Plagiarism is the act of using the content created by someone else without acknowledging their ownership. Plagiarists frequently claim that the stolen content is their own. So, in essence, plagiarism is not only theft but also fraud.
Stealing content and using it for your own benefit is not something new, it has been around forever and has been a problem for a long time. However, in the modern-day committing plagiarism has become much easier than before. Thanks to the internet, a myriad of online published articles is available to the average person.
This easy access to information makes it easier to steal, however, the very same technology has made it easier to detect plagiarism as well. But first, we must ask ourselves why is detecting plagiarism important.
Why Detecting Plagiarism is Important?
At its core, plagiarism is an act of dishonesty. A person committing plagiarism is trying to get benefits using work they have not created themselves. This is unfair to the real authors and as such, plagiarism should be discouraged.
To discourage plagiarism, there are a number of punishments put in place that aim to deter bad actors. The thing is that these consequences are the same for all types of plagiarism. Meaning that even if there was accidental plagiarism, the innocent perpetrator would face the same repercussions.
You might be thinking that does not sound too bad, but maybe you will change your mind once you know how bad some of these consequences are. So, let’s take a look.
One of the worst offenders of plagiarism is students. They either don’t know or don’t understand what plagiarism is, so they unknowingly do it a lot.
However, that is against academic integrity. So institutes make a lot of effort to deter students from committing plagiarism. Some punishments they levy on offenders are:
- Failing students in their course
- Cutting marks off for committing plagiarism
- Suspension of the student
- In severe cases, the student is expelled
- May put students on a blacklist that warns other colleges/institutes to not give admission to the expelled students
For people who write for a living such as journalists, and authors of books, plagiarism has some grave consequences. Since professionals are aware of plagiarism, they only commit it either maliciously, or by coincidence.
Some consequences for professionals are as follows:
- Getting fired from their job
- Shattered reputation, which makes it harder to find a job in the same field
- May have to pay fines as well
The loss of employment and inability to find a new one is enough to end a man, so committing plagiarism is a very serious affair.
Committing plagiarism can open you up for lawsuits. That’s because plagiarism frequently results in copyright infringement. The original owner of the content (s) can sue the plagiarist for stealing their content and infringing on their copyright.
Such cases are usually quite open and shut, meaning they are very simple. The plagiarist almost always loses such cases and they end up paying a hefty sum of money to the original author.
So, from all of that, you now know how serious the consequences of plagiarism are. From that discussion, it should be apparent to you why detecting plagiarism is important. It is because
- To prevent dishonesty and undeserved success
- To save oneself from getting punished for accidental/coincidental plagiarism
So, how do you detect plagiarism?
How to Detect Plagiarism?
Detecting plagiarism is very easy due to the existence of something known as a plagiarism detector. A plagiarism detector is an online tool that can check some content against online sources or an internal database to check and see if any plagiarism has occurred.
So, to detect plagiarism, you need to browse the web and find yourself a good plagiarism detector. There are plenty of tools available online, but you should only use the ones that rank near the top.
Steps for Using a Plagiarism Detector
Most plagiarism detectors all follow the same design and have very similar steps for using them. So, here are the steps that are required to use a plagiarism detector effectively.
1. Enter Your Content into the Tool
Whether you are a teacher checking a student’s work, or a person making sure that your content is completely unique, the steps for using a plagiarism checker are the same.
So, the first thing you need to do is to enter your content into the plagiarism detector. Most plagiarism detectors have a really noticeable text box that you can copy-paste your content in.
They may also have a button or icon that says “upload”. By clicking on that you can upload a file from your device to check for plagiarism.
So, whatever, method suits you, go with that.
2. Prompt the Tool to Check Your Content
Once your content has been entered correctly, you just need to do one simple thing; press the button that says “Check Plagiarism”.
Different tools may have different text on the button, but it will always be very straightforward, so you won’t be confused.
We have used some content from one of our own articles to show you how plagiarism detectors work. In the next step, you will see the results.
3. Read the Report to Find the Plagiarism
Any plagiarism detector worth its salt will provide a proper report at the end of the checking process. This report contains important information such as:
- The exact amount of plagiarism in the content
- Highlight the plagiarized content in some way
- Provide you with the sources that the content is stolen from
With this information, it is easy to see if the work has any plagiarism in it or not. And if you are someone who was trying to make sure that your content is unique, then with this information you will be able to do that as well.
And that’s how you use a plagiarism detector to check for plagiarism.
From this article, you should have learned what is plagiarism, what are some of its consequences, and how those consequences make it important to check for it. If someone is caught for plagiarism, depending on their situation, their career could be over.
So, it is important to protect yourself, and that’s why you should use tools to check for plagiarism. We discussed how to use a plagiarism checker, so put that information to good use.