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The Professional Legal and Personal Consequences of Plagiarism

  • January 15 2015
  • Comments Off on The Professional Legal and Personal Consequences of Plagiarism

The consequences of plagiarism can be professional, ethical, personal and legal. Plagiarism is essentially an act of fraud that involves stealing someone’s work and then lying about it afterward. In this day and age there is plenty of software that is available in order to catch plagiarists. This means that plagiarists are being caught at a rapid rate. Once someone is accused of plagiarism, they will likely always be looked at with suspicion. Plagiarists can be anyone including students, authors, journalists, professionals, and others. Here are some of the major professional and legal consequences of plagiarism.


Destroyed Professional Reputation

A professional such as a politician, businessperson or public figure may discover that the damage caused by plagiarizing will follow them for their whole career. Not only will professionals likely get fired from their job or be expected to step down from their current position; they will also probably have a hard time finding another equal job. Depending on the severity of the offense, as well as the stature of the plagiarist, their name may be completely ruined, which will mean that making any sort of meaningful career will be completely impossible for them.


Legal Repercussions

The legal repercussions of plagiarism are very serious. Copyright laws are totally absolute. A person can’t use someone else’s material without using references and citation. An author may decide to sue someone for plagiarism if they want to. In fact, some types of plagiarism are so serious that they can be a criminal offense, which may even lead to a substantial prison sentence. Those people who make a living on writing, such as authors or journalists, can be especially susceptible to issues of plagiarism. Those who are frequent writers must be incredibly vigilant in order to avoid plagiarizing someone else’s work and finding themselves in legal trouble. Writers should be very aware of copyright laws and strategies in order to avoid plagiarizing. Professional writers must keep in mind that plagiarizing is considered a serious ethical and even legal offense.


Destroyed Reputation as a Student

Being accused of plagiarism can result in a student being suspended or even expelled. It may cause their academic record to reflect the offense, which may cause the student to be stopped from being able to attend college. Colleges, universities and schools all take plagiarism as a major offense. The majority of educational institutions have some sort of personnel or committee in place in order to police students in academic integrity. Many schools won’t hesitate to suspend students, even for their first violation. If students are caught multiple times then they may even be expelled.


Academic Reputation Will Be Tarnished

The severe consequences of plagiarizing have been reported throughout the world of academics. One who has been tarnished with plagiarism allegations can have their academic career completely ruined. It is usually the case that publishing is an important part of having a prestigious academic career. However if caught plagiarizing, a person may lose the ability to be able to publish their work. This can mean the complete ruin and end to their academic position, as well as their reputation being thoroughly destroyed.


Monetary Repercussions

There are many articles and recent news reports out there that have exposed plagiarism by authors, public figures, journalists and researchers. In a situation where a journalist who is working for a magazine, publisher or newspaper, or even a university student who’s found plagiarizing at school, may have some sort of monetary penalty that is charged against them. This penalty will likely be quite substantial, and will increase the more serious that the plagiarism offense is. In fact, a serious plagiarism conviction may end up causing thousands of dollars as a penalty. Additionally, a huge monetary repercussion will fall on a plagiarist if the author of the plagiarized material sues him or her.


Research Plagiarism

Plagiarizing research is a very serious form of plagiarism. This is especially the case if the research is medical, as the consequence could mean the loss of lives. Research should never ever be plagiarized, as it is particularly serious.


The consequences that come with being caught for plagiarism are very broad and far-reaching. No one is immune to being caught plagiarizing. Neither having high stature nor being ignorant is an excuse from the legal and ethical ramifications of plagiarizing. Before someone goes ahead and attempts any type of writing project, it is beneficial to learn the ins and outs of what is considered plagiarism and how exactly to go about avoiding it. If there is any question as whether or not something is plagiarized then it is worth it to purchase a subscription to a plagiarism check or software that will detect any kind of plagiarism. Keep in mind that dishonesty and laziness can lead to a destroyed reputation, legal problems and the loss of a career.


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Cameron Mackey

Cameron is the Content Manager for the Vorongo Blog. He has spent three years in various content marketing roles. When he is not working with Vorongo he enjoys photography and hiking.

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