Failed courses: some tutors may punish students making them take exams for several time as an evidence of their knowledge but not well-organized forgery.
- Dismissal: one of the most severe ways to punish a student is to dismiss him or her from the university. This mainly happens if cases of plagiarism have been repeated not once.
According to the survey, about 15% of submitted papers were recognized suspicious and most of them were returned to their “creators”.
But how does this anti-plagiarism system work? Many tutors have to use a free Plagiarism Checker to be confident that the charges are not pointless, while some universities have already setup a special system that stores the whole text database and each newly added paper receives a unique number and a registration paper with the references of the reviewer before being submitted. Though there is no acceptable level of plagiarism, each tutor must decide what to do with the paper individually and if it can be considered original. According to the survey, about 15% of submitted papers were recognized suspicious and most of them were returned to their “creators”.
It is natural that some reasons why students plagiarize can be understood by tutors, but it does not mean that the punishment should be omitted. If a person takes risk to cheat, he must undergo sanctions and think of more severe consequences awaiting him for recidivism.
The art of plagiarizing
Plagiarism is a rather wide notion, so many people can mix notions and consider customary for modern world types of plagiarism a suitable means of creating something “new”. 70% of students are simply not aware of other types of plagiarism apart from copy-paste, so it might be time for universities and colleges to present clearly to students what writing is considered to be illegal and why. These are some of risky changes in the original text that are referred to plagiarism as well:
- Direct plagiarism: word-for-word copying;
- Paraphrasing: expressing one’s point of view using other words;
- Avoidance of the source acknowledgement: intentional omission of citation of quotation marks;
- Recycling: submission of the same assignment for different courses;
- Ghostwriting: purchased or written by other person assignment but submitted as a student’s own work;
- Purloining: copying of other student’s assignment without his awareness of this fact;
- Mosaic plagiarism or patchwriting: composing a text from borrowed phrases from someone’s text etc.
All of these ways are only a useless effort to present somebody’s work as yours and almost each of them can be detected by the latest software (Noplag.com, for example).
Consequences awaiting plagiarists
Modern world is sinking in the deep waters of lie and fakes as only a tiny part of created today masterpieces is genuine. Each day we hear about a famous politician, who has stolen one’s speech, a best-selling author, whose idea of the book belongs to a completely different person or a celebrity, accusing another famous person of fraud or other misdeed (check out our previous blog post). Let alone numerous Internet scandals, where freelance writers blame each other for thefts. Though not all of these cases are brought to the court, many situations have quite serious consequences. The USA is one of the countries that set the pace in protecting people’s rights and the number of lawsuits connected with copyright there has doubled recently. The reason of that is plagiarism and its rapid development resulted in some legal consequences for those, who attempt to cheat people:
- Many famous people have a destroyed reputation because of convictions of plagiarism. Ruined careers of journalists, politicians, writers, who have to pay billions of dollars for the stolen pieces, make headlines of various magazines and news sites.
- A great part of accused of plagiarism people has to experience legal consequences. Some cases can be equal to fraud or other serious crimes which can lead to imprisonment.
- The most widely met result of justice is monetary repercussions. Millions of people have to pay incredibly big sums of money if their fault in plagiarism was proved. They repay back the profit they have received as well as pay for some moral sufferings.
Such consequences of plagiarism only prove that this industry is rather risky and can even destroy people’s lives. At the same time, it is a necessity for people, who deal with creating something new and need to have their rights protected. If you are a writer and wish to produce unique and exclusive texts, there is a vital piece of advice: never skip the step where you can check your text for plagiarism. Firstly, it will help you to ensure that even accidental plagiarism is absent in your piece and you will never have any arguments or lawsuits in future. Secondly, you will have an official evidence that at the time, when you were using a Plagiarism Checker, your piece was completely original and genuine.
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Also published on Medium.