Plagiarism Questions and Answers: All You Need to Know

In academic writing, students need to be as creative as possible. While research is a significant aspect of academic writing, there comes a time when as a student, you must use other people’s concepts to drive a point home. This implies that if you copy and paste another person’s concept and use it as your own, you commit academic plagiarism, which is a serious offense. This write-up will present to you plagiarism facts and top questions with answers you need to learn about the whole issue of plagiarism.

Stealing someone’s writing: what counts as plagiarism?

The term plagiarism has a broad meaning, and for a better understanding, we shall highlight the types of plagiarism below to help understand what counts as plagiarism and what doesn’t. Therefore, plagiarism can come in the form of the following:

1. Improper citation

There is no doubt that using famous quotes in academic writing is among the best techniques and approaches students use to deliver a point. However, using such quotes and phrases without proper citations means plagiarizing your work. Also, when you fail to paraphrase several sources, you will be presenting plagiarized work. Again, improper citation means using sources that don’t exist or presenting incorrect information in your sources.

2. Copy someone’s work and submit it

Many students opt for this option as it is the simplest one. They simply buy already written research papers from online platforms or simply copy and paste other people’s work and submit it as their own.

3. Self-plagiarism

Well, many students may assume it is hard to plagiarize their own work. This type of plagiarism happens when a student opts to borrow some part of their past work and use it in the current paper without proper citation. While the work is yours and you did the required research, you already submitted that part of the work before, and re-using it means plagiarizing your work.

Plagiarism in academic writing: why is plagiarism bad?

  • It is theft

The number one obvious reason why plagiarism is bad is that it is theft, i.e., taking other people’s ideas and using them as their own work.

  • Plagiarism equal to cheating

Submitting copied work means submitting work you did not work hard for, and as a plagiarizer, you don’t deserve the credits for the work. The reason for getting the academic assignment is to help teachers assess your level of understanding of a given concept. Now, imagine getting grades for the work you didn’t work hard for. It rules out the whole purpose of education, making education meaningless. Therefore, while you might think you are cheating the teacher, you are simply cheating yourself as a student.

  • Plagiarism means producing unqualified professionals

One more reason why plagiarism is bad is the fact that it produces unqualified professionals who might be a threat to the area of specialization. Getting a degree or a certificate through plagiarism means you don’t have adequate skills and knowledge in that particular field, which is no different from fraudulent activities.

How to know if you are plagiarizing

Maybe you are wondering how to determine if you are producing plagiarized content. Well, the following situations will help you understand if your content is unique or plagiarized. Therefore, consider the following scenarios:

  • Direct Copy

This is simply copying word for word from a given segment without citation. In case you find yourself doing this, you are simply plagiarizing your work.

  • The Minimalist approach

Once you get your sources, the next element is to change some words and phrases that change the original tone and structure slightly, with the content remaining the same. This is simply plagiarizing your work. Therefore, ensure while using different sources, read, understand, and write in your own understanding.

  • The Quilt approach

Here, you use multiple sources under one citation. This is plagiarism because you are using other people’s work without giving each one of them the desired credit through proper citation. Therefore, ensure each source has its appropriate citation.

How to prove you didn’t plagiarize

Finally, when you have your work ready, you need to prove its originality and that you have worked for it. So, ensure you:

  • Do a plagiarism test
  • Give the drafts of your work
  • Follow the sanction guidelines
  • Do an oral defense


Plagiarism is a stern offense in the field of academic writing. Make sure you follow the right approaches to produce original content based on the teacher’s requirements.