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What is Plagiarism

Introduction to the case study

It's no secret that plagiarism is widely all over the academia. Moreover, not only students plagiarize in their papers – even acknowledged professors do that. The only difference is that while students might not know what plagiarism is, academicians steal other people's works on purpose. Frankly speaking, it is next to impossible to find a text with 0% of plagiarism. It seems like every thing, every little fact has been already discussed, mentioned, published or shared, which makes it hard to come up with something new. In this article we try to explain the following aspects of plagiarism:

  • When it all began
  • Differentiation between plagiarism and fair play
  • Plagiarism watered by the WWW
  • Reasons for plagiarizing
  • What happens if one is caught plagiarizing
  • Plagiarism in web content and outcomes of it
  • How PlagiarismDetect.org is different from other plagiarism-checking services

When it all began

The term “plagiarism” derives from Latin “plagiarius”, which was coined out by Roman writer Martial in the 1st century. He complained about another poet stealing his works. Strange enough, the Latin word literally means “kidnapper”.

Modern dictionaries give various definitions for the term “plagiarism”, but they all are linked to the same idea: “Plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work.” (Oxford English Dictionary).

Before you start looking for the tips on how to avoid plagiarism, you need to realize what plagiarism is, and what is not.

What Is Plagiarism

Differentiation between plagiarism and fair play

Copy-pasting someone else's work and presenting it as your own is not only blatant plagiarism, but also a serious abuse, which implies copyright infringement. Modern technologies allow professors spot plagiarism within a minute, so a student risks his diploma and future if they get caught.

If you take a piece of information from some source, always remember to cite it properly. It does not matter if you paraphrase or not, “quotation marks” are your best friends in avoiding plagiarism.

The most wide-spread citation styles are MLA, APA, Harvard and Chicago/Turabian. If you are a student and you want to avoid essay plagiarism, all you have to do is to read citations guides, which can be found either on your university's website, or in any other academic source.

Familiarize yourself with a list of what has to be cited:

  • Intellectual property borrowed from literary works, WWW and other mass media resources;
  • Any pasted material;
  • Diagrams, pictures, charts created by other people;
  • Info obtained from other people in the course of an interview, survey etc.

When writing, never forget that it is always better to cite than to face charges later. Results of plagiarizing can be dire: expulsion, job loss, or even a law suit.

Plagiarism watered by the WWW

About 30 years ago no one would have thought that it would be possible to get any book, picture, video, newspaper or other materials within a few minutes by just sitting at home. Now ask yourself when was the last time you actually visited a library?

Those days, all the information was mainly kept in libraries and people didn't talk much about plagiarism. All books had respective authors and intellectual property rights questions were rarely raised. But then the Internet was invented. It gave a great impetus to the reality of plagiarism, as people received access to such an amount of information online that they thought there wasn't any responsibility for copying it. They just didn't understand how Internet works and thought that nobody could detect the fact that they had stolen someone's intellectual property.

It has been so for a while. To the fields which were affected most - journalism and academia - the consequences of plagiarism were unacceptable and people soon realized that something had to be done and done quick. Since then, a lot of innovative technologies were invented and plagiarism detection became a real art.

Internet can be seen as a real catalyst and a milestone in plagiarism history. It introduced new possibilities and responsibilities to people. The main thing here is to understand how to use these opportunities wisely and how to achieve the best results while not violating other people's intellectual property rights. In order to do so, it is necessary to know why people plagiarize and how to avoid resorting to plagiarism.

