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Plagiarism Consequences in College

Plagiarism has become a menace and has started spreading its wings in the world of academia. The consequences could range from temporary suspension to expulsion.
Shashank Nakate
The problem of plagiarism is intensifying day-by-day with many college students resorting to plagiarism for completing their assignments. Plagiarism not only affects the integrity of the grading system, but also jeopardizes the intellectual property of those who have written the content.

What is Plagiarism?

The activity of quoting a sentence or idea of an author without providing a citation is termed as plagiarism. As per the 'Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary', plagiarism is defined as the 'use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work'.
The act of paraphrasing a given sentence is also one of the forms of plagiarism. In the academic world, plagiarism is referred to as 'academic dishonesty' while 'journalistic ethics' are breached by plagiarism in journalism.
The stealth of an idea and its presentation without providing citation is a form of plagiarism which is hard to detect. It is necessary to understand the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. In case of copyright infringement, the material or content of an author safeguarded by the copyright is used without his permission.
Plagiarism, on the other hand, is the activity of claiming authorship of a particular content in an indirect manner. Let us know get into the details of punishments and penalties that result from plagiarism.

Plagiarism Consequences in College

Every college has its own way of dealing with plagiarism. Many colleges take serious note of the instances of plagiarism and deal strictly with the students in question. Unintentional plagiarism is dealt with by taking into account the age of the student, his intention and the seriousness of the mistake committed.
For intentional plagiarism, the punishments could be a 'zero' in the subject/paper in question, suspension for few days or expulsion, in worst cases. Students should obtain information about the penalties associated with plagiarism in their respective colleges/institutions.
It is necessary to deal strictly with the menace of plagiarism; such activities dilute the entire purpose of researching and obtaining information in a manner that is ethical and just. Moreover, it affects the research and efforts of those who have worked hard to create the content.
Plagiarism doesn't require the students to think and toil hard for their assignments, which in turn, hampers the development of creativity in them. There is no scope for the development of skills like taking notes, verifying the sources properly, providing appropriate quotations, etc. in people who resort to plagiarism.
It is better to prevent the instances of plagiarism by producing an original work instead of living in the constant fear of being accused for copying.

Punishment for Plagiarism

Plagiarism penalties depend upon gravity of the act. Since plagiarism indicates dishonesty on the part of the student who is searching the information, it is considered as a serious mistake by universities. In case of unintentional or unwanted plagiarism, the teacher or professor penalizes the student by making him to rewrite the assignment.
The most common punishment for students who plagiarize is a 'Fail' grade. For intentional plagiarism, penalties are stiffer and the plagiarism consequences for students in such cases is failure in the course along with the assignment.
The punishments becomes strict or stiffer in the higher levels. In graduate programs, a failing grade is the most common penalty. Many universities impose a ban on enrolling for a course till the next 5 years.
In case of post graduation students, the punishment could be as severe as the withdrawal of their degree. Junior faculties might lose their jobs if found plagiarizing. In most colleges, suspension for 2-3 days is the common punishment. Behavior of the student is also taken into account while dealing with such issues.
Generally, the student is suspended for one day and the remaining days of punishment are served as 'reverse suspension'. The question of punishments and penalties won't arise at all if a student is conducting the research work honestly. A research work that involves hard work and honesty on the part of the researcher is always original.
Problems like internet plagiarism add to the complexities of the menace of plagiarism. Hence, the students should be aware of the plagiarism consequences in order to avoid plagiarism and the punishments associated with it. Not only that, controlling plagiarism would also promote the thought process and genuineness of ideas.