Plagiarism - Why It Is Bad And How To Avoid It

February 6, 2023, Comment off

Plagiarism: What It Is, Why It’s Bad and How to Avoid It

Plagiarism is a serious issue for any writer, whether you’re freelance or copywriting. It can not only lead to legal issues but also damage your reputation as a professional wordsmith. Plagiarising someone else’s work goes against the ethics of writing and could cost you dearly in terms of credibility and financial repercussions. In this article, we’ll explore what plagiarism is, why it’s bad, how to avoid accidental plagiarism and some helpful tools that will help make sure no one ever accuses you of copying another author’s content without permission. So let’s get started.

Table of Contents:

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. It can be intentional or unintentional, but it is a form of intellectual theft that can have serious consequences.

Plagiarism - Why It Is Bad And How To Avoid It

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary as “the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own:”. This includes copying another person’s words, thoughts, ideas, images, videos, audio recordings without giving credit to the original author or creator. It also applies to using information from an online source without citing the source properly.

Types of Plagiarism

There are several types of plagiarism including direct plagiarism (copying word-for-word), mosaic plagiarism (using phrases from different sources and combining them into one piece), self-plagiarism (recycling your own previously published work) and accidental plagiarism (unintentionally failing to cite a source).

Examples of Plagiarism

Direct Plagiarising – Taking another person’s exact words without giving credit to them. For example: If the line “The sky was blue with fluffy white clouds.” came from your favourite book, and you used it without citing the sentence, you would be committing direct plagiarising by claiming these words as your own when they were not written by you initially.

Mosaic Plagiarising – Combining phrases from multiple sources into one sentence while leaving out proper citations for each phrase used in the sentence. For example: If you took both “The sky was blue with fluffy white clouds,” and “Cotton candy clouds floated by,” and combined them as “The sky was blue with fluffy cotton candy clouds floating by,” you would be committing mosaic plagiarising since neither description belongs entirely to you alone but rather pieces taken from other authors who should receive proper credit for their work being used in yours.

Self-Plagiarising – Reusing parts or all of your previously published works, such as blog posts or articles in new publications, without providing citations to those original works. For example, if you wrote an article about cats last year and then rewrote it again this year with only minor changes, then that would be considered self-plagiarism since no new content has been added which makes it difficult for readers to distinguish between what is old content versus what is new content within the same article; thus making proper citation necessary, so readers know where each part originated from originally. Of course, in the world of blogging we recycle our own material frequently, but for academic papers, this can result in dire consequences.

Plagiarism is an act of fraud and should be avoided at all costs. To learn more about the implications of plagiarism, let’s explore why it is bad for writers in the next section.

Key Takeaway: Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. It can take many forms, such as direct plagiarising, mosaic plagiarising, self-plagiarising and accidental plagiarism. Writers should always cite sources to avoid any form of intellectual theft.

Why is Plagiarism Bad?

Whether for commercial gain, or to help pass academic writing reviews, plagiarism is a serious offence and should be avoided at all costs. It has legal, ethical, and professional implications that can have far-reaching consequences for those caught plagiarising.

Legal Implications of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is illegal in many countries as it violates copyright laws. In the United States, for example, plagiarising someone else’s work without their permission or citing them properly can result in hefty fines or even jail time depending on the severity of the offence.

Ethical Implications of Plagiarism

Apart from being illegal, plagiarism is also unethical as it involves taking credit for someone else’s hard work without giving them proper recognition or compensation. This not only robs them of their due credit but also undermines the integrity of their work by making it appear to be yours instead.

Professional Implications of Plagiarism

In addition to its legal and ethical implications, plagiarising can have serious professional repercussions such as losing reputation and credibility within your industry or field. If you are found guilty of plagiarising someone else’s work, then this could lead to potential employers questioning your ability to produce original content, damaging your prospects when applying for jobs in the future.

Plagiarism is bad for a variety of reasons, including legal, ethical and professional implications. Understanding the risks associated with plagiarism is essential to protect yourself as a writer. Next we’ll explore how to avoid accidental plagiarism.

Plagiarism - Why It Is Bad And How To Avoid It

How to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism?

