The consequences of plagiarism vary depending on the type of plagiarism and the context in which it occurs. For example, submitting a whole essay by someone else will usually have severe consequences, while accidental citation errors are considered less serious.
If you’re a student, then you might fail the course, be suspended or expelled, or be obligated to attend a workshop on plagiarism. It depends on whether it’s your first offence or you’ve done it before.
As an academic or professional, plagiarising seriously damages your reputation. You might also lose your research funding and/or your job, and you could even face legal consequences for copyright infringement.
However, paraphrasing is not plagiarism if you correctly reference the source. This means including an in-text citation and a full reference, formatted according to your required citation style (e.g. Harvard, Vancouver).
As well as referencing your source, make sure that any paraphrased text is completely rewritten in your own words.
Accidental plagiarism is one of the most common types of plagiarism. Perhaps you forgot to cite a source, or paraphrased something a bit too closely. Maybe you can’t remember where you got an idea from and aren’t totally sure if it’s original or not.
These all count as plagiarism, even though you didn’t do it on purpose. When in doubt, make sure you’re referencing your sources. Also consider running your work through a plagiarism checker tool prior to submission. These tools work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts.
The accuracy depends on the plagiarism checker you use. Per our in-depth research, Scribbr is the most accurate plagiarism checker. Many free plagiarism checkers fail to detect all plagiarism or falsely flag text as plagiarism.
The accuracy is determined by two factors: the algorithm (which recognises the plagiarism) and the size of the database (with which your document is compared). Plagiarism checkers work by using advanced database software to scan for matches between your text and existing texts.
Many free plagiarism checkers only check your paper against websites – not against books, journals, or papers previously submitted by other students. Therefore, these plagiarism checkers are not very accurate, as they miss a lot of plagiarism.
Most plagiarism checkers are only able to detect ‘direct plagiarism‘, or instances where the sentences are exactly the same as in the original source. However, a good plagiarism checker is also able to detect ‘patchwork plagiarism‘ (sentences where some words are changed or synonyms are used).
Plagiarism can be detected by your professor or readers if the tone, formatting, or style of your text is different in different parts of your paper, or if they’re familiar with the plagiarised source.
Many universities also use plagiarism detection software like Turnitin’s, which compares your text to a large database of other sources, flagging any similarities that come up.
It can be easier than you think to commit plagiarism by accident. Consider using a plagiarism checker prior to submitting your essay to ensure you haven’t missed any citations.
Some examples of plagiarism include:
Global plagiarism means taking an entire work written by someone else and passing it off as your own. This can include getting someone else to write an essay or assignment for you, or submitting a text you found online as your own work.
Global plagiarism is one of the most serious types of plagiarism because it involves deliberately and directly lying about the authorship of a work. It can have severe consequences for students and professionals alike.
Verbatim plagiarism means copying text from a source and pasting it directly into your own document without giving proper credit.
If the structure and the majority of the words are the same as in the original source, then you are committing verbatim plagiarism. This is the case even if you delete a few words or replace them with synonyms.
Patchwork plagiarism, also called mosaic plagiarism, means copying phrases, passages, or ideas from various existing sources and combining them to create a new text. This includes slightly rephrasing some of the content, while keeping many of the same words and the same structure as the original.
While this type of plagiarism is more insidious than simply copying and pasting directly from a source, plagiarism checkers like Turnitin’s can still easily detect it.
To avoid plagiarism in any form, remember to reference your sources.
Yes, reusing your own work without citation is considered self-plagiarism. This can range from resubmitting an entire assignment to reusing passages or data from something you’ve handed in previously.
Self-plagiarism often has the same consequences as other types of plagiarism. If you want to reuse content you wrote in the past, make sure to check your university’s policy or consult your professor.
If you are reusing content or data you used in a previous assignment, make sure to cite yourself. You can cite yourself the same way you would cite any other source: simply follow the directions for the citation style you are using.
Keep in mind that reusing prior content can be considered self-plagiarism, so make sure you ask your instructor or consult your university’s handbook prior to doing so.
Most institutions have an internal database of previously submitted student assignments. Turnitin can check for self-plagiarism by comparing your paper against this database. If you’ve reused parts of an assignment you already submitted, it will flag any similarities as potential plagiarism.
Online plagiarism checkers don’t have access to your institution’s database, so they can’t detect self-plagiarism of unpublished work. If you’re worried about accidentally self-plagiarising, you can use Scribbr’s Own Sources Checker to upload your unpublished documents and check them for similarities.
Plagiarism has serious consequences and can be illegal in certain scenarios.
