Why Is Plagiarism Illegal?

Plagiarism always leads to serious negative consequences. Ph.D. holders may lose their degree and students may be suspended if the paper is not unique. What is the reason for such a serious attitude? Why does every course start with a lecture about the uniqueness of research? Is it possible that there are as many fresh ideas as students in colleges all over the globe?

Is plagiarism a crime?

We all understand from the beginning of any course at college why is plagiarism illegal and why every essay, paper, presentation, book review or book report and reaction paper must be unique. Only, do we?

Note: Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them off as one’s own. It is illegal not to mention an author when using his/her work, being it a text (including just an idea expressed in that text), visual element (from graphs and tables to photos and videos), or an audio recording.

The definition supposes students doing it consciously. They are reading research on an academic website, copy and paste parts of a text that contain important ideas without citing the source. What if you come to a certain conclusion by spending days or weeks in a library, note it in your paper but later it appears that the idea had been already stated by another researcher? In this case, your paper is no other than plagiarized. How about hours or days spent by research? Is copying illegal in such a case?

One thought on “Why Is Plagiarism Illegal?

  1. Billy Milligan

    Very interesting article!

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