Consequences of college plagiarism

American, Canadian and British colleges hold academic integrity in very high regard. Borrowed or copied content, as well as other dishonest methods students resort to when writing papers are severely punished. The list of reasons why students engage in plagiarism is diverse. Some are lazy, others lack knowledge and skills. Sometimes a student will strive to do a good job by any means. Yet not all of them consider the college’s policy on students copying other people’s ideas.

Why do student plagiarize

Plagiarism is a form of theft, a scam. In most cases, it is unintentional, for example:
  • no reference to the source;
  • a borrowed part has not been paraphrased hard enough;
  • the author isn’t sure whether the idea is new or not — they can’t remember whether they read about it somewhere or if it really is their own thoughts.
Another reason why students engage in plagiarism in colleges is the fear of failure, a strong desire to receive a good grade. Sometimes they lack motivation to study or don’t care how well the task they were assigned will be completed.

What happens if you plagiarism in college

If there is ground to suspect the student of not being responsible for their own project, they are faced with serious sanctions and punishments. Plagiarism consequences in college can affect the person’s future career. They are not to be taken lightly.

Failing grade for the project

One of the options for punishment for plagiarism in college includes giving the student a bad grade. If a student accidentally forgot to refer to the source, copied an insignificant part of the work, they will receive an unsatisfactory mark.

Refusing to accept a project

Stricter penalties for plagiarism in college are provided for those who intentionally or repeatedly cheat. Their work is not accepted. The person therefore risks flunking the class entirely.

Disciplinary sanctions

The college's plagiarism policy provides for disciplinary action. Each establishment has its own rules. Most often the first infringement will usually let the person get away with a warning and a bad grade. Repeat offenders will entail more serious consequences: 
  • academic probation;
  • temporary suspension;
  • censure.
Some colleges require offenders to take part in seminars revolving around the topic of the plagiarized content. Sometimes the student is stripped of the ability to advance to the next course.

Destroyed academic reputation

Academic sanctions may also be applied against a student caught for plagiarism in college. Such behavior is looked down upon. Students accused of being dishonest do not inspire trust among professors and their work is checked more thoroughly. Since plagiarism attempts are all recorded, this may become an obstacle to entering other universities. 
Publishing articles is a regular academic activity. An eviscerated reputation can lead to the loss of the ability to share your ideas and studies in respectable publications. And often this brings the person’s career to a complete halt.


Plagiarism in students is also punished by expulsion from the college. The establishment resorts to this option after the culprit continuously ignores the comments, keeps using content without referencing the original author. Sometimes this is an automatic process. Other institutions make this final decision only when a large part of the project is unoriginal.

Destroyed further professional career

A bad academic reputation often haunts people throughout their professional careers. This hinders politicians, businessmen, public figures. Sometimes such a revelation alone can result in the person getting fired.

How to avoid plagiarism as a student

For a student to avoid facing disciplinary action, penalties for plagiarism in college, and more drastic consequences, they need to follow these simple rules:
  • put links to sources when paraphrasing close to the text or using the original ideas of another author;
  • use footnotes; do not forget to put quotation marks when including quotes in your text;
  • if the quote is long, it is better to get permission from the author to add it to your work;
  • use special plagiarism-checking services or apps, like, Skandy;
  • use illustrations, drawings, and other non-textual materials in their projects only with the consent of their authors and put down links to sources.

Can students use plagiarism checkers

The easiest way to check the quality of your paper is to run it through a plagiarism check. Using the Skandy app, students can do this on their own before handing over their work to their professor. The service is designed for PCs and laptops, as well as for iOS and Android devices.
To check, you need to upload your materials in the form of a text, photo, URL or file. Algorithms analyze web pages. The result of the check is a detailed report with the overall percentage of plagiarism, with unoriginal parts being highlighted. It also contains links to the original materials.
It’s convenient and fast. If your work isn’t unique enough for the requirements of your college, the areas highlighted by Skandy can be reworked and re-checked. The app supports 27 languages and has a free trial version.
Text author: Columbia Proof

08 may 2022

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