While most of the time plagiarism in an undergraduate setting is not illegal, plagiarism or self-plagiarism in a professional academic setting can lead to legal action, including copyright infringement and fraud. Many scholarly journals do not allow you to submit the same work to more than one journal, and if you do not credit a coauthor, you could be legally defrauding them.
Even if you aren’t breaking the law, plagiarism can seriously impact your academic career. While the exact consequences of plagiarism vary by institution and severity, common consequences include a lower grade, automatically failing a course, academic suspension or probation, and even expulsion.
Self-plagiarism means recycling work that you’ve previously published or submitted as an assignment. It’s considered academic dishonesty to present something as brand new when you’ve already gotten credit and perhaps feedback for it in the past.
If you want to refer to ideas or data from previous work, be sure to cite yourself.
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Yes, if your document is longer than 30,000 words, you will get a sample of approximately 2,000 words. This sample edit gives you a first impression of the editor’s editing style and a chance to ask questions and give feedback.
You will receive the sample edit within 24 hours after placing your order. You then have 24 hours to let us know if you’re happy with the sample or if there’s something you would like the editor to do differently.
Yes, you can upload your document in sections.
We try our best to ensure that the same editor checks all the different sections of your document. When you upload a new file, our system recognizes you as a returning customer, and we immediately contact the editor who helped you before.
However, we cannot guarantee that the same editor will be available. Your chances are higher if
Please note that the shorter your deadline is, the lower the chance that your previous editor is not available.
If your previous editor isn’t available, then we will inform you immediately and look for another qualified editor. Fear not! Every Scribbr editor follows the Scribbr Improvement Model and will deliver high-quality work.
Yes, our editors also work during the weekends and holidays.
Because we have many editors available, we can check your document 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, all year round.
If you choose a 72 hour deadline and upload your document on a Thursday evening, you’ll have your thesis back by Sunday evening!
Yes! Our editors are all native speakers, and they have lots of experience editing texts written by ESL students. They will make sure your grammar is perfect and point out any sentences that are difficult to understand. They’ll also notice your most common mistakes, and give you personal feedback to improve your writing in English.
Every Scribbr order comes with our award-winning Proofreading & Editing service, which combines two important stages of the revision process.
You might be familiar with a different set of editing terms. To help you understand what you can expect at Scribbr, we created this table:
|Types of editing||Available at Scribbr?|
Correction of superficial mistakes, such as typos, misspellings, punctuation errors and consistency errors.
This is the “proofreading” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with editing.
Focus on grammar, syntax, style, tone and the conventions of the field. The editor also considers the internal logic of the text and flags any obvious contradictions.
This is the “editing” in Scribbr’s standard service. It can only be selected in combination with proofreading.
Focus on language, style, concision and choices. The editor helps you strengthen your story, polish your sentences and ensure that your use of language drives home your ideas.
Select the Structure Check and Clarity Check to receive a comprehensive edit equivalent to a line edit.
|Developmental editing (i.e. content editing, substantive editing)
This is the first step of the editing process and applies to very early drafts. The editor helps you structure your ideas, decide what story to tell and find direction for your writing.
This kind of editing involves heavy rewriting and restructuring. Our editors cannot help with this.
When you place an order, you can specify your field of study and we’ll match you with an editor who has familiarity with this area.
However, our editors are language specialists, not academic experts in your field. Your editor’s job is not to comment on the content of your dissertation, but to improve your language and help you express your ideas as clearly and fluently as possible.
This means that your editor will understand your text well enough to give feedback on its clarity, logic and structure, but not on the accuracy or originality of its content.
Good academic writing should be understandable to a non-expert reader, and we believe that academic editing is a discipline in itself. The research, ideas and arguments are all yours – we’re here to make sure they shine!
After your document has been edited, you will receive an email with a link to download the document.
The editor has made changes to your document using ‘Track Changes’ in Word. This means that you only have to accept or ignore the changes that are made in the text one by one.
It is also possible to accept all changes at once. However, we strongly advise you not to do so for the following reasons:
You choose the turnaround time when ordering. We can return your dissertation within 24 hours, 3 days or 1 week. These timescales include weekends and holidays. As soon as you’ve paid, the deadline is set, and we guarantee to meet it! We’ll notify you by text and email when your editor has completed the job.
Very large orders might not be possible to complete in 24 hours. On average, our editors can complete around 13,000 words in a day while maintaining our high quality standards. If your order is longer than this and urgent, contact us to discuss possibilities.
Always leave yourself enough time to check through the document and accept the changes before your submission deadline.
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Yes, in the order process you can indicate your preference for American, British, or Australian English.
If you don’t choose one, your editor will follow the style of English you currently use. If your editor has any questions about this, we will contact you.