Published February 24, 2020
The Answer is C.
We tend to associate plagiarism with academics, often when the act of stealing is intentional.
Consider these scenarios:
- Your friend took the same class as you three semesters ago. Rather than write an original paper, you copy large chunks from one of his/hers.
- You search for information on a particular subject and find a definition you like from a reliable source. Instead of quoting the source, you copy/paste it directly into your work.
- You need an image to supplement a presentation. You head to Google, download the first one you see, and add it to your work without providing the source of the image.
All three are forms of plagiarism in the traditional sense and have potentially different consequences—an F on the assignment or test, a suspension, or expulsion from school—than they would carry in the digital, professional world.
So is digital plagiarism illegal? It can be if copyright laws are involved.
It is, however, always unethical, even if unintentional. And rest assured, your reputation, if you’re caught, will suffer.
Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism (i.e., large portions of content that exists in two or more places on your website) and code plagiarism, should be checked at every stage of your content production, from writing to editing to production to approval. That process involves properly citing sources, linking when appropriate, and providing credit for all photos. There are also tools in place to check your copy for plagiarism.
All to say, there's no excuse for it.
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