Plagiarism is a serious act which is often akin to copyright infringement, piracy and stealing. When committing plagiarism, one is not simply taking another person’s work for their own; there are many different types of plagiarism, and all face serious consequences of severity. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, plagiarism can be any of the following: to steal and pass off another person’s ideas or words, to commit literary theft, to use another’s words or production without crediting them, and to present an already existing concept or work as new. However, there are many other different types of plagiarism, such as wrongly providing information, paraphrasing previous work, failing to insert quotation marks, and simply taking another person’s work as your own. The severity of committing plagiarism shows in the consequences, both personally and professionally.
Once plagiarism is committed, no one will know whether you are speaking or citing the truth. In both school and the professional field, no one will trust your word and you will often be questioned and reminded of the poor action (crime) you committed.
Whether it is in school studies or professional work, once plagiarism is committed, allegations of the act can cause the suspension of a student, or in some cases, have them expelled. In most cases, universities and upper educational facilities will bar the student from being accepted, and, if committed in a university or academic institution, it can also result in expulsion. In the work environment, plagiarism follows the person for their entire career. You may be fired, put on suspension, or asked to find another job.
Many question the severity of the legal outcomes against plagiarism, but they can often be very serious. Copyright laws exist for a reason, and are considered to be absolute. Without citing or referencing another person’s work, the original author or creator can absolutely have every right to sue those who try to use their work. In some cases, plagiarism is even considered to be a criminal offense, so it’s important to be authentic and properly cite and reference.
Plagiarism is a serious offense and happens more often than not; whether it is the thoughtlessness of paraphrasing another person’s work or simply forgetting to cite a source, the offense is still the same. The repercussions of committing this act are serious and deal both in the legality of the action and the ethical aspect as well. Not only will plagiarism follow you throughout your scholastic and professional careers, but you may also be legally indebted as well. To plagiarize is not only a legal issue, but an ethical one as well.