Students who plagiarize their essays, research papers, articles, dissertations or any other pieces of text they present as their own should be prepared for the destructive effects of this action. When caught, and this is just a matter of time because most professors have access to at least one reliable plagiarism checker, such students face serious penalties. In some cases, academic dishonesty results in legal action coupled with significant fines. So, to avoid it, one should understand what it means, how it can be detected, and how plagiarism checker for students can make this process easier.
When discussing plagiarism, people often use words like “borrowing” or “copying.” While these verbs generally fit into discussion, they fail to tackle the whole severity of this practice.
Student’s paper is considered fraud when student fully or significantly borrows information from some already published sources and presents it as his or her own. Intent to steal someone else’s idea and make others think they are yours is an important plagiarism characteristic.
So, when discussing it, it is worth mentioning such concepts as “theft” and “fraud.” When people plagiarize, they literally steal intellectual property with the aim of receiving some personal gain, be it a high grade, a diploma, or just a praise. This act is fraudulent; therefore, grading process in every university now involves compulsory check for plagiarism.
Despite the fact that all academic institutions promote academic integrity and condemn academic dishonesty, the plagiarism concept has several grey areas that create obstacles for students.
Particularly, there is still no agreement regarding adequate definition of it. Different professors, colleges or universities, frequently disagree on what constitutes academic dishonesty and what does not. For instance, some professors may accept papers that students already delivered during another course as far as students have written those papers on their own. In contrast, many teachers will treat repetitive delivery of a single paper as self-plagiarism, initiating corresponding penalties. We’ll slightly clarify these grey areas, giving you some tips on how to avoid such accusations.
It is worth mentioning that plagiarism is not always intentional. Some students do copy the works of others trying to receive some benefits. But most students work hardly to produce original papers. The thing is they frequently end up with plagiarized papers because of lack of knowledge about what actually constitutes copyright infringement. Unfortunately, whether intentional or not, this kind of academic dishonesty usually leads to penalties. While helping you avoid plagiarism in your academic papers, we’ve categorized major practices that often result in copyright accusations:
Direct Plagiarism – this form of academic dishonesty is often intentional. It occurs when students copy materials presented in external sources without any attempt to acknowledge original authors. In other words, it happens when someone presents another person(s)’ words or ideas or whole text as their own. It is very easy to do and notice. Almost any worthy online plagiarism checker discovers it.
Patchwriting – also known as patchwork. This misconduct arises when students borrow material from several sources and place it in a manner that gives no credit to original writers. As the name suggests, all students do in “patch written” essays is re-arrangement of text found online. But not every free plagiarism checker finds patchwriting effectively, but tools that college professors use definitely do.
Self-Plagiarism – it occurs when you deliver single paper several times in a row or copy significant text parts from their own papers that have been already delivered. As mentioned, some teachers still allow repetitive delivery, but you should mind that many professors already treat this practice as intentional. So, before delivering the same paper twice, you should ask your professor whether it is acceptable or not.
Misleading Citations – sometimes students try using these to cover instances of direct plagiarism or uncredited paraphrasing. For instance, they present direct quotes as paraphrases or try citing some uncheckable sources, like book chapters, thus making sure readers will not actually read them and discover fraud. Sometimes students misinterpret information from outside materials and present it in a misleading manner or don’t include proper citations for indirect sources.
Invented Sources – when students just create evidence and sources, they commit an academic dishonesty. They try using invented sources to cover paraphrase. Unfortunately, not every available software finds this misconduct, so the outcomes depend on the quality of plagiarism detector.
Uncredited Paraphrasing – when students take their time and paraphrase information found in sources, but fail to cite it properly, they perpetrate an academic fraud. Attempts to substitute proper citations with fake or misleading references may result in accusations. Rare free plagiarism checker recognizes it accurately.
Accidental Plagiarism – unlike previous examples, this misconduct takes place if students fail to distinguish information that doesn’t need citations from the material that should be cited. It often occurs without any intent to infringe the copyright on student’s behalf. Even with no fraudulent intention on student’s behalf, it is categorized as copyright violation, which is treated correspondingly. Lack of originality, which happens when students rely on external sources too extensively, results in accidental plag or because of inability to paraphrase information properly.
It may seem that virtually any piece of information presented in the paper may be treated as plagiarism nowadays. This is especially true when it comes to academic writing. Indeed, students cover same topics for years while developing their English essays. Modern technology in general and internet in particular contribute to prompt information spreading. It seems that every worthy idea has already been published. But, of course, this is not the case. Apart from completely original thoughts and ideas, there are materials that professors never treat as academic dishonesty when they check for plagiarism.
