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The Cause and Effect of unethical Plagiarism

Updated on September 17, 2011

Introduction of Plagiarism

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is a criminal act of stealing other people’s ideas and information. A piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work. The word plagiarize derives from the Latin word “plagiārius”, which means “kidnapper”. The act of plagiarizing is taking someone’s work or ideas as if it were their own. Heavy punishment could be given if a person is caught plagiarising.

Normally general public, mostly students, would need to access in websites to get points and ideas to complete their work and assignment. Sometimes when they are lazy, they take a shortcut by cutting and pasting from the passage or article in the internet. Cut-and-paste method is not wrong but unfortunately, when they cut-and-paste, they sometimes forget to include the author’s name. By the time they realize that, either they might have the police knocking on their door or has been disqualified from the paper. It is actually sad to see these things happening to them

Not only students would plagiarize, but even working people does that. Since today’s technology is so advance, with the internet, various magazines and books that one can refer to, it is actually easy to get all the information that one want to find within a blink of an eye. So, some working people do plagiarize in their presentation as well. Not only in presentation, they might also plagiarize in their work which will then be submitted to their boss, and if coincidently the boss finds it nice, he would post it up and that time the work will be seen by the public. Then a random person would identify the work and eventually will report it to the authorities. At that point of time, when they are questioned, no matter what reasons they give will be unacceptable, as it is still considered as plagiarism.

Although it seems harmless when using another person’s information without him or her knowing and been acknowledged, just take a few seconds to think of that person’s feeling. How would you feel when someone take’s your work that you have spent a lot of time on, copies it and produce the same thing within in matter of seconds and worse of all, he claimed that information belongs to him, is actually injustice to the author of the information. Some authors even spend a huge sum of money in their researches and experiments, then talking about the endurance and challenges they have faced, and finally the research reaches to a conclusion with reliable results. Can you imagine how upset they will be if they find out that someone out there is plagiarising their materials?

Some famous people do plagiarize. For example, there was once a famous politician was accused for using a plagiarized speech. There was a huge havoc about this matter, and at last he was found not guilty. Even though he is clean but, look at the unnecessary trouble he has to go through to solve this issue, and it is just because of one speech. So, it is not worth it to go through such trouble just because you are unethical.

The act of plagiarism is wrong in the terms of laws, so an act of plagiarising can be fined for a sum of money, normally the rightful owner would sue the person who copied his information, so it will be a court case. It also depends on the people who sue because some of them may let that person go, otherwise they would want them to get in prison, or even get them into more severe punishment, especially with the copyrighted one. Other penalties are, disqualifications, obtaining a fail grade, and etc. Although these things can be solved with money, but money can’t buy everything, what about that person’s hatred towards you or the discomfort feeling after that incident?

Plagiarism also is equally useless as it does not bring any benefit to oneself because it does not involve thinking, and no credit goes to you as it is not your work. Then why waste more time in plagiarizing! This is a question to famous plagiarist “Do you think you can escape after plagiarising”? The answer is no! There’s a plagiarising detector software named VIPER which is available, and the accuracy of the detection is about 80%, so plagiarist please be beware.

In order to overcome this problem, the Malaysian society should educate the young ones about plagiarism and its bad effects to the society and to oneself. Although it seems worthless to teach youngsters about plagiarism, but think about when they grow up, they can think maturely and act maturely based to the situations. At that time, they would not be plagiarising as they would realize the importance of not plagiarising. As for a student who does assignments, it is an advice, please do change the points even a little bit so that it wouldn’t be totally identical with the real one and most importantly, add the author’s name.

So in order not to get yourself into trouble, it is better for you to state; from where you get that information, from which publisher, and most importantly; from who. People may say that; you have plagiarized their materials but, if you complete all the criteria that I have mentioned, then you should be fine. This is a message for authors; nobody’s perfect, so it doesn’t harm to lend a helping hand to those who is in need of help, especially students. Not everybody will plagiarize, most of the time they would just read your materials and make use of them to create a similar one as their work. In conclusion I hope each one of you today has lread to my little article about this matter, and for your information, this is not a plagiarized article.


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    • GT Ooi profile imageAUTHOR

      GT Ooi 

      6 years ago from Penang, Malaysia

      Thank you, with all these comments will further motivate me to write more article

    • klyyong profile image


      7 years ago

      Plagiarizing for school project may not make any havoc. When you do this for commercial reason, I think the originator might want to share the cake.

    • mrcan profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Underneath all of this, there has been a tremendous undercurrent of small artists having their work plagiarized and genuinely ripped off. For every million-selling recording artist that’s losing record sales to file sharing network (a notion that is up for debate), there are thousands of writers, artists and musicians that are having their content plagiarized that have no or limited access to attorneys and relief in the court system.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • kidsworld profile image


      7 years ago

      A good warning to those who likes to plagiarize !

    • umakeit profile image


      7 years ago

      Good info to share. Thanks.

    • beginners-dslr profile image


      7 years ago from Malaysia

      Plagiarism is unethical and may lead to law suit. To avoid plagiarism, we must give credit whenever we use another person’s idea, quotations or paraphrase carefully. Thanks for the article!

    • idex231 profile image


      7 years ago from MY

      Good reminder. Always remember to mention where the source of our reference and include the author's credit where necessary and we'd be one step further from plagiarism.

    • My Footprints profile image

      My Footprints 

      7 years ago from MY

      Good to know there is such a software to detect plagiarism. At least it provides some level of 'protection' for writers.

    • ilitek profile image


      7 years ago

      agreed need to include the credit from the originator.


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