Consequences Of Plagiarism In Academia And Research

Academia despises plagiarism because of its long-term implications for students. Ironically enough, 59% of high school students admitted plagiarizing content back in 2017. 

That’s not only an indication of the growing problem but also the way it’s affecting.

Nowadays, when a majority of students are deprived of in-person or in-class studies, plagiarism is running unchecked. 

That’s why for students, it’s necessary to understand how it’s affecting their future and their grades.

So, how exactly does it affect one? What are the consequences? These are all essential things to understand, most of which require us to dive into them a bit deeper. 

So, to keep it simple and straightforward, we have devised an essential list of things to understand about plagiarism.

So, without further delay, let’s find out. 

Plagiarism Severities 

Before we learn the consequences, let’s learn about the action first. The act of plagiarism, or the practice, if you will, is about copying or duplicating an existing idea. 

It can be accidental, intentional, but never any less unethical or unacceptable.

The wrongful and immoral nature of plagiarism makes it a highly unacceptable act in either the academies or professional settings. 

However, plagiarism comes in various shapes and sizes too. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, the real problem is the severity.

So, how many types of severities of plagiarism are there? Which ones do you need to avoid? While you need to avoid them all, plagiarism has many different types. 

However, you can divide their harshness into these three types: 

  • Mild or Accidental 

Mild or accidental type of plagiarism is one of the most common types in academics. While some teachers or tutors recognize it and allow you the chance to fix it, others despise it all the same. 

This type of plagiarism can be an accidentally similar sentence or a mildly reworded one.

The accidental type is just that, not intentional. Yet, it’s impossible to prove that to a teacher. SO, what do you do? 

Avoid it at all costs, as it’s still going to be plagiarism, regardless of intention. That’s when you need to check even your original work before submitting it. 

  • Moderate 

This type of plagiarism depends on the context. It could be because someone forgot to quote or cite the sources, in which case, the plagiarism is apparent since there are no evident or significant changes from original content. 

However, this also means that the writers copied & pasted the entire sentence. 

Or that they copied the paragraph or section of an essay, research paper, etc. So, the severity depends entirely on the context as well as intention. 

Yet, it’s worse than mild or accidental types.

  • Severe

Severe plagiarism is the worst of its kind, as it’s blatant duplicity or copying of someone else’s idea. 

This could mean the student submitted someone else’s work as their own. Or that they copied the entire thing, changed a few elements here and there, and passed it on as their original world.

Another, a little less severe type in this category, is a patchwork or mosaic plagiarism. It’s also one of the most unethical and unacceptable types. 

The writer changes a few words or sentences of this kind. It’s also looked down upon by the writing community. 

5 Consequences Of Plagiarized Content In Academia & Research

Now that the severity is out of the way let’s talk about consequences. Besides tarnishing a writer’s reputation, plagiarism also renders them without any sort of credibility. 

This could mean downgrading for a student, or worse, expulsion. 

Besides all these short-term consequences, plagiarism affects a student in the long haul as well. 

Not only does it harm the learning curve, but it also ruins the opportunity to learn essentials, which the students might need in their career. 

That’s why it’s essential to understand the consequences of plagiarism in any academic setting. To help you understand just how severe they are, let’s break them down:

  1. Damaged Reputation 

As a student and a writer, your reputation needs to be the number one thing you should prioritize. 

It can not only help you keep your head high, but it will also assist you in your future, career, professional life, etc. 

If you lose your reputation among your peers, then it’ll be a problem in many ways.

Besides your teachers looking down upon your fellow students may not take you seriously either. 

Moreover, any career move you make will be haunted by the choice of plagiarizing content. That’s why it’s a necessity to steer clear of plagiarism—as far as possible

  1. Bereft Credibility 

As a writer, you need credibility for your research papers or essays to stick. 

In professional or academic life, your superiors will stop taking your work seriously if they find any degree of plagiarism in your work.

This bereaving of credibility isn’t going to be a problem in academies only, as it will also follow you into your professional life. 

Many professional environments require your academic research papers or essays. If they find duplicity in it, they will discard any sort of credibility you have.

  1. Bad Grades

One of the most immediate problems you will face as a student is bad grades. 

Plagiarism is widely considered an unfair practice in any setting. Still, it’s primarily a reason for bad grades in schools or colleges. 

So, if your work has any percentage of duplicity, it will drag your grades down with it.

Since academia is all about learning, understanding, opinions, etc., the content must be original. Or, it needs to show some sort of effort, at the very least. 

Any type of plagiarism will tarnish any effort you put into your work. Consequently, you will find bad grades on your result papers. 

  1. Expulsion Or Dismissal

Perhaps the worse that could happen to an academic or research writer is expulsion or dismissal.

Granted, it’s only the case in the severe form of plagiarism, but that doesn’t make other types acceptable. 

In many reputed academies, mild plagiarism types are considered just as bad. 

  1. Long-Term Consequences 

Plagiarism is something that will follow you into your career. As mentioned before, some businesses or professional environments will see your academic work as a means to judge your credibility and potential. 

Plagiarism will hinder those chances immensely. Moreover, a severe type of plagiarism rids a student of any learning curve. 

Plagiarism doesn’t only harm their student lives but also diminishes the chances of a bright future.

How To Avoid Plagiarism?

Talking about consequences isn’t harmful, but it’s better to talk about solutions. 

So, how do you go about eliminating plagiarism from your work? Here are four essential steps that can help you avoid the consequences of plagiarism:

  1. Detect Plagiarism 

The first step is to find and detect it. So, you will use a free online plagiarism checker with a percentage. It will tell you whether your research paper or thesis is unique or not.

 Examples and results can be seen in the image below.

  1. Use Quotations

If your content doesn’t need to be reworded or rephrased, then try to use quotations. By doing so, you will credit the original source directly, avoiding any plagiarism. 

  1. Cite Sources Carefully

One of the most common causes of accidental plagiarism is the lack of cited sources. So, try to cite your sources carefully. 

  1. Paraphrase Content

After that, you will have to eliminate any duplicity in your content. You will do that by using a sentence rephraser to reword your content. This will ensure your content’s originality.

Just put your desired paragraph from your paper in the tool and it will provide you with the paraphrased text.


You can easily avoid these consequences of plagiarism in academia or research. All you need to do is find the culprit within your writings and fix them—with the help of tools or by yourself. 

4 1 vote
Article Rating
The following two tabs change content below.

Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Hello! My name is Todd. I help students design the life of their dreams by ensuring college, scholarship, and career success! I am a former tutor for seven years, $85,000 scholarship recipient, Huffington Post contributor, lead SAT & ACT course developer, host of a career exploration podcast for teens, and have worked with thousands of students and parents to ensure a brighter future for the next generation. I invite you to join my next webinar to learn how to save thousands + set your teenager up for college, scholarship, and career success!
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments