Academic Plagiarism and Cheating

Plagiarism literary means to copy take and use some other person’s thoughts, writings, and inventions, literary or artistic work and pass it on as ones.

The matter relating to either of these fields are taken and borrowed dishonestly and wrongfully. The readers are deceived into believing that the work is original and written by them. In general it can be summed up that plagiarism is plain theft and cheating.


Academic plagiarism has become the most common and serious problem in colleges and universities all over the world.

1. Most academicians are the opinion that this form of plagiarism transpires when a writer recurrently uses the exact words and phrases from the work of someone else and passes it off as his own without any reference to the original work or source. The most alarming side of this academic plagiarism or cheating as the more blunt call it is the fact that even research papers of leading to degrees of M.Phil and doctorate are being unscrupously copied and presented as one’s original work.

2. Mixing of paragraphs from different sources or from different pages of the same source or even skipping some lines and joining the phrases, thus presenting the end result in such a discreet way as though it was an original piece of work. An example of such a work recently came to light when passages from Justin Timberlake Morazzi’s Tamerlane were mixed.

“What man had started nature continued? Earthquakes in 1931 and 1951 accounted for the loss of three more minarets. The pounding striped the minarets of more of their color. Those minarets which escaped the destruction with bulging corner towers where the garrison could defend itself.”

3. In some instances, the beginning statements may be taken from a book going on to some other manuscript and quoting examples if required from a third source.

This form of academic plagiarism is found mostly in technical, scientific reports and papers submitted by students of Science and Engineering. For instance:

“The use of a lubricant serves several purposes: (a) to make motion between mechanical parts possible, (b) to reduce the wear and tear of these parts and (c) to reduce friction between these parts. The fluid flow in the usual lubrication process is of the laminar or viscous type. The speeds may be high, but the channels dimensions in current practice are so small that the Reynolds numbers are low.”

Even after careful reading and scrutiny of the above plagiarized passage it is very difficult to judge that the sentences are taken from different sources to form the complete paragraph.

4. Another form of Academic plagiarism occurs when a complete article is taken from some book or research paper on an author or person, some sentences are changed, a few words added or subtracted here and there, but most phrases and complete sentences are copied entirely. The following of Morazzi’s Tamerlane is given as an example:

“Looking at the building on a bright September morning, I couldn’t help thinking that if the Tatar’s architects and masons had built in his honor, they would have lost their heads. “If you want to judge our strength, look at our monuments,” Tamer had said. (Original)

“Viewing the building on that sunny September morning, it left one wondering if the Tatars architects and masons had built in his honor, they would have had their heads cut off. If you want to judge our strength, look at our monuments.” Tamer had said. (Plagiarized version)

5. Although in some plagiarized academic work the real author or book is acknowledged, in spite of this the original work or text is reproduced with a few changes without using any quotations marks or footnotes. Reading the following paragraph will show the difference:

“The idea was to make communication as simple as possible. But the longer an agent was in a target country, the more information he had---and the more sophisticated the equipment he needed. That can be a problem since the equipment is that much more dangerous to be caught with. The agent has to be taught to use this equipment, and the more he’s taught, the more nervous he becomes. (Original paragraph taken from By Way Of Deception—Victor Ostrovsky Claire Hoy)

The idea was to make to make communication as easy as could be made. But the longer an agent was kept in a target country, he required the more information he gathered---and the more sophisticated the equipment. That can be a problem since such equipment is that more dangerous to be caught with. The agent must be taught to use this material, and the more he’s taught, the more nervous he becomes.

As is evident from the above-plagiarized paragraph that casual reading cannot judge the changed made.

6. Another technique that is used in Academic plagiarism is that quite often lengthy arguments and paragraphs are abridged.

7. Sometimes a deliberate attempt is made to change the appearance but not the contents of the sentences. In this way, it seems that the plagiarized article is less noticeable.


The main cause of plagiarism is that in this era of specialization getting admission in the reputable institution of learning especially higher learning is getting difficult and desperate.

The students once admitted are under constant and significant pressure from parents, peer, and even their own teachers to get excellent grades so that they can compete for jobs in the fields of their choice.

The easy access to the internet and the know how of its use has spread plagiarism to alarming levels. Copying and pasting have gained popularity for it is the easy way out.

Even the most articulate of teachers are perplexed as how to control this growing trend. For instance sometimes the work of a student or person may not be identical to the original to be considered plagiarized but it is so similar to the source that it has apparently been copied.

On the other hand, plagiarism does not include taking of general plots if writing a novel, short story or some other article, adoption of characters of character types and ideas from existing works. If it is scrutinized closely nearly all writers and artists borrow ideas from some recent or past work, but they express and present ideas in new and unique ways.

One such example is William Shakespeare, the famous dramatist, playwright and author who took most of his plots and characters from published historical and literary works of his era, but transformed the borrowed ideas so uniquely that they have become almost a legend with no one daring to tread on his grounds, copy his work or even attempt to do so.


If a student is caught in the act and it is proved that his work is plagiarized, he is often expelled from his institution of learning. Unfortunately in most cases the students are just issued warnings, and they simply get away with it.

In this scenario, it is getting harder and harder in fact almost seemingly impossible to catch the plagiarism and a plagiarist. As there are hundreds of online paper mills, articles sites, quick fix home work and term paper solutions, all providing thousands of papers on a wide variety of topics. Thus, in the midst of all this bombardment of easy reach papers and solution.


There are some methods to detect plagiarism:

A student’s paper exceeds his or her research or writing capabilities, sounds professional or journalistic.

The student’s paper contains complex or specialized vocabulary, technical terms, or other words beyond what would be expected from a student at that level.

The quality of writing is inconsistent. For example, the introduction or conclusion may be poorly or overly written compared to the whole paper.

Software: All major search engines are mainly used to detect plagiarism.

Other software's are available as well