What Do You Know About Plagiarism?

Nowadays almost every person uses the products of other people's intellectual labour in some way. However, some people may only take the main idea from the basis, and others may download a few articles from the internet, combine texts and an adequate work appears. Everyone's familiar with the cases of plagiarism. But what's usually included in this term?


What Is Plagiarism?

Humanity build their knowledge on the experience of previous generations. So, it is kind of natural thing to borrow and adopt different ideas. That's how progress works. Nevertheless, you should differ borrowing from stealing others ideas. There are numerous international laws that sustain intellectual property rights.  For example, there is the World Intellectual Property Organization, that keeps this rights under observation. Despite all of the measures, there are always people who tend to  convert someone's ideas into their own. That's what the plagiarism is.

what is plagiarism

The most common problem for the field of intellectual property is to determine if the fact of plagiarism was intentional. It is said that good ideas are always in the air – there are only 7 notes in music, and physical laws are common for everybody. So, maybe it is hopeless to accuse musicians and poets in plagiarism, when we can enjoy their art work instead. It is quite a severe dilemma as you can see.

Defining plagiarism

The easiest way to define plagiarism in the text is to use plagiarism detector software. It is a irreplaceable thing to have not only for teachers and students but for web masters and businessmen who order articles created by copywriters. Originality is becoming a crucial demand for promotion on the internet, even Search Engines try to reconsider their services in order to define plagiarism.

Plagiarism definition

plagiarism is

The term "plagiarism” in modern definition appeared in 17 century. In Roman Civil law “plagium” (literally “abduction”) meant to sell into slavery. Prior to modern definition, plagiarism in literature had a name “plagium litterarium”. Now it is said that there are only about 32 plots in literature that are original. And all others are only variations, that's why it is more important how it is written,  then what is written. More specifically, legends about Faust were popular all aver Europe, however, Goethe has created his own literary character.

What is not considered as plagiarism?

To use some fragments from other works is not considered illegal, if a work has proper structured citation and references. Of course, it's impossible not to have some ideas or concepts in common with other authors, and it is absolutely ok to explain different point of view, it can even strengthen your argument.

Main hallmarks to indicate plagiarism

Stealing others ideas is a key bane for a modern information-driven decade. It is surprising, but there are “thieves” who win more often rather then original authors, just because they have declared their “stolen ideas” earlier. This problem has led to the creation of strict regulation system in terms of stealing ideas. Thus, how to differ harmless citation from stealing ideas?

There are experts who are specialized on the analysis of different art works in terms of their similarity. They take into account several features to define if a particular work constitutes plagiarism in writing, for example:

  • style of work
  • proper format of quotation, if in a text
  • data of publication
  • matching of a material to author's social positioning as well as his philosophy
  • absence of reference to an original source
  • discrepancy in artistic device, scientific methods

It is clear that there are different approaches applied for every case. Of course, it is always the form of content that is analyzed while defining plagiarism in writing. 


Punishment for plagiarism information

Plagiarism is considered to be breach of the law, that's why the penalty should be relevant. If the experts say that the work is plagiarized  the offender would have to make amends to aggrieved person. And in some cases the offender can even be imprisoned.

However, the most commonly used measure for now is to redress for the non-pecuniary damage, and the overall sum is always quite significant.


Read also: Overview: the Types of Plagiarism You Should Be Aware of

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