Accidental plagiarism is a common mistake made by freelance writers, copywriters, blog owners and bloggers. It’s important to understand copyright laws and fair use policies so that you can avoid any potential legal issues. Copyright laws protect the original creator of content from having their work used without permission or credit. Fair use policies allow for limited use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching and research.

When citing sources properly and accurately, it’s important to include all relevant information such as author name(s), the title of the work, publication date and website URL (if applicable). This will help ensure that you give proper credit where it is due while avoiding accidental plagiarism.

Paraphrasing techniques can be useful when trying to convey an idea in your own words without directly copying someone else’s work. Paraphrasing involves taking a text or passage from another source and rewording it into your unique sentence structure while still conveying the same meaning as the original source material. Additionally, using quotation marks around direct quotes is always recommended when quoting someone else’s exact words in order to give them proper credit for their work.

There are many tools available online which can help with avoiding accidental plagiarism, such as citation generators which automatically generate citations based on inputted information about a particular source; grammar and spell checkers which help identify errors in spelling and grammar; and paraphrasing tools which offer suggestions on how to reword passages from other sources into your own unique writing style while still conveying the same message or idea behind the original text.

These tips should provide helpful guidance for anyone looking to avoid accidentally committing plagiarism in their writing projects or online posts/blogs. By understanding copyright laws and fair use policies, citing sources properly and accurately, and using paraphrasing techniques, freelance writers, copywriters, blog owners, and bloggers can ensure that they are not inadvertently plagiarising someone else’s work. Additionally, several online tools can help avoid accidental plagiarism, such as citation generators, grammar and spell checkers, and paraphrasing tools.

You can avoid accidental plagiarism by understanding copyright laws, citing sources properly and accurately, and using paraphrasing techniques. The next heading will discuss the tools available to help in this process.

Key Takeaway: Freelance writers, copywriters, blog owners and bloggers must understand copyright laws and fair use policies to avoid potential legal issues. Additionally, paraphrasing techniques, proper citations and online tools can help ensure that work is not plagiarised.

Tools to Help Avoid Accidental Plagiarism

Online Citation Generators are a great tool for writers to use when citing sources. They provide an easy way to create citations in various formats such as MLA, APA, and Chicago style. These generators can be found online and often offer step-by-step instructions on correctly citing sources. This ensures that all of the necessary information is included in the citation so that readers can easily find the original source material if they wish to do so.

Grammar and Spell Checkers are also useful tools for writers who want to avoid accidental plagiarism. These programs scan text for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax errors, which can help writers ensure their work is free from mistakes before submitting it or publishing it online. Many of these programs also have built-in plagiarism checkers, which will alert users if any parts of their writing appear similar or identical to existing content on the web. One of the best tools for this is Grammarly. 

Grammarly is an online grammar-checking, spell-checking, and plagiarism-detection platform developed by Grammarly, Inc. It is used by millions of people worldwide to improve their writing skills and accuracy. Grammarly’s plagiarism detection tool will find fragments from multiple sites at once, making it ideal for avoiding accusations of mosaic plagiarism. 

The Grammarly editor provides real-time feedback on grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure and more. It also offers suggestions on how to make your writing clearer and better. Also, Grammarly can detect if the text is plagiarised from another source and immediately alert you.

Another great plagiarism detection tool is Copyscape, which is particularly great for spotting text from academic writing. Copyscape will find pages that have been, partly or wholly, copied and highlight these matching sections for easy comparison to your work. 

Finally, Online Paraphrasing Tools are another helpful resource for avoiding accidental plagiarism while still utilising other people’s ideas in your own writing. These tools enable you to input a sentence or paragraph into a box and then generate new versions with different words that still convey the same meaning as the original text without manually rewriting everything yourself from scratch each time you need something paraphrased quickly.

Using the right tools to help avoid accidental plagiarism can be a great way to ensure that your writing is original and error-free. In the next section, we’ll look at how to conclude your work and offer some final thoughts on avoiding plagiarism.

