Jump to content


From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Copying & pasting can lead to plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of copying another person's ideas, words or writing and pretending that they are one's own work.[1] It can involve violating copyright laws.[2] College students who are caught plagiarizing can be expelled from school. It can permanently damage a student's reputation.[3] Writers who plagiarize commit serious legal and ethical violations.[3]

Types of plagiarism[change | change source]

  • Direct Plagiarism – copying and pasting someone else's work, or making minor changes to someone else's work to pass it off as their own.[4]
  • Self-Plagiarism – Happens when a student submits all or part of their own previous work without getting permission from all involved professors.[4]
  • Mosaic Plagiarism – Or "patch writing," is when parts of other works are copied without using quotation marks. It can also be when a student keeps the same structure and meaning of an original passage and only uses synonyms.[4]
  • Accidental Plagiarism – This can happen when a student does not cite their sources. It can also happen when a student paraphrases information without giving attribution (credit to the original author or authors).[4]
  • Mash-up – Two or more data sources that have been turned into one. They may be graphics, texts, songs, and video from various media.[5][6]

Legal issues[change | change source]

Many cases of plagiarism, especially in schools, can lead to internal punishment.[3] Certain people have been punished in a legal court for plagiarism, mostly due to copyright claims. Court cases include:

  • Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp. (1936)[7]
  • Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp. (1930)[7]
  • Steinberg v. Columbia Pictures (1987)[7]

Any work created in the US after 1st. Mar 1989 is automatically protected by copyright, even if there is no copyright notice attached to the work.[7] The defendant could sue for any copying of this kind of intellectual property.[7]

Avoiding plagiarism[change | change source]

It is usually not enough to know what plagiarism is, students must also know how to avoid plagiarism.[8] Writers are as responsible for intentional plagiarism as they are for accidental plagiarism.[8] It is important to cite sources while doing research. Putting this off until later can cause some sources to be forgotten or incorrectly cited.[8]

When using a source, make sure the content is in the same context as the paper.[8] Try to avoid using biased sources.[8] Always take the time to find the correct information about a source.[8] For example, some web pages may be part of a larger website. While a web page article may seem fair and balanced, it can be affected by the overall bias or reputation of the publisher.[8] Using something out of context can also lead to charges of plagiarism.[8] Taking the time to properly cite all sources in a paper or work is paying respect to the original ideas of others.[9] This is all part of doing good work.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Plagiarism". The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. "What Are Some Consequences Of Plagiarism?". The Law Dictionary. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "6 Consequences of Plagiarism". iThenticate. Turnitin, LLC. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "The Common Types of Plagiarism". Bowdoin College Brunswick, Maine. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  5. "What is Plagiarism?". iParadigms, LLC. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6. "Avoiding plagiarism". Duke Universities Library. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 CheckForPlagiarism.net. "Copyright Laws - Intellectual Property Laws - Plagiarism Laws". www.checkforplagiarism.net. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 "How to Avoid Plagiarism". Harvard Guide to Using Sources. President and Fellows of Harvard College. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. "Guidelines for Proper Attribution". Office of the Provost. Northwestern University. Retrieved 4 October 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]