By and large, the effects of plagiarism in USA universities are severe. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work or ideas as your own without giving them credit. This happens mostly to students who love “copy and paste.” Before using such material, whether in the form of scripts, prints, or electronic, you should get the author’s approval. While this may prove futile because the process is tiring and time consuming, you can be safe by giving credit for their work. In the US, copyright law treats a plagiarist as a fraud. The Sheldon v Metro-Goldwyn Corp., F.2d59,56(2d Cir.1936) explains that no plagiarist can defend themselves by showing off how much they had written that did not pirate.
For instance, if 90% of your work is original, and 10% is plagiarized, the law does not show mercy that you only used 10%. You will be penalized, and this, at times, can even attract a jail term. In simple terms, plagiarism is a crime. If this happens, then the copyright and plagiarism laws will apply accordingly.
Penalties For Plagiarism If Committed In USA Universities
Universities and Colleges in the US are keen on copyright issues. Although the author of the material may not sue you, the university will surely punish you. Every higher learning institution in the US uses plagiarism checkers that check your writing to see if they are original. If they find that you copied some ideas or statements from an another source, you can either be;
- Expelled from the institution.
- Face a disciplinary action such as sponsorship termination and in school suspension.
- Failing the whole course.
- Grade penalties.
Quick fact: Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr was sued for plagiarism during his school years. This was after Boston University found out he had copy pasted 33% of a chapter when writing a doctoral thesis. This nearly cost him his career after the university almost thought of revoking his doctorate.
Plagiarism mostly occurs when a writer copies and pastes an author’s work from their source. This happens when you do not cite the quote or put it in quotation marks. These show that the ideas presented are not yours but are borrowed from an external source. Also, it may happen when you fail to paraphrase the content in your own words. For instance, if an author wrote “Education is the key to success,” and you write, “Education is the key because it makes you succeed. Chances are that “education is the key” will be plagiarized because these words first appeared on that author’s text.
Ways to avoid plagiarism
- Use the “five consecutive word” rule. This is a rule that shows that you should not use five words in a row used in another author’s writing. This is easy to do because all you need is to search for the words you have written on the internet. Let say you want to write, “Plagiarism is punishable by law.” You should consider searching these words to see if they were used the same way in another author’s work. If so, then you can change these words; It is risky to plagiarize any work. The reason is that this is a crime that gets harsh penalties in court. After paraphrasing like this, it is unlikely that this will happen.
- Always use direct quotes or avoid quoting at all. Put borrowed ideas in double quotation marks . To avoid quoting, paraphrase every single word used by another writer. This helps you avoid creating a copy of what the author wrote in their work.
- Make sure that you cite all your work. This is a must in writing.
- Please do not copy and paste anything on the internet, books, journals, etc.
- Put footnotes to provide citation information. Write them at the bottom of the page. They show all the citations, copyright permissions, background information, and outside sources. Clear your work and credited all the information to the author accordingly.
- Always use a plagiarism checker before submitting your work. Sometimes, you may accidentally plagiarize because everyone uses the same words, the same way, and each day. Therefore, it operates under a thin line that, at times, is unavoidable. Therefore, make sure your work is safe by scanning it.
Rules about plagiarism: The Do’s and the Dont’s
- Paraphrasing without citation is plagiarism.
- Always cite the correctly using the correct format to avoid presenting someone’s work as yours. Use the correct MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago style of formatting to avoid making this mistake.
- Quote every word gotten from an external source.
- Please submit your paper to a checker to make sure it is clean.
- Do not use patchwork plagiarism because this too is academic fraud.
The effects of academic fraud
- When students plagiarize their work, it lowers the quality of education. In the long run, learning institutions release students who are not creative. Therefore, the quality of their performance is poor because of they do not think critically. With this, a college degree lowers in value.
- It affects the economy of the US greatly. The reason is that students will have problems solving problem skills that can improve real life. In the private sector, it is an important concept of offering immediate solutions. This way, they limit their minds from doing the impossible. This makes it hard for them to be game changers in their work.
- Copyright breaches can also attract lawsuits that affect reputation. If a student is expelled or denied grades, their character is destroyed among their peers and before society at large. If the matter is taken before the law, the student will be treated the same as a criminal and will face every decision made.
- Some institutions are so strict that they can prevent students from joining another university/college after expulsion. In cases where the school is tolerant enough, the student can only face the institution’s disciplinary action.
Why do students plagiarize their work?
- To gain great grades – Getting grades without skills is useless. Therefore, stay away from piracy.
- Ignorance of the dynamics of plagiarism – We believe that you have gained some important information about this by reading this article. Plagiarism should not be an option to shine.
- The belief that it will go undetected – Many universities use the best plagiarism checkers. They scan each word, comparing it with billion books, websites articles, etc. thus, it will see any plagiarized work.
- Time– Everyone is busy these days. However, by setting your priorities right, you can write the best articles as per your instructor’s description to get good grades.