Facts about plagiarism

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As has been stated, plagiarism is a growing problem and one with which schools, colleges and universities are increasingly concerned.

It is thought that a high percentage of students cheat in some way during their academic career (as high as 80%) and that now access to the Internet is a way of life, cheating is that much easier.

You can very easily check for plagiarism yourself by using an online plagiarism checker like 'Viper' which will produce a report for you highlighting incidences of plagiarism of different types in different colours so you can fix it before your school, college or university even sees it. The service is free and very easy to use.

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It is true that plagiarism is sometimes overlooked by academic institutions because students mean money and in the current financial climate, no-one wants to lose students or to 'rock the boat'. This doesn't mean, though, that you should feel that plagiarism is okay because even your academic body doesn't want to know about it. You can never be sure what the consequences of plagiarism will be. Plagiarism damages everyone concerned with it and ultimately, as with all cheating, the only one you fool is yourself.

A few final words of encouragement, though - the following, used correctly, are not cheating or plagiarism:

The key words here are 'as a guide', in other words, they can be consulted but not passed off as your own.

The fear of plagiarism should never prevent you from availing yourself of every academic aid available in the appropriate manner. You just need to understand the difference between consultation and copying and adhere to the rules very strictly. It is possible to use all the above resources effectively whilst still avoiding any charge of plagiarism.

Avoiding plagiarism

Getting caught:

Cheating is not a new crime - there have always been and always will be cheats. However, you should be aware that if you are caught plagiarising, you risk being severely punished and it is simply not a risk worth taking. What you gain from academic life can never be taken from you and you should not risk losing a golden opportunity by plagiarising: ultimately, no-one gains from it and you will have shown yourself to be unworthy of the trust your academic institution has placed in you.

Consequences of plagiarism

There is an old saying that 'cheats never prosper' and however you may try to convince yourself otherwise, it's true!

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