5 Common Consequences of Plagiarism

Mike Deep • January 16, 2019

You have probably listened to a song and thought in your mind, “I’ve heard these lines somewhere else”; when that happens, it lowers the credibility of the singer in your mind and that’s the case or worse with most cases of plagiarism.

Whenever you submit an article, research work or even a school term paper under your own name, it is commonly accepted as your original work unless you indicate to the contrary; omitting these ‘indications’ is often the difference between a plagiarist and a non-plagiarist. Let me get straight to explaining what plagiarism is; Plagiarism is the arrogation of someone else’s work (Pictures, music, video, writings, computer codes etc.) whether intentionally or unintentionally by incorporating these works into your own without giving credit to the original source or owner (Fun Fact: Plagiarism was gotten from the Latin Word Plagiarius which means abductor, thief or kidnapper).

Yale University defines plagiarism as the “… use of another’s work, words, or ideas without attribution,” which includes “… using a source’s language without quoting, using information from a source without attribution, and paraphrasing a source in a form that stays too close to the original.” The U.S. Naval Academy defines plagiarism as “the use of the words, information, insights, or ideas of another without crediting that person through proper citation.”[26]. The U.S. Laws consider recorded original ideas as intellectual property and they are afforded copyright protection.

Plagiarism is considered a serious offense by professional authorities because a plagiarist is seen as someone who lacks intellectual integrity and associating or having a connection to these plagiarists directly affects the integrity of these professional authorities or companies. Intensive sensitization on plagiarism has been employed across a lot of colleges and universities around the world in the hopes students become cognizant of the stakes of plagiarism as the penalties for submitting plagiarized contents are clearly outlined in these schools’ rules and regulations. The stakes or consequences of committing plagiarism are greatly increased as your level of professionalism and exposure increases. I know writing original content takes a lot of time and work and sometimes we are pressed for both nut due to the gravity with which plagiarism is punished, this article’s intention is that you have a rethink and run proper checks or screening to avoid submitting plagiarized content; I’ll outline 5 of the most common consequences of plagiarism below:

Student or scholarly Penalties

Plagiarism when discovered amongst students whether undergraduate or postgraduate levels is seen as unethical and in some cases, student first time offenders are  treated lightly and given a warning, but some disciplinary bodies treat every offender the same; it is common practice that a course work found to be plagiarized is not given a score higher than an F meaning that the student will definitely repeat the course work, also in the case of a thesis, whether at MSC or Ph.D. level, the work is destroyed (thereby the student loses already expended resources) and this is even more seriously regarded because these works are intended for publication and there’s no place for plagiarism in any line, page or chapter of the entire work. Plagiarism indicates academic laziness and is not tolerated at any level within the academic environment. More serious disciplinary cases involve fining the students, detention or community service, reduced qualifications, giving the student suspension or in some cases, students found guilty of plagiarism can be expelled.

Makes People Subject to Ridicule

Plagiarism provides a wide doorway for unsavory words like disrespect, ridicule, and criticism to enter into a person’s carefully nurtured persona or reputation. The question asked isn’t whether the plagiarism was intentional or unintentional as ignorance is rarely an excuse anyways, the plagiarist is usually publicly prosecuted and all their past work and brilliance undermined or looked at as someone else’s brilliance. High Profile cases in the past few years includes rapper Drake paying $100,000 to Rappin’ 4-Tay as settlement for using lines from Rappin’ 4-Tay’s song “Playas club” as reported on Pitchfork magazine or the widely publicized Melania Trump plagiarism case where she was accused of lifting two passages from a speech given in 2008 by Michelle Obama.

Plagiarism really sticks to your professional career

Employers are less likely to employ someone with a track record of laziness and lack of integrity. Since plagiarists are seen as intellectual thieves, you can imagine what that would do to a company’s teamwork when someone consistently steals ideas from coworkers as this would breed discontent, distrust and less openness to usually progressive discussion amongst colleagues. That’s an eventuality that most employers work hard to avoid because having a fully functional and harmonious team is one of the strengths of any successful organization. In the event that plagiarism was discovered while in office, the consequences could range from a formal warning with an apology to the offended party, disrespect and taunts from coworkers, fines, to getting sacked without referrals. It’s important you avoid plagiarism as it is a blot that is difficult to erase once it gets stuck on you.

Plagiarism affects your School Or Workplace

While the aforementioned consequences have been on the penalties and consequence individual committing the fraudulent act of plagiarism (and yes, plagiarists have it coming), there’s a far-reaching and consequential consequence of a person’s plagiarism on the body he/she represents; whether it’s a school, a workplace or a news outlet. A student or employee is seen as a product of the body they represent and the degree issued to the student is an embodiment of the values attained from their academic institutions. Therefore, if a student gets away with submitting plagiarized works, articles or a thesis publication and it’s later discovered, the institution’s reputation and brand will be tarnished in the process. This is also true of companies who release services or webpages which contain plagiarized content, the blame isn’t placed solely on the employee who produced the article or services but it’s extended to the employers or company involved. This is a direct effect and cannot be avoided so it’s usually essential that academic and professional institutions input more into assessing content before it is publicized. There are a lot of good plagiarism checkers online and I’ll address and recommend a few I’ve tried successfully before the end of this article.

Reduced Website SEO Scores

The ease and ubiquitous nature of technology have brought a lot of materials to people quickly and as a result, people cut and join pieces from other articles to make up theirs. Google’s algorithm ranks content on the web in order to assure that once a Google user searches a keyword on Google, he gets the most informative and accurate results. SEO Score is a major factor in improving online business growth and visibility to customers and avoiding Google penalties is one way to get a great SEO score. Ranking for SEO score, Google ensures that webpages with higher SEO scores are those that provide added values to its users. If all you have done is copy the contents of another article, Google usually displays the oldest version and places your unoriginal article way down the line unless theirs is a serious dearth of topics or content in the selected keyword. Google respects your diligence in providing its users with entirely unique content and this is usually rewarded with improved SEO scores and better search rankings. Take note, the reverse is the case if you plagiarize or worse, your website may end up in the list of omitted results.

Forms of plagiarism include the following; Self-plagiarism, Copying someone’s work verbatim, copying and pasting from an internet source without crediting the owner, using inaccurate citations, paraphrasing by changing a few words in a sentence, failure to indicate assistance or collusion in producing your work, Failing to cite sources in journalism.

Here are a few of my most recommended online plagiarism checkers to enable you to produce better quality articles or services:


Plagramme is a very nice plagiarism checker with an easy and aesthetic user interface. Register your email to access its features for free and even its premium features can be used by sharing Plagramme on social media. Cool fact, Plagramme is multilingual (about 129 languages) plagiarism checker and runs on every computer operating system efficiently. Quick plagiarism checker and lets you check similarity scores, paraphrases and evaluates for use of bad links.

Avoiding plagiarism is necessary to maintain your intellectual integrity because even in situations where the work is submitted or used successfully, further along with the line in your career these cases of plagiarism may be discovered and used to throw doubt on the authenticity and trustworthiness of all of your previous and even future works. Produce the best quality of work you can at every level and by applying more time, effort, planning and noting down sources, you’ll realize making original content is easier than you first thought it was and in the case of internet publications, you will boost your SEO scores and aid the visibility of your blog or website; practicing the proper use of quotation marks, citations and referral links where necessary does your SEO scores and consequently, your Google rankings and reputation a whole lot of good.