Reasons for Plagiarizing

The reasons why students, professors, bloggers or journalists plagiarize vary greatly, but can be generalized to the following list:

  • Lack of skill. Students just don't know how to create a quality piece of writing. They either lack practice or have low self-esteem. They also might simply not want to figure out all the aspects of writing for academia.
  • Careless preparatory stage. At the preliminary stage of taking notes some people do not bother writing down all the sources and the info they used when coming up with the ideas for exploring the topic. If there were no notes of this type taken, the author might forget to cite the sources or the origin of certain ideas.
  • Lack of citing styles knowledge. Sometimes people decide that citing is not something to pay attention to. People who think that are wrong. The grade depends on the quality of citations no less than on the content of the paper, and not being able to follow the citation style often results in serious negative consequences.
  • Insufficient understanding of the plagiarism concept and its consequences. Often students and writers just don't see where plagiarism can lead them to. This doesn't free them from the penalties resulting from the practice.
  • Pressure from other people. Unfortunately, students often find themselves in a situation where their parents and/or friends expect too much from them, and they just cannot let some piece of writing destroy their reputation. Such people don't realize how much worse being caught for plagiarism would be to their reputation.
  • Poor time management. Often students fail to prevent academic problems, as they want to not only study but also have fun. When they have too much fun though, they completely forget about the studying part. This results in huge amount of work that needs to be performed in little time.
  • Accessibility of many texts online. It is clear that students don't have much money, as they have to study a lot and can work on part-time basis only. That's why many of them decide to make use of the free information available online.

As you can see, plagiarism can occur due to a number of reasons. Yet the consequences are usually the same and are not pleasant. It is better to fully understand the essence of plagiarism and to be aware of the factors that can cause it so as not to let them happen.

In order to better understand why you shouldn't plagiarize, we suggest you take a look at the potential consequences resulting from the practice of plagiarism.

What happens if one is caught plagiarizing

Plagiarism can cause serious and sometimes irrecoverable damage in journalism. A journalist who has been caught plagiarizing loses all his reputation and has a good chance to be dismissed from the job. Such a person loses not only the reputation but also the respect of readers and employers.

In academia this practice can result in an even greater damage, as many universities now implement various sanctions which even include expulsion from the educational institution. In the field of education plagiarism is regarded as academic dishonesty or academic fraud and is always subject to a serious punishment.

With the development of plagiarism detection systems these penalties became rather strict and widespread, as it became very easy and convenient to check students' or employees' works for plagiarism with a high degree of accuracy. This is one of the main reasons why plagiarism detection shouldn't be seen as a trifle.

Plagiarism in web content and outcomes of it

These days, success of websites mostly depends on their visibility in search engines, and thus website owners must pay attention to website optimization and the making of their products useful for an online audience.

If the content of a website is copy-pasted from somewhere, it is no longer valuable to people. It can be even regarded as copyright infringement, as the majority of websites have the information on their pages copyrighted. If you don't want to be subject to legal prosecution, you better make sure the content of your website is not plagiarized.

Plagiarizing web content won't result in anything positive - search engines won't consider your website unique and thus won't consider your website worthy of people's attention. Web content plagiarism is simply not worth the time and effort.

PlagiarismDetect.org as Your Best Helper and Adviser

Before developing our in-house online plagiarism detection system we had investigated the concept of plagiarism in the most precise manner. We tried to understand its essence and analyse all of its aspects. As of now, having many years of experience under our belts, we can proudly state that we have achieved what we wanted. We can really make a difference in the worlds of academia and journalism. Below we explain why.

We are better because:

  • Our check scope covers a vast amount of pages available online and even includes the documents that can be downloaded. This allows us to reach a high level of precision and to show results that are not visible to other plagiarism checkers.
  • We offer discounts for each and every loyal client.
  • Analysis time is optimal for the high accuracy and vast scope of the service we provide. You will be delivered the plagiarism report in no longer than an instant.
  • We have a multi-layer analysis system which allows our algorithm to uncover even the slightest occurrences of plagiarism.
  • We don't store the documents we check. Some plagiarism detection systems do. We respect our clients' work and make no attempt at making their life harder.
  • PlagiarismDetect.org team is constantly working on improving the service. Every day we strive to make our online checker more precise and accurate. This confirms our professionalism and helps us maintain our reputation.

Don't hesitate to become one of our customers and start getting rid of plagiarism in your writing. We are always glad to welcome new clients and provide them with the highest-quality service.