The act of stealing someone’s work and portraying it as your own is known as plagiarism. Literary theft, copying of ideas and not crediting a source is an act of fraud; also called plagiarism. Informal way of addressing plagiarism is copying or borrowing someone’s work which may or may not get caught when submitted at your university, college, work or any other place. But it doesn’t end here. Expressing someone’s ideas and content as your own without crediting the source or citing it is considered unlawful under intellectual property protected by copyright laws.
Similarly, using an existing image, video or audio file without consent is also a part of plagiarism. There are instances when you are surfing through the internet and you find your image on perhaps Google or any other website which by law carries copyrights under your name. This is a serious offence and the person using your content ends up paying a lot for not having an idea about the attractive image he/she copied. Visual work is however difficult to declare as plagiarised content but it is very common in the society nowadays.
Other forms of plagiarism can be listed as follows;
- Using someone’s work without permission
- Copying words and ideas without crediting the source
- Incorrect information entered for a quotation
- Copying the sentence structure
And many more…
Categorizing plagiarism as a crime is not always true, most of the times students who are given an assignment end up taking help from different sources available. Hence, it is important for institutions to make sure students go through the information of plagiarism and an assigned percentage needs to be there which is allowed for the assignment to be copied. It not only affects the grade one carries but their reputation is also at stake if it ends up as a crime in the court. In the professional world it is pretty serious for people to follow the rules and carry no acts of plagiarism with their name because as usual as it may seem; people end up losing their written material or chances of publication as well.
Ways of avoiding plagiarism in the first place:
- Use citations whenever you copy the words of someone else. This saves you from carrying the ‘copied’ remarks on your work since you have already mentioned who said what and where.
- During paraphrasing one should avoid using many words from the same place. Use synonyms instead and change the phrases to alter the writing style which differs from person to person.
- Use appropriate methods/formats for citing the content such MLA and APA formats for quotations, theories, ideas, etc.
- Use your own ideas too instead of making a cluster of citations all the way in your piece of writing.
- Read thoroughly before attempting to write something to have a clear idea of what is required to avoid looking for resources every time.
There are a few common forms of plagiarism;
Verbatim is copying of word-to-word texts of a document. In other forms, ‘duplication’ of someone’s work. Whereas, plagiarism of ideas is the absence of citation when mentioning someone’s theory, interpretation, methods or opinions etc.
Knowing the consequences of an act is very important. Plagiarism also carries some consequences which should be clear to everyone. Destroyed student reputation is quite common which may cause the student to get expelled or suspended. School authorities take action immediately to avoid the institution’s losses of entering into a bad publicity scenario. A professional may end up with a destroyed career depending on the criticality of the event. We are aware of the copyrights associated with the material used, therefore legal authorities are always ready to take action on plagiarism wherever it occurs. Monetary penalties are also imposed on the criminal act and so no one is immune of the ethical and legal breach that plagiarism carries.
Thus, it is better to have ample knowledge of plagiarism beforehand. The concept should be commonly addressed in schools and during professional trainings with the consequences discussed fairly. There should be rules and policies established to better introduce the problem in academia with not only the terror of plagiarism but also the beauty of original ideas and new content.