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Top 10 Consequences of Plagiarism and its Effect


This article contains the top 10 severe consequences of Plagiarism and its effect on students, businesses, college or research.

Plagiarism is often viewed as mere copying someone’s work or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. But the weight of such a despicable exploit weighs beyond copying and borrowing. Plagiarism is the representation of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one’s original work. In educational contexts, there are differing definitions of plagiarism depending on the institution.

Consequences of Plagiarism and its Effect

Plagiarism is considered a violation of academic integrity and a breach of journalistic ethics. Everyone’s original idea is his or her intellectual property, no matter how small this idea might be, it is preserved by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are written in some way e.g book or a computer file).

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
Examples of Plagiarism
  • Tendering someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation when quoting someone.
  • giving false information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not, Consider fair use rule.

To avoid being prosecuted, cite and acknowledge sources. Admitting and properly citing where an idea or material has been obtained is customarily enough to counter plagiarism.

What about images, videos, and music?

Plagiarism extends beyond paperwork. As stated earlier, everyone holds an intellectual property to their idea or work, no matter what form it takes. Permission must be gotten before using someone’s image, video or a piece of music. These are still considered as plagiarism:

  • Copying media (especially images) from other websites to paste them into your papers or websites.
  • Making a video using footage from others’ videos or using copyrighted music as part of the soundtrack.
  • Performing another person’s copyrighted music (i.e., playing a cover).
  • Composing a piece of music that borrows heavily from another composition.

Students who plagiarize or otherwise engage in academic dishonesty face serious consequences. Sanctions may include but are not limited to,

  • Plagiarism can result in your work being destroyed.
  • Plagiarism can result in expulsion from your academic institution, in some cases permanent expulsion.
  • Plagiarism can result in legal action; fines and penalties etc.
  • failure on an assignment, and grade reduction or course failure.


The seriousness of plagiarism is not relative to its quantity but to the extent of its consequences. Here, we present ten potential consequences of plagiarism.

1. Consequences for the College Due to Student Plagiarism

The consequence of plagiarism is often overlooked from the college angle. People often see the student perpetrator as the one who will solely face the consequences. The truth is the school, college or university a student/students who plagiarized attend suffers substantial consequences too. This is because if students plagiarize, it speculates a pretty poor picture on of the value and standard of their degree. Thus, the school’s academic reputation becomes questionable. This can affect the universities brand on the global market which could prevent international students from enrolling as well as poor ranking for the university. It could trivialize the value of the students’ certificate, project and work.

2. Consequences for the Economy

You could be wondering about the correlation between plagiarism and the economy? Plagiarism devaluates the degree held by students and therefore results in graduates not having the essential skill sets needed to add value to the economy. Graduates who have plagiarised to obtain their degree have a high tendency to lack commercial awareness, problem-solving and the capacity to think critically. This, in the long run, will affect the economy as value creation from such graduate will be very low.

3. Legal Consequences

It should always be at the back of one’s mind that that are legal consequences that result from plagiarism. Anyone caught or found liable for plagiarizing the content of another author is liable to face the full wrath of the law. One cannot use another person’s material without citation and reference. Breaching of copyright laws, copyright infringement can become a criminal offence and is legally enforceable as an author has the legal right to sue a plagiarist in court. Though this is more prominent in the journalism and publishing/media industry. As a professional writer, to plagiarize is a severe ethical and possibly legal issue. Students should detest from plagiarizing the work of other authors, breaching this law can lead to them being sued in the civil court. court.

4. Deter Students from getting university placement in the future

Plagiarism can come with a lot of consequences that may never end. A student that is found guilty of plagiarising may be deterred from gaining admission to another college or a university placement in the future. No school will want to admit a student that lacks academic honesty. Most schools believe education goes beyond paper, that character and integrity are as equally important. It is worthy to note that university placement is very competitive and having a bad record somewhere pose more challenge to being admitted.

5. Destroyed Student’s Reputation

One of the things every individual should hold so dear is one’s reputation.

Plagiarism charges can get a student suspended or expelled thereby ruining their integrity. Most educational institutions have academic integrity committees who police students and administer just justice to offenders, a plagiarist picture might be pasted for all to see and this does not bring a one time dishonour. Once scarred with plagiarism allegations, an academic’s career can be ruined. Publishing is an integral part of a prestigious academic career. To lose the ability to publish most likely means the end of an academic position and a destroyed reputation

6. Destroyed Professional Reputation

A professional business person, politician, or public figure may find that the damage from plagiarism follows them for their entire career. Not only will they likely be fired or asked to step down from their present position, but they will surely find it difficult to obtain another respectable job. Depending on the offence and the plagiarist’s public stature, his or her name may become ruined, making any kind of meaningful career impossible.

7. Monetary Repercussions

If found guilty of plagiarism the law might reward the owner of the original or stolen idea money restitution depending on the type of plagiarism and if the plagiarist has used the work to make a profit.

In the case where a journalist works for a magazine, newspaper or other publishers, or even if a student is found plagiarizing in school, the offending plagiarist could have to pay monetary fines.

8. Plagiarism Affects Authors

The effect of plagiarism can extend the owner of the work. It is painful to see another person claim to be who we have toiled to be and claiming our hard-earned glory. The impression of having been symbolically discarded can be mortifying. The feeling of being violated can ve devastating. We should recall that the rights of the personality cannot be transmitted, so their violation requires suitable compensation. So far, the law has not provided a suitable framework for this.

