10 popular FAQs answered about Plagiarism

How would you feel if someone copied a poem that was penned down by you and used it without attribution? It is a terrible thought, right? 36% of UGC students admit that they have plagiarised sentences from the content available on Internet source without giving proper footnotes. Copying someone’s work – be it text, video or images, and using it as your own without acknowledging for the same is called “Plagiarism”and it is a grave offence. However, with the availability of several online plagiarism checkers, the chances of plagiarism detection have become higher.


Plagiarizing is not just limited to using someone’s words. If you steal someone’s idea and use it, it is an equally severe offence.

Here is everything that you need to know about Plagiarism.

What counts as plagiarism?

  • Copying

When you use the exact words that have been written by somebody else in your assignment, without proper citation or referencing, it counts as plagiarism. It is not necessary that the source should bea published textbook. The act ofcopying or downloading content or ideas from articles and using them in your paperis considered to be cyber-plagiarism.

  • Concealing Sources

If you copy somebody’s work and do not mention the source name correctly, it will be regarded as plagiarism. If you use somebody’s idea and do not mention the source, it is an act of plagiarism, and you can face severe consequences for the same.

  • Academic Plagiarism

While working in a group, if you copy or share written work, it is also counted as plagiarism. Do not work in a group unless you are told to do so. It is best for you to do your assignments yourself and use original ideas and content in it.

  • Buying Sample papers

Buying sample papers for your assignment and just copying and pasting the text into your assignment is considered the worst form of plagiarism. For example, when you hire an essay writer for assignment help, you must make sure that the paper delivered to you is authentic.

  • Re-using your previous work

If you think that you can use your text repeatedly, then you are wrong. If you reuse work from an earlier assignment, it is regarded as plagiarism. Building ideas from a past assignment are acceptable, but nothing more than that.

“What if there is no name on something I read?”

Firstly, we recommend you to not to use text or information from an unattributed source. But if you still do, you can quote the passage and use “Anonymous” to be clear. When you use statistics or images, hyperlink the sentence with the website you have found the data in. You can also use an organisation’s name in case the author’s name is missing.

How is unintentional plagiarism treated?

Many a time, you may write something very generic that may happen to be a copy of the published content, ideas or images – either on paperback or online. Although the act of plagiarism is always regarded as intentional, at times accidental copying of phrases or portions without giving the due credit might be considered unintentional. However, if the content of a paper has copious amounts of sentences that are second copies, then it will be counted as plagiarism and will suffer the same consequences as that of intentional copying.

Does paraphrasing fall under the category of plagiarism too?

Yes! Paraphrasing or Word-switching is just another form of plagiarism. From taking someone else’s writing and switching the words here and there, tousing portions of a sentence without giving credit for the same – everything falls under the act of word-switching. Irrespective of how much you struggle to restructure content and try to use it as your own, it is still a punishable offence.

What is the acceptable percentage for plagiarism?

If the total plagiarised content amounts to less than 10%, it is acceptable. However, if the text is scattered throughout the material, only then it will not lead to severe repercussions. If the matching text (although less than 10%) is in one paragraph, then it can count as plagiarism and can be penalised.

What are the consequences of plagiarism?

ü  Bad Reputation

Be it academic or professional – allegations of plagiarism can taint your reputation and might end up getting you expelled. In several universities, plagiarism is considered to be academic misconduct and is reflected in a student’s academic record. As a result, you can be denied admission in good colleges irrespective of your GPA. If you are accused of plagiarism, it can affect your academic career altogether.

  • Career Destroying

If you are aprofessional serving an organisation, plagiarism can have a devastating effect on your work. A detection of plagiarised work delivery can lead to you being ousted from your present designation or can even get you fired, depending on the severity of the crime. Such an accusation will not look good in your CV either and can make it harder for you to search for a respectable job.