Summary of Key Points:

To avoid accidental plagiarism, it’s important to understand copyright laws and fair use policies and cite sources properly and accurately. Additionally, paraphrasing techniques should be used when necessary. There are also several online tools such as citation generators, grammar checkers, and paraphrasing tools that can help writers ensure their work is original. Taking a minute to use a plagiarism detector can help make the difference between being seen as original and intelligent, or a wannabe imitator.

Writers need to take the time to ensure their work is free from any form of plagiarism in order to protect themselves from potential legal or professional repercussions. It is not enough just to rely on technology; writers must also understand how best to use these tools for maximum effectiveness in avoiding accidental plagiarism.

FAQs in Relation to Plagiarism

1. Direct Plagiarism:

This is the most obvious form of plagiarism, which involves taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own without giving credit to the original author. This sort of plagiarised content will result in website rankings taking a hit or disciplinaries from educational facilities and employers. 

2. Self-Plagiarism:

This occurs when a writer reuses portions of their previously published work in subsequent writings without citing themselves as the source. This tends to be an academic issue rather than a problem in the world of websites and blogging, where we might often recycle older content.

3. Mosaic Plagiarism:

Also known as patchwork plagiarism, this type involves taking phrases or sentences from other sources and combining them together to create something new without properly citing those sources. 

4. Accidental Plagiarism:

This happens when a writer unintentionally uses another person’s words or ideas without providing proper attribution due to a lack of knowledge about proper citation techniques or simply forgetting to cite sources correctly.

Can you go to jail for plagiarism?

Yes, plagiarism is a serious offence and can result in legal repercussions. Depending on the severity of the case, penalties for plagiarism may include fines, imprisonment or both. Plagiarising someone else’s work without their permission is considered copyright infringement and can be prosecuted under criminal law. It is essential always to give credit where it is due when using another person’s work to avoid potential legal consequences. However, simply giving credit will not give you the authority to use other peoples work freely. If in doubt, use a plagiarism checker and avoid using phrases that match any other source.

Why is plagiarism a crime?

Plagiarism is a serious crime that can have severe consequences. It involves taking someone else’s work and claiming it as your own without giving proper credit to the original author. Plagiarism is illegal in most countries, including the United States, and can lead to criminal charges if proven in court. Additionally, plagiarism can damage one’s reputation and credibility as an author or writer, leading to the potential loss of income or other opportunities. For these reasons, it is important for writers always to give credit where due and ensure that their work is properly attributed when using another person’s words or ideas.

What is plagiarism – 5 examples?

Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work without giving them credit. Examples include: copying another writer’s words or ideas and presenting them as your own; submitting a paper you did not write yourself; taking passages from an online source without citing it properly; paraphrasing content without providing a citation; and using images, music, or other media without permission. Plagiarism can have serious consequences, including legal action and academic penalties.

Can I be falsely accused of plagiarism?

Freelance writers will often be accused of having “too much plagiarism” in their work. From the client’s point of view, they believe they are seeing evidence of plagiarism. However, this may not be the case at all. It can be difficult to determine whether or not someone has copied another writer’s work without checking many sources and verifying information. In addition, many writers inadvertently repeat words and phrases they have read elsewhere without being aware that they are doing so, in the same way that people express themselves verbally with common idioms and phrases. While it can be disheartening if you know you did not copy the words you’ve used, tools like Grammarly’s plagiarism checker can let you spot these matches and tweak them until they no longer show as matches.


In conclusion, plagiarism is a serious issue that can have dire consequences for writers. It’s important to understand what it is and why it’s bad in order to avoid doing it accidentally. There are tools available to help you check your work for any potential instances of plagiarism to ensure your writing is original and unique. Taking the time to use these tools will ensure that you don’t run into any issues with plagiarism and can continue creating great content without worry or fear.

Many struggle to write without plagiarism, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools, styles and techniques, you can write more effectively while avoiding any potential pitfalls associated with plagiarism. If you’re looking to make money online through your writing skills, learning to stay away from unoriginal content is key. Make use of plagiarism checkers, including the new suite of AI detection tools that also scan for plagiarism, and make sure you’re on the right path. Start exploring resources that provide tips on recognising and combating plagiarism and hone your unique style of expression!