What is Plagiarism?

The act of plagiarism is the use of another’s work, intellectual property or ideas without proper citation and with the intention to claim them as your own. While the copying of written material is often thought to be the hallmark of plagiarism, there are also lesser-known examples of it: cheating, working with another person who is unapproved for the project, and even using an old paper you wrote for a new course can be considered acts of plagiarism. Each school can have its own specific definition of plagiarism, which can usually be found in the “academic integrity” section of its code of conduct handbook. Plagiarism is discouraged in all corners of academia, and the consequences for it can range from being asked to rewrite a paper to being expelled from school.

How To Avoid Plagiarism

One of the first ways to avoid plagiarism is to become familiar with the differences between quoting and paraphrasing. You should also make sure to know how to properly cite or attribute your sources. Completely understand the material you are writing about, so that you don’t have to rely on someone else’s ideas about the subject to put forth your own. Most of all, you should work on forming your own original ideas on top of the facts you have learned in class. Of course, other ways to avoid plagiarism are to resist the temptations to share work and use papers that were written by someone else. Using an online plagiarism checker to scan and assess your papers can also help you identify issues with them before you have to turn them in for grading.

Plagiarism Tools

Fortunately, there a number of plagiarism checker tools available on the Internet that can help you assess your work before you turn it in. While some tools are free, others can require a subscription service. Their accuracy levels can also vary, so it’s important to research which ones have the best results before using them to scan your paper. Some checkers can even specialize in certain types of academic writing, and can run your paper through subject-specific databases. Below, you’ll find a number of free plagiarism tools to help you scan and check your papers, as well as some of the most popular per-fee services.

  • Dupli Checker: This is a free, online plagiarism checker.
  • The Plagiarism Checker: This is a plagiarism checker designed for teachers who want to check their students’ work. There is a subscription service that provides a more powerful detection service.
  • Check For Plagiarism: This plagiarism tool makes sure that content can pass Google’s plagiarism tests.
  • Advanced Plagiarism Checker: This is a free, online plagiarism checker that lets users choose how sensitive the checks should be.
  • Check for Plagiarism on the Web for Free: This plagiarism checker has two modes that can be used by teachers or authors.
  • Free Plagiarism Checker Online: This free plagiarism checker supports over 190 different languages.
  • Article Checker: This simple, plagiarism checker is meant to check short articles for similar ones on the internet. Google and Yahoo search engines can be specified.
  • Viper: This plagiarism checker is a program that can be downloaded onto a computer.
  • TurnItIn: Designed by graduates of UC Berkeley, this plagiarism checker helps students create original papers of college-level quality.
  • Ithenticate: This plagiarism checker was designed for those who want to check their scholarly research. It’s also good for other types of professional writing.

Plagiarism In Schools

Although each school may deal with the consequences of plagiarism differently, almost all treat it as a serious offense. The punishment can range from receiving no credit for the plagiarized paper to complete expulsion from a school. In some instances, departments may allow a student to rewrite his or her paper, but at a lower grade than it would have initially earned. When attempting to dole out the proper degree of punishment, some institutions may consider the type and breadth of plagiarism committed. For example, incorrect source attribution can be considered a minor infraction, while the attempt to pass off an entire paper as his or her own can be considered a serious infraction. To avoid these instances of plagiarism, many teachers are now encouraged to educate their students at the start of a course about the act, and to set forth a strict policy that both defines and lists the consequences of plagiarism.