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What is academic plagiarism?

In the academic world, academic plagiarism is the act of using someone’s work and presenting it as your ones own.

Plagiarism can either be deliberate or accidental.

Sometimes merely leaving out a footnote in a research paper could amount to plagiarism, regardless of whether it was by mistake. It is a sin that you are guilty of by the mere act of committing it: lack of information and oversights are no defense against what plagiarism is known to be.

Nevertheless plagiarism is illegal and unethical. You should avoid all forms of plagiarism as there are different types.

What are the types of plagiarism?

Plagiarism could either be actions of speech writers or research paper writers to copy text or images to use and depict as their own. Usually, one should paraphrase OR quote text obtained fro other sources.

Using other people’s work as your own is considered plagiarism when you do not give credit to them.

In the academic world, there are types of plagiarism and each carries equal weight as the other.

  1. Global plagiarism – plagiarizing the entire text by either buying an essay online or submitting work completed by somebody else as your own.
  2. Patchwork or mosaic plagiarism – the act of compiling a new text document by copying phrases and passages from different sources.
  3. Incremental plagiarism – usually done by students to fill word count requirements in essays, it refers to inserting a small amount of copied work into one that you have written from scratch.
  4. Self-plagiarism – this happens when you submit your own work again and hiding the fact that it is recycled.

Other things that can be plagiarized are photography work, illustrations, data, music or music beats, art, etc. Always give credit to the sources.

What are the consequences of plagiarism?

  • You could be expelled from school
  • You could fail an assignment
  • You will lose your credibility to your fellow peers
  • You can face serious legal trouble

So, how should you avoid plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, just give credit to whichever source you use, paraphrase correctly, write good summaries of the content you are using. Always.

Wrongly executed summaries and paraphrases amount to plagiarism. Even when you do them correctly, not giving credit to your source amounts to plagiarism.

Plagiarism detection and plagiarism checkers

While there are plagiarism checking tools, instructors can detect plagiarism without them. This happens when you SUDDENLY improve your writing skills, your formatting prowess, use a different writing tone as they are accustomed to, etc.

A simple Google search can also reveal the source of your copied material.

You can use an online plagiarism checker, free or paid, to determine where your content is a candidate for serious academic dishonesty. But not all plagiarism checkers are made with the same salt (equal salt?).

You need to conduct due diligence before relying on one.