Without any accusations, students include common knowledge in their papers, of course, when it serves its purpose and proves students’ original arguments or critical thoughts. Facts that all people know, ideas commonly shared by people, or known information that has no authorship fall under this category. Students should not cite common knowledge because it is so wide-spread that initial authors can hardly be recognized.
Students won’t face accusations when including properly attributed quotes or ideas. This means that properly formatted in-text citations and references often protect from accusations. This is particularly true when the amount of quotes and cited materials does not exceed the allowed percentage. Professors usually have specific demands regarding usage of sources. For instance, most colleges have 10% percent limit for quotes: students cannot include more than 10% of quotes, even properly cited quotes, in their academic papers.
Proper paraphrases won’t result in any blame. Mind that students should properly cite the ideas of others even when presenting them in their own words. Paraphrases should not constitute the majority of content. Students should only use them as evidence or support for their own original critical insights or arguments.
When it comes to assessment of possible outcomes, plagiarism often brings some ethical, professional, legal, and financial consequences.
Ethical consequences. People who become caught presenting stolen content as original unavoidably harm their own reputation. Because of damaged reputation, students may be suspended from classes or expelled from a course or college altogether. From a wider academic perspective, they risk to lose trust forever, which undermine their future studying or possible career in academia. Evidently, ethical consequences are often related with professional negative effects.
Professional consequences. When caught, writers basically add a note about theft of intellectual property to their professional background. In other words, peers, colleagues, professors, and possible employers obtain reasons to perceive such individuals as lacking authority and ethical values of integrity and respect towards intellectual property. When committed by students, plagiarism is likely to prevent them from entering a successful professional career. If it is done by people who have already built some professional reputation, destroys career altogether, making respectable jobs unavailable for such persons.
Legal consequences. Many countries already protect intellectual property by law and the US leads in this legal war against plagiarism. Thus, in the United States, authors are legally encouraged to sue those who use their intellectual property for personal benefit without due referrals. Plagiarism is deemed a criminal offense, leading to prison sentences. Therefore, writers should think twice before putting their destiny under such a trial. Either for academic purposes or not, it is always better to use a professional plagiarism checker and scan one’s text to avoid this misconduct and its consequences altogether.
Financial consequences. Both modern copyright laws and general negative attitude toward plagiarism allow making those who steal credit, pay for their misconducts with not only damaged reputation, but also money. This is particularly true in cases where public figures, researchers, or journalists become caught infringing the copyright. Still, whether you work in a newspaper or not, you are likely to face financial losses because of it anyway. Even students who become expelled from courses because of this misconduct often bear additional financial costs related with following repeated course participation.
While we reviewed effects it produces on an individual, plagiarism harms academia in general. For instance, pointless and misleading research articles become published. It makes academic institutions along with publishers lose their reputation, good name, and popularity among applicants. It makes education less affordable by adding significant additional costs. Finally, it harms ethical standards by bringing up the worst in people. Every student should understand that even minor academic dishonesty is harmful for an individual as well as for the educational system as a whole.
Now when you learned what plagiarism is and what it is not, it’ll be easier for you to avoid this academic misconduct. Of course, the best way to avoid plag is by citing all their sources properly. To do this, they should not only adequately format all quotes, putting them into quotation marks, but also strictly follow the required documentation style. Usually, professors either assign or allow their students choose among APA, MLA, or Chicago in college writing assignments. Each of these formatting styles has specific characteristics that students should follow.
Strong writing skills constitute another important asset that helps students avoid plagiarism. Writers whose skills are poor can hardly present their own ideas without plagiarizing previously read information. The quality of their paraphrase remains questionable and results in plagiarism. Poor paraphrases will likely be perceived as incorrectly cited quotes.
Critical thinking skills are important as students should not only cite their sources correctly, but also understand them adequately so that avoid misinterpretations and manipulations with original idea.
While these strategies are very effective in preventing plagiarism, it is still critically important to check essay for plagiarism using specifically designed software. Many online scanners already enable students assess originality of their essays, determining the percentage of copied content almost instantly and for a relatively low price.
How Can Online Plagiarism Checker Help?
Professional software usage brings many benefits. It saves time, marks plagiarized content and provides percentage of stolen text. It provides a report with a list of sources that are considered as sources used for rewriting.
While schools, colleges, and universities announce that plagiarism issue is currently on the rise, most truly good checkers require students pay for scanning. Furthermore, as our recent review showed, not all payed checkers are accurate enough, and some of them are scams, so there is always a risk of paying for nothing of value. With this in mind, we did our best to develop a free and completely safe online scanner that’ll help students improve their papers by accurately assessing and marking the instances of plagiarism.