Plagiarism is the unethical act of stealing someone’s content and claiming it as your own. The act of stealing content basically means that the plagiarist does not provide credit to the original author.
This is a violation of academic integrity. It is dishonest, disrespectful, irresponsible, and unfair. Unfortunately, students are the type of academics that indulge in plagiarism profusely. The reasons are varied.
Some simply do not know about it, others do not care, and some indulge in it to save time for their other interests. Regardless, it is a terrible thing to do, and students should realize how harmful it is to their present and future.
So, let us discuss that in this article.
What are the Consequences of Plagiarism?
1. Bad Grades
One of the most common consequences of committing plagiarism is bad grades. Whether it is an assignment or an exam, the result of committing plagiarism is that the students get exactly zero marks for that work.
In college and university, this is particularly detrimental for the student because all assignments and quizzes carry some part of the grade. Getting zero in these things can severely affect the overall grade and can lead to failing grades as well.
Universities and colleges have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism. The first one or two offenses may be forgiven with a warning but repeat infractions can result in suspension or expulsion.
A good example of this is Ohio University in 2008, where a student was expelled and deported for committing plagiarism. This is just one example of expulsion due to plagiarism. That is why students should try and stay away from such unethical activities.
As if expulsion was not serious enough, some universities actually blacklist the perpetrator and bar their admission. They also have the authority to give public notice of this blacklisting which can drastically reduce the chances of the student getting admission into another institute.
If a student finds their name on a blacklist due to plagiarism, then their academic career is effectively over. They would have to leave their country to continue their education, and that is a path that not many can take.
4. Degree Revoked
If by some stroke of luck, a student gets away with plagiarism and gets awarded a degree, it still does not mean they are safe. If plagiarism was detected in their work after their degree was over, then their institute holds the right to withdraw that degree.
This has, in fact, happened quite a lot. A prominent example is that of former Hungarian president Pál Schmitt. His degree was revoked in April of 2012 by his University because there was verbatim plagiarism throughout his doctorate thesis. He resigned from his position one week after his degree was revoked.
So, the consequences of plagiarism can follow you around even in your professional career.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
Now that you have seen how badly one can get burnt due to plagiarism, here are some ways to avoid it and save yourself.
1. Check Work Using Plagiarism Checkers
All students should make sure to run their assignments through a plagiarism-checking tool. The only effective way to check plagiarism is through the use of a tool.
That is because tools can quickly scan and compare the content against a database of other works, or against billions of online web pages. They are very accurate and can even find advanced types of plagiarism.
The use of such tools helps students to find out whether their work has any plagiarism or not. Since plagiarism-checking tools also provide the sources and pinpoint the actual place of plagiarism, students can easily deal with it.
2. Remove Verbatim Plagiarism (Plagiarism remover)
Sometimes, students unknowingly copy words directly from sources they used for research. This is known as verbatim plagiarism, and it can land them in hot water. So, what students can do is use a plagiarism remover which is a type of tool that can deal with verbatim plagiarism.
A plagiarism remover completely restates the plagiarized text using different words and phrases, so the end result is devoid of verbatim plagiarism. This is great for avoiding plagiarism when citing sources is not required.
3. Cite Sources Correctly
One of the top reasons for plagiarism occurring in students’ work is correct or missing citations. Students use different sources to find information and use it in their work. But they have to credit those sources, otherwise, their work will be considered plagiarized.
But sometimes students make mistakes. They either forget to cite a source, or they attribute the wrong information to incorrect sources. This is also plagiarism. So, they need to take extra care to cite their sources correctly. They should use a citation manager to help keep track of which information comes from which source. And this helps them to avoid plagiarism.
So, there you have it, the consequences of plagiarism in education. We cited some examples of real people who faced those consequences to drive home the point. And then we saw some ways in which plagiarism can be avoided, therefore saving oneself from these consequences.
The methods we discussed were checking for plagiarism using tools, removing plagiarism using tools, and citing sources correctly. The tools in question can be found online, and more often than not they are free. So, students will have no problem applying these tips to avoid plagiarism.