Say No to Copying: The Dangers of Plagiarism

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of a typewriter with the word Plagiarism word on a paper.

Say No to Copying: The Dangers of Plagiarism

In today’s world, we can access abundant information with just a few clicks. While this is a great benefit, it also raises concerns about this offense.

In this blog post, we will discuss this offense, its four types, whether it is a crime, and five ways to avoid it.

What is Plagiarism?

What is plagiarism? This is an act of presenting someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own without giving them proper credit or acknowledgment.

This can take many forms, including copying and pasting content from the internet, using someone else’s ideas without citation, or submitting work that has been previously published without permission or attribution. This is considered unethical and is often grounds for academic or professional penalties.

View of keycaps with copy and paste

There are several reasons why people engage in this act. Some may do it out of laziness, wanting to avoid doing the work themselves.

Others may do it out of fear of failure, feeling that they cannot produce work that is good enough on their own. Others may do it because they feel they need to impress others with their achievements, even if they are not entirely their own.

Regardless of the reasons, it is important to understand the consequences that can result from this behavior. In an academic context, this can lead to a failing grade, suspension, or even expulsion. In a professional context, this can result in disciplinary action, the loss of a job, or damage to one’s reputation.

This is a serious offense that can have long-term consequences. It is important to understand what it is and how to avoid it. By properly citing sources and creating original work, one can avoid its ethical and professional pitfalls.

Remember, academic and professional success is based on integrity, honesty, and hard work, and this offense has no place in these values.

What are the four types of plagiarism?

How are the four different types of copying different? This offense can happen in many different ways, but all of them are serious violations of the rules of academic honesty. The following are the most common types:

Direct Plagiarism

This is when students copy the exact words of someone else’s work without giving credit or putting those words in quotation marks. It is unethical and highly dishonest to copy someone else’s work without their permission and pass it off as your own. If caught, you could be expelled.


Students are guilty of self-copying if they turn in their own old work or combine parts of their old work without getting permission from all of the teachers in the course.

For example, students can’t use part of a research paper they wrote in high school in a paper for a college class.

Mosaic Plagiarism

This typically happens when a student takes phrases from a source without putting them in quotation marks or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping the same general structure and meaning as the original.

This kind of rewriting is intellectually dishonest and can get students in trouble, even if they give a source in the footnotes. It is sometimes called “patchwriting,” and it can be done on purpose or by accident.

Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental copying happens when someone doesn’t give credit to their sources, doesn’t quote them correctly, or accidentally paraphrases a source by using similar words, groups of words, and sentence structure without giving credit to the original author.

When doing research, students are expected to know how to credit their sources and take careful, accurate notes. Even if the student didn’t mean to copy someone else’s work, they still have to pay for it. Accidental theft is taken just as seriously as any other kind and can have the same consequences.

Is plagiarism a crime?

Is copying a crime? Depending on the situation, some kinds of copying are thought to be crimes.

Drawbacks of Plagiarism

Cheating in Class

Most of the time, a student who copies another student’s work won’t be charged with a crime. However, the student who copies will be punished or kicked out of the school.

Female student looking bored in a classroom.

When it comes to schooling, the consequences of copying get worse as students move up the chain. When a student plagiarizes someone else’s work, it not only hurts their image as a scholar but can also stop them from getting a degree or finding work after they finish school.

Copyright Claims

Most of the time, copying is when you take credit for someone else’s original work without their permission. Copyright rules protect the original works of photographers, software engineers, musicians, writers, and artists, whether or not the work is published in print.

To violate someone else’s intellectual property rights, students don’t have to copy the exact work made. Instead, they just have to take a large part of the work that is covered by intellectual property rights.

Since many requests for copyrights are handled through legal litigation, stealing someone else’s art won’t get someone sent to jail, but it could cost them a lot of money.

Criminal Complaints

In some cases, it is illegal to copy someone else’s work. Because fraud and forgery are against the law in many states, getting into trouble with the law can happen if students try to fake, misrepresent, or copy a prohibited government document.

business students brainstorming

Because of this, they can also get arrested for lying. This is especially dangerous if they make false claims to the federal government.

In the end, it’s clear that everyone needs to do their own work because people who copy other people’s work will be found out. If someone is accused of stealing someone else’s work, it could be a very serious case that may need the help of an attorney with experience in this area.

What are five ways to avoid plagiarism?

What are five different ways to keep from copying someone else’s work? It’s a good thing that not everything about it is scary.

Once students know the basics of copying, it’s easy to avoid it. Here are some tips to help students avoid this and make sure they don’t copy someone else’s work in any writing they do.

Identify the source

They must include a reference in their writing that gives the full name of the source, the date it was published, and any other information that the style guides they’re using require. This is what they should do whenever they talk about someone else’s ideas or words.

Cite your sources

If students copy and paste the exact words from a source into their own writing without changing them in any way, one of the easiest and most obvious ways to avoid this offense is to put the copied text in quotation marks to show that the words are not their own.

When a writer uses a straight quote, they should always give credit to the source so that the reader knows where the quote came from.


To “rephrase” something means to write the thoughts or information from another source in one’s own words while keeping the original meaning. But students should be careful because if they don’t do it right, paraphrasing can easily become theft.

To paraphrase something successfully without copying it, students need to follow a certain pattern. Their work should be rewritten and formatted in a way that is different from the source, and they should try not to use too many words or phrases that are similar to those in the source.

The trick is to do this without changing the original meaning of the idea being discussed. They must keep in mind that they are still using someone else’s idea, so they will need to give credit to the original source.

Come up with your own idea.

Instead of just repeating the ideas or words that the source gave, students must think about what they have to say about it.

They must think about what unique perspective or point of view they can bring to their work that is all theirs and no one else’s. Even if students use the thoughts or words of another source to make their point, they should still follow the rules to avoid being accused of copying.

Use a plagiarism checker.

When students do research on a topic, some words or sentences may stick with them so much that they’ll use them in their writing without giving credit to the source. If students are not sure if they’ve copied someone else’s work, it’s a good idea to use an online tool that checks for this offense before they turn in their work.

These tools will let students know if any parts of their writing are copied from other sources. Some of them will even show which words or lines need to be changed and where the original text came from.

It’s worth the time to follow these suggestions because they can help students avoid plagiarizing their work.

In summary, this is a serious issue that can harm a student’s academic and professional career.

To avoid such offense, especially in writing successful college essays, students can benefit from the expert guidance and support of AdmissionSight.

Here, students can receive personalized advice and learn how to write original, compelling essays that are free from plagiarism. With the guidance of our expert admissions consultants, students can achieve their academic and professional goals with integrity and confidence.

So, hurry! Book your initial consultation today!


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