9. Plagiarism Brings Out the Worst in People

Just as plagiarism can affect a student and the school he or she attends, it can as well defames a whole profession, affecting those who are not guilty, spurring rumours about their uprightness. In this way, people who have published a few poorly constructed sentences find themselves suspected of plagiarism. This is even more upsetting for those holding high academic, political or religious positions. Such rumours may be spread by interests that have nothing to do with academia. These “plagiarism hunters” fan the flames of the gutter press and spread the word about cases which have never been properly examined. However, nobody has the right to be a self-appointed prosecutor rumour over social networks or blogs.

10. Plagiarism Harms Educational Establishments

In an Institute survey, 37% of respondents stated the main victim of researchers’ plagiarism to be the academic system and its reputation. According to these respondents, the system’s credibility and public image are damaged because when the media exposes plagiarism, it harms all academic stakeholders. In a technologically advanced society, where social media usage is on the rise, information passes faster than we can ever imagine and nothing seems to be hidden.

Forms of Plagiarism

There are different types of plagiarism and all are serious violations of academic honesty. Often offenders claim ignorance and ignorance is never an excuse. To better understand the issues involved, these are the forms of plagiarism:

1. Direct Plagiarism

Direct plagiarism is the word-for-word transcription of a section of someone else’s work, without attribution and quotation marks. The deliberate plagiarism of someone else’s work is unethical, academically dishonest, and grounds for disciplinary actions, including expulsion.

2. Self Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism occurs when a student submits his or her previous work, or incorporates parts of previous works, without permission from all lecturers involved. For example, it would be unacceptable to incorporate part of a term paper you wrote in high school into a paper assigned in a college course. Self-plagiarism also applies to submit the same piece of work for assignments in different classes without previous permission.

3. Mosaic Plagiarism

Mosaic Plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general structure and meaning of the original. It is also called “patchwriting,” this kind of paraphrasing, whether intentional or not, is academically dishonest and punishable – even if you footnote your source!

4. Accidental Plagiarism

Accidental plagiarism occurs when a person neglects to cite their sources, or misquotes their sources, or incidentally summarises a source by using similar words, groups of words, and/or sentence structure without attribution. It is paramount for students to learn how to cite their sources and to take careful and accurate notes when doing research. Lack of intent does not excuse the student of consequences for plagiarism. Cases of accidental plagiarism are taken as grievously as any other plagiarism and are liable to the same scale of consequences as other types of plagiarism.

5. Plagiarized Research

Plagiarized research is an exceptionally outrageous form of plagiarism. If the research is medical, the consequences of plagiarism could mean the loss of peoples’ lives. This kind of plagiarism is particularly heinous.

The consequences of plagiarism are far-reaching and no one is immune. Neither ignorance nor stature excuses a person from the ethical and legal ramifications of committing plagiarism. Before attempting any writing project, learn about plagiarism. Find out what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. The rules are easy to understand and follow. If there is any question about missing attribution, try using an online plagiarism checker or plagiarism detection software to check your writing for plagiarism before turning it in. Laziness or dishonesty can lead to a ruined reputation, the loss of a career, and legal problems.

When to Cite

1. Common Knowledge

A statement supposed to be “common knowledge” does not need to be linked to a source. Facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be found by many people are likewise considered common knowledge.

As a general rule, well-known or basic facts do not need to be documented; however, interpretations of such facts do.

If something is not common knowledge, or if you are not certain whether it is or not, cite the source.

2. Paraphrasing and Quoting

Paraphrasing allows students to present other people’s ideas in their words. Rewriting another work requires citation. Like direct quotes, paraphrasing must be traced to its original source. A direct quote from an external source duplicates the words of an author or speaker. These words are enclosed within quotation marks. When necessary, direct quotes must be cited correctly and distinguished from your own words. Your work should represent your thoughts and organization and should strive to strike a balance between the use of direct quotes, paraphrasing, and your own words.

3. Internet Sources

Any information drawn from the internet or electronic sources should be completely referenced, as one would any source that is not yours. This includes direct quotes, paraphrasing or a description of concepts that are not yours. A complete website address is required such that the author and the location are apparent. As with any source, it is important to verify the authenticity of the website you are referencing, and this is commonly achieved by evaluating several independent sources.

4. Writing Computer Code

The unauthorized copying of computer code can be considered plagiarism as it is a representation of someone’s brainwork.

Most people do not deliberately commit plagiarism. Usually, it results from:

1. Procrastination

Setting up an adequate time to complete an assignment might give you ample time to research thoroughly to avoid last-minute plagiarism.

When using sources, you should get in the habit of citing them in full as you write. Filling in page numbers, making footnotes, or making a work cited page or bibliography after you have finished writing often leads to inadvertent miscitations or omissions.

2. Incomplete Understanding of Original Material

Any source with which you are not comfortable with should be avoided. As a general rule, if you cannot restate the main idea of a passage in your own words without referring to the original source, then you should not use this source for your work.

3. Citation Errors

To cite is not enough, citing must be accurately stated to be totally free from the punishments of plagiarism. Common mistakes that lead to accidental plagiarism include employing words or portions from the original source without using quotation marks and/or without citing the source; using different citation formats within the same assignment, or using a citation format incorrectly. The style of citation must be constant throughout the body of work.

4. Poor Note-Taking

It is advisable to take note as you gather your fact and figures. It is often possible to forget to put quotation marks around notes taken directly from a text. As a result, indicating which notes came from which source is difficult and be easily neglected.


In conclusion. the outcomes of plagiarism can be personal, professional, ethical, and legal. With plagiarism detection software so readily available and in use, plagiarists are caught at a startling rate. Once accused of plagiarism, a person will most likely always be related to suspicion. Ignorance is not an excuse. Plagiarists include academics, professionals, students, journalists, authors, and others.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to do the following:

  1. Keep a record of all sources you are using.
  2. Ensure that each in-text citation matches up with bibliography.
  3. Even if you use your own words, acknowledge the author of the idea.
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