1. Plagiarism in Higher Education
2. Avoiding Plagiarism
3. Paper-Writing Services
4. Plagiarism Consequences
5. Plagiarism Law

Intellectual property plagiarism refers to any time one party uses the work of another party as their own.

Plagiarism in Higher Education

In higher education, plagiarism as well as any dishonesty in academics is taken very seriously. Institutions like universities have to hold high standards academically in order to maintain a good reputation. High school students and early college students sometimes do not have a full understanding of plagiarism and its consequences. Everyone should be informed of the rules regarding plagiarism in the higher education or professional settings so that no one unintentionally finds themselves getting kicked out of school, losing a job, or even facing legal action.

The rules of plagiarism are very strict in many schools whether primary, secondary, or higher education. Technically, even looking at another student's paper and putting their idea down as your own is plagiarism. Undocumented information in reports and papers is also considered plagiarism in some cases. It is always better to cite any sources used for papers, presentations, and the like to avoid any issues.

If you are unsure of a school's rules surrounding plagiarism, they can usually be found in their honor codes. Certain schools may define plagiarism differently than others, so it is best to always check and be sure you understand the rules. Many professors in college classes will include their school's plagiarism definition in their syllabus, especially if there is written work assigned for the class.

Student handbooks usually include the institution's consequences for plagiarism. Many people group plagiarism along with theft and lying. It isn't only stealing someone else's idea, it's also taking credit and possibly praise for the hard work and creativity of another. There are some helpful guides to plagiarism available online for further reading and understanding.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Thankfully, it is fairly easy to avoid plagiarism. First and foremost, always write your own papers and use your own ideas. Avoid any actions that could be construed as cheating.

Many forms of research and writing require the author or reporter to use information outside of their own knowledge, so citing is also important. Always give credit where credit is due, whether it is for a statistic, clever quote, or anything else you might use in your work. If you are concerned about plagiarism, you can always ask a teacher or professor or read one of the many useful online guides.

Paper-Writing Services

With the current advances in technology, it's become very easy for students to obtain work that is not their own and copy it into a program to make it look like original work. There are websites where students can order papers like other online products. These paper-writing services hire skilled writers to provide papers for students who are willing to pay a fee to avoid doing the work.

Institutions know about these types of services and students using them are likely to be caught. Even if a paper is paid for, if you didn't write it but you put your name on it, it's plagiarized.

Plagiarism Consequences

Students who plagiarize face very serious consequences in most schools. At the university level, there is usually a system in place for a student's number of offenses.

For instance the consequences of plagiarizing might increase in intensity for each offense in this order:

  1. Warning, failing grade on the plagiarized assignment, and possibly kicked out of the class
  2. Suspension, failing grade in the class
  3. Expulsion from the university or college

Some schools have classes on academic integrity that are used as consequences for first-time plagiarizers.

Plagiarism Law

Plagiarism is considered an academic issue in the eyes of many, but really, it is a legal issue as well. It is illegal to steal the property of another individual, likewise, it is illegal to steal their work or ideas.

Depending on the type of plagiarism committed, the offender could be sued for copyright infringement, patent infringement, or fraud. Plagiarism may not seem so serious to some, but it is technically a fraudulent offense. Fraud is committed when one party intentionally deceives another for their own benefit or monetary gain. Someone who plagiarizes puts their name on a work that they did not create for a good grade or other gain.

Schools are allowed to create their own consequences for plagiarism, but the offenders also open themselves up to legal action when they choose to plagiarize.

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