Plagiarism: A Sure Highway to Hell and What You Must Know About It

Written by a Guest Contributor

Plagiarism: You’re On a Highway to Hell

There is no question about the fact that plagiarism has become a widespread problem not only in an educational capacity, but also outside of it. There are so many industries where plagiarism is widespread and prevalent; there have also been so many famous people who have been implicated in plagiarism.

Careers have been destroyed and labels have been given. You have to understand that once you make plagiarism a habit, you are indeed traveling on a highway straight to career suicide.

In the light of this, let me just mention some of the most high-profiled plagiarism cases in the recent past:

Top 4 Famous Plagiarism Cases

Back in 2007, Jonathan Martin, a prolific New York Time’s journalist broke a controversial story on how Montana’s Senator John Walsh casually plagiarized a big majority of his theses, which was based on the USAWC, (United States Army War College). It was revealed Walsh’s paper had cited information from a number of different sources, according to Martin’s in-depth research. However, it is important to realize that Senator John Walsh is as a matter of fact not the only high-profiled personality who has done this – and that too when he was running for re-election in February against Steve Daines, a Republican.

Here are the other 4 prolific personalities who have plagiarized their way to success or at least tried to:

1). Joe Biden

The current vice president Joe Biden was implicated in plagiarizing a majority of his speeches, which he prepared for his 1988 presidential candidacy race. It was revealed that a majority of what he wrote in his speeches were copied straight off from another politician, though unsuccessful, known as Neil Kinnock. Kinnock was from the Labor Party, who faced off with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. An analysis also later revealed that Biden also stole parts of his speech from the likes of Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.

2). Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer was a New York writer who was implicated of plagiarizing from himself multiple times. It was also identified that he used to fabricate a ton of quotes he had previously used. He plagiarized and recycled his own work and used to frequently post blogs, which ultimate sparked a big journalism controversy. The writer resigned back in 2012 – and was also discovered that he also plagiarized quotes from Bob Dylan’s book, Imagine.

3). Jayson Blair

Jayson Blair was an aspiring young reporter/ journalist for the New York Times when it was revealed that Blair used to plagiarize quotes and fabricate his content, his sources as well as the datelines. On top of that Blair was also found guilty of fabricating receipts in order to claim his reimbursements in order to further plagiarize and fabricate the datelines. Back in the May of 2003, the New York Times published a report regarding what happened, that too on the front page. Blair at the time was just 27.

4). Rand Paul

A promising GOP candidate for 2016, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul was unfortunate to have had a bad brush with plagiarism back in 2013. It was revealed that Paul had heavily plagiarized in both his book as well as his speeches. A majority of journalists analyzed and identified that Paul had plagiarized content from the Associated Press, Wikipedia and Focus on the Family for his speeches. His book was identified to contain copied materials from research posted by the Cato Institute as well as the Heritage Foundation. Paul later admitted that he had misused his footnotes because of carelessness.

Also read: Social media tips to help graduates looking for their first jobs

Plagiarism in Pop Culture

Plagiarism has become a plague in popular cultures, in schools and colleges, businesses, etc. The lack of creativity, or rather, the eagerness to get the job done as quickly as possible causing plagiarism has resulted in a lot of people that had to resign from their job, quit college and face legal charges.

Students these days easily get caught up in the deadly spiral of plagiarism, without even realizing what they are stepping into. The lack of supervision by their teachers and professors have made their attempts successful, but for how long? That is the question. And will they ever stop plagiarizing, I think no. Once it becomes a habit, and once you’re hooked, it is quite difficult to kick it.

You will be surprised to know how many well-known journalists and media correspondents indulged in plagiarism, ending their careers right then and there. And when you talk about schools and colleges, you don’t have any idea how plagiarism can end up affecting the others in class. Robbing someone else’s idea, their creativity and vision, and gaining an edge over other students can not only lead to becoming notorious in your class, but it will also give you an unfair advantage over other students who make an effort to honestly secure their grades and perform.

The Consequences of Plagiarism

There are several consequences of plagiarism that can affect you on a personal, professional and a legal level. With a host of plagiarism software available, it really isn’t easy to get away with plagiarism. And once you have been accused of plagiarism, you will always be seen with a pair of suspicious eyes no matter what, believe me, it is a rather serious blow to one’s credibility.

In the light of this, mentioned below are some really bad repercussions of plagiarism:

1). Destroyed Credibility and Reputation

Allegations for plagiarism can lead to expulsion or suspension. Your academic career or record can be tarnished, which could also zero your chances of getting into a good college or an association. And this can have a pretty bad impact on your life and career. And it is important to remember that a lot of educational institutions have dedicated academic and ethical integrity committees that strictly police college students, often suspending a student for plagiarism for their very first ethical crime.

2). Legal Consequences

The legal consequences of plagiarism can also deal quite a significant blow to your career. You have to understand that copyright laws are written in stone, they are absolute. You are forbidden to steal another person’s work and claim it for yourself. This is a crime that is punishable by fine and a prison sentence.

3). Monetary Consequences

There have been plenty of situations where the author has been granted a monetary restitution for identifying that someone has stolen his or her work. The author can quite easily sue the plagiarist and win if he proves that his or her work has been indeed plagiarized; which can never bode well for the plagiarist and can end up being ridiculously expensive for him.

Also read: Hot tips on how to best manage your time as a student

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Avoiding plagiarism is quite simple and easy, all that it takes is a bit of time. And time is something you will always be given to turn in your assignment and term papers. In the light of this, mentioned below are some of the best and only ways to avoid being caught for plagiarism:

1). Paraphrasing

So, you have finally found something interesting that you can use to write your research paper. All you have to do is read and understand the information, rephrase everything and write it in your own words. It is important to understand that you should never copy verbatim in a sequence. And if you do, you will need to add question marks

2). Citation

Giving citation is a pretty effective way of ensuring that you do not plagiarize, not even by accident. When you’re following your research paper’s correct format, correctly incorporate the name of the author, the date of when he published his work, etc.

3). Citing your very Own Material

If you’re incorporating research materials that is yours, have used it in your class or anywhere else, it is quite important that you cite the information yourself as if you’re somebody else. It is strange I know, but if you don’t you will be held accountable for something that is known as ‘self-plagiarism’.

Author Bio
Sandy Clarksons is a professional copywriter and content manager at She is passionate about originality and offers tips and information to help others avoid plagiarism.

Related: Useful Tips and Resources for International Students

No comments:

Post a Comment