Plagiarism is a term used by universities and not by the Virginia Code that means taking someone else’s work or idea and passing it off as your own. The definition of what a university considers plagiarism is going to vary depending on the university and its code of conduct, but the general definition is when a person passes somebody else’s work off as their own.
For those accused of plagiarism, there are often a number of serious university-related punishments including suspension or expulsion involved. Additionally, there may be criminal implications that go along with plagiarism, especially related to copyright law, a patent, or the stealing of somebody’s ideas. This is all intellectual property law, which is considered a white-collar crime and can be a serious felony, depending on the circumstances of the situation.
With this in mind, anyone accused of plagiarism should be familiar with what they are facing and consult with a defense attorney as well to ensure that the harm is minimized as much as possible and strong defense is built. For more on the impact of plagiarism or other charges, visit our student defense resources page.
Plagiarism is considered in the same realm as cheating and fabrication since most universities lump all of those together. Specifically, plagiarism falls into the same category as cheating, lying, and stealing, but it usually means presenting words, an entire work or paper, or somebody’s opinion or idea without acknowledging the person.
Plagiarism could be as simple as quoting somebody’s work without including the citation. It depends on how the specific university’s code of conduct defines plagiarism, but the general idea is using somebody else’s ideas without giving them credit.
Not giving the writer proper credit when using their ideas could be considered plagiarism, even if they did not intend to plagiarize in the first place. The intent is not important; it is whether or not a person properly gave credit to somebody else’s ideas or whether they attempted to pass them off as their own. Sometimes, this could be because the accused improperly cited or failed to cite a sentence or two. It could be accidental in some cases, but whenever a person arranges material a certain way and does not give somebody credit, that is also considered plagiarism.
Somebody could be accused of plagiarism if they used somebody else’s ideas and did not give them credit for it. Passing someone’s paper off as their own or using somebody’s actual writing and turning it into their own document are all examples of plagiarism.
Plagiarism on an individual’s record will definitely be a black mark against them in the academic world. Sometimes, plagiarism is taken so seriously and is so egregious that the university might expel a student or put the student on administrative suspension, which will stay on their academic record. Other schools will see the record, which will decrease the likelihood of being able to work within the academic world. If a person is pursuing higher education, they might think that the student will be misappropriating individual’s ideas and passing them off as their own without giving credit to the original source.
It would be a huge black mark against an individual and would make a person less likely to be able to pursue certain avenues of employment in the future, especially in areas involving a lot of writing and the exchange of ideas. Areas such as journalism teaching and other areas where it is extremely important to give people credit and to be credible will consider the convicted individual less credible. The convicted will lose their ability to be trusted, and this is something that employers will look down upon and would preclude them from gaining employment in areas that would require honesty and trustworthiness.
A student will want a student defense attorney present at the administrative hearing for a plagiarism charge or allegation because plagiarism can be an extremely serious offense for most universities.
The misappropriation of academic ideas is extremely problematic in the academic community in general, and having a plagiarism finding against you in an academic setting will taint you for the rest of your academic career. A plagiarism accusation could make an individual less credible as they pursue future opportunities such as publishing later on or pursuing higher education.
It is one of the most serious violations of most schools’ code of conduct and often is considered an on record violation, as well. Plagiarism should be taken very seriously by all students, even if they are only facing an administrative hearing within their school.