ü  Legal Penalizations

If you copy from an author’s work without citing his/her name, you can be sued for plagiarising under the copyright law. Depending on the seriousness, you can also be thrown behind the bars for your act of criminal offence. Since several liberal artists have been exposed of late, certain monetary obligations have been imposed too. If an author sues you for using his/her work, you may have to pay an amount to get out of the mess.

How do I prevent plagiarism?

By now you are aware of how fatal the consequences of plagiarism can be for your academic as well as professional life. You can adopt these simple practices to avoid plagiarism in your work.

Cite –To avoid plagiarism, you can simply cite the references in your paper. Make sure that you use the correct referencing style though.  Use the exact name of the author and include the date of the publication too.

Quoting – If you want to use text from an author’s work, the best way to do this is by quoting the sentences correctly. Although quoting will save you from the allegations of plagiarising, it is suggested that you paraphrase it correctly and then use it.

Cite your own work:Even if it is your own work, it is better that you cite the images and data from your earlier published papers. Do not reuse text from your previous document into another.

Referencing – the best way to avoid chances of plagiarism is by using a reference page at the end of your paper. Paper helpers can help you with this one since they make it a point to use an appropriately formatted list that includes the authors’ names, date of publication, title, and the source.

Ask permissionAnother way of using content, images or any kind of data in your paper is by seeking authorisation for the same. If the source is an unpublished one, you can just ask whether they want you to quote them or not and then you can attribute it to them. Copyright permission is essential.

How accurate are online plagiarism checkers?

Most plagiarism tools are very accurate. However, since they too are human-designed software, you must make sure that you crosscheck your paper several times. Also, make sure that you use a reliable plagiarism checker tool. Check for reviews and testimonials and then select a tool.

Should we use plagiarism checkers?

The answer to this question is definitely a “Yes!” Plagiarism checkers are incredibly efficient when it comes to the detection of any traces of the second copy in your paper.

Here is why you must consider using a plagiarism checker too.

  • Free of Error

It is only human to make errors in your paper from time to time. These tools can effectively check your elaborate dissertations and research papers for grammatical errors and therefore help you deliver an exemplary paper.

  • Highlighted Plagiarized Content

Thesetools can help you locate the portions of content taken from elsewhere, and then highlight the exact line so that you can make the necessary changes to it. This will also remove any chances of unintentional plagiarism on your part.

  • Percentage Match

Plagiarism tools reflect the percentage match in the content and thus help youto make sure that you have maintained the permissible match percentage and have not crossed beyond the acceptable limit.

  • Proof against Plagiarism

The plagiarism checkertools alsoprovide a report that you can download to prove the originality of the content that you have written in your paper. You can take a print out too and submit it as an evidence against plagiarism.

What are the best plagiarism checkers?

Here is a list of 5 best plagiarism checkers available online that you can choose from.

  1. Turnitin

Considered the best, Turnitin is used by most universities and colleges to check through academic papers. Even professors ask students to submit a Turnitin report as proof of authenticity. You can use theirservices to scan the database for a second copy of your content.

  1. Plagiarisma

Plagiarisma is a multifaceted tool that can check grammar, rewrite articles and scan texts most accurately. The tool supports Google and other search enginesand is available in 190 languages. It offers few trials too.

  1. Plagiarism Checker x

Plagiarism Checker X can detect copied content in a minute’s time. The tool is reliable due to its unmatched accuracy. You can crosscheck dissertations and research papers on it since it does not come with a limited word count.

  1. Copyscape

In Copyscape, you just need to post the URL of the published paper, and the tool will display the web page result with the matching phrases highlighted. The tool also offers free plagiarism comparison that will help you find the similarities between the two contents.

  1. Unicheck

This plagiarism tool can scan duplicate content in any kind of format – DOCX, RTF, TXT, ODT, HTML, PDF, and ZIP. Formerly known as Unplag, Unicheck is powered by Yahoo and Bing and is highly recommended for students.

Plagiarism is a heinous offence that can lead to grave consequences. We bring to you the answers to all your queries regarding plagiarism. We hope that you will steer clear from any kind of piracy in your content.

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