The controversy around plagiarism

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by Will Martins / Updated February 22, 2024

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In one of his famous parody bits, comedian Tom Lehrer puts on the role of a student of a mathematician, claiming the man taught him that the key to success lies in… well, plagiarism. The lyric goes:

"Plagiarize! Let no one else's work evade your eyes, Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, So don't shade your eyes, But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize... Only be sure always to call it, please, "research."

Of course, it was merely a joke, not a call for action. But today, with the rise of technologies and the availability of various resources, it's not so easy to resist the temptation. In that case, why should you just avoid plagiarism when everyone and their uncle use it? Well, we can understand your inner struggle.

Besides, a lot of educational institutions seem to be getting overly paranoid about it, accusing innocent students of plagiarism, machine translation, and text generation just because the tools they use to detect AI or plagiarism are not accurate and reliable enough. In some cases, if a student gets caught with a plagiarized work, they can get into very serious trouble and face some gruesome consequences.

But what is considered plagiarism?

Let's define this term first. To put it simply, plagiarism is stealing the product of someone else's creative effort in the form of ideas, texts, research papers, songs, and any other types of original works.

Let's imagine you wrote a poem. Something random like: "The grass is green. My imagination is bad." As questionable as it may look, this is a piece of art created by you, and it's now protected by copyright. If someone finds it on the internet and claims it to be their brilliant poem, that's considered stealing your intellectual property. Depending on the jurisdiction, the duration of a copyright expires in 50 to 100 years after the creator (in this case, you) dies. This means that while you are still healthy and thriving, no one can steal your silly poems (or whatever else you create).

That's why many reliable top paper writing services like essaypro care so much about plagiarism. They do not tolerate it, and in case any of their authors get caught with a plagiarized work, the consequences come immediately. The policy is very strict there. How to avoid accidental plagiarism?

However, sometimes, avoiding plagiarism is close to impossible. The reason is simple – if you have to write a paper on a very specific topic full of terms coined and defined by other scientists and researchers, it's very hard to find ways to trick plagiarism detection tools. Sometimes, paraphrasing their words, keeping the right meaning, and still sounding coherent is quite a challenge. Hence, your text will be full of direct and indirect quotes, which will immediately make the percentage of possible plagiarism in your text skyrocket way above the limit.

It's quite disturbing and sad when a machine accuses you of stealing someone else's ideas when you are forced to refer to them to sound reliable and professional, right? Situations like these only seem to encourage students to plagiarize without getting caught.

However, you are not alone in this. There are various ways and software that can save you in times of need and make your essays and other writing masterpieces pretty and able to pass any detection tools flawlessly.

Here is a short guide to avoiding mishaps and finding ways of dealing with accidental plagiarism:

  1. Learn what plagiarism is to be able to recognize it when you see it. Moreover, you should get familiar with the plagiarism rules your institution has, as each establishment can sometimes have very different policies.
  2. When you quote any sources, always follow the citation style recommended by your instructor or institution (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago)
  3. When quoting someone directly, use quotation marks. This way, you give the author the credit they deserve and show your teacher you've done some good research.
  4. After finishing your paper, use plagiarism detection tools. It's better to ask your instructors what tools they use exactly because different services can give you very different results.
  5. Keep track of all sources you use during your research. It pays to be meticulous and jot down names, titles, and page numbers, as well as other relevant details. This way, you will always be able to make sure you haven't stolen anything from anyone by accident.
  6. Use various tools such as Mendeley, Zotero, or EndNote. They can help you create your own citation library, organize all the sources you use, and generate citations in the format you need.
  7. Always double-check your citation to make sure that you have properly credited all sources. Referencing may be a tough task, so be sure you’ve familiarized yourself with all the guides your instructors give you.

How to plagiarize without getting caught

If you want something done well, do it yourself. So, if you are a person of complete integrity but hate to do all this text mining on your own, we've prepared a guide on how to plagiarize without getting caught:

1. Paraphrase

If you copy or generate any piece of text and want to use it in your essay, be sure you paraphrase it well, adding a bit of two to make it look as far from the original version as possible. If you feel your imagination is failing you, to simplify the process, you can use free AI paraphrasing tools popular among students, such as QuillBot or DeepL Write. It also wouldn’t hurt to make some sentiment analysis and change the tone of voice of your text to trick chekers.

2. Be careful with citation software

While it can be quite helpful, sometimes errors can occur, and then the quotation is perceived by a checker as plagiarism, so be sure to double-check the generated citations for accuracy.

Knowing these potential pitfalls, you can learn how to plagiarize without getting caught like a pro who can easily compete even with the writers from, one of the best writing platforms to ever exist.

3. Spice things up with your opinions

If you decide to use someone's words, you should at least pretend to put some effort into being subtle about it and add some of your own thoughts to ease the pangs of guilt that may torment you later.

4. Play with the structure

Running out of ideas on how to write a plagiarism free paper? Make some effort to deconstruct the sentences and even paragraphs to add a pinch of originality to your text. If you are bad at stuff like this, you can look up different rearranger tools. However, be careful with that and remember that your text, no matter how butchered, still has to make sense.

5. Try on the role of someone else

Sometimes, to rewrite something to the point of making it completely unrecognizable, try to pretend to be another person. Are you a big fan of Ariana Grande? Well, why not play a little game and imagine you are her? How would Ariana paraphrase someone's article about, let's say, geese? She'd definitely make it all sound very adorable if she wanted to plagiarize without getting caught. Or, if you are aiming for a more serious tone, you can use the personality of some serious writer like Hemingway. This way, you'll be able to create something original enough to avoid detection.

6. Trust this job to professionals

Writing an original work can be a tough challenge, especially if you are a student who has to somehow balance your uni-life balance and have no time for trying to figure out how to write a plagiarism free paper.

Besides, not everyone is born to be a wordsmith. If your talents lie somewhere far away from writing, essay writing platforms are the best choice for a struggling student like you. There are always numerous essay service reviews you can check if you follow this website link. This way, you can make sure you will have a good text that adheres to the highest standards.

Wrap up

The question-answering machines called AI are here to get answers to almost any question they have and even provide text summarization, having built-in text-to-speech features and virtual assistance with speech recognition. Who could have thought that one day they would become the best friends of students who try to plagiarize without getting caught? Things people from the previous centuries wrote about in sci-fi have now become real, making our lives easier and somehow more difficult at the same time.

Yes, the topic of plagiarism is full of controversy. It's still a grey area in a way, and every country tries to deal with it in its own way, while some prefer to completely ignore it.

Sure, with so much information available online, schools and universities have to come up with new rules and restrictions to adjust to the new reality where borrowing someone's ideas has become a usual thing.

That's why modern students face problems while dealing with accidental plagiarism and sometimes have to spend extra hours working on their dissertation just to check if it passes the university's plagiarism policy without a hitch. Good luck!


Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's work or ideas without proper attribution, passing them off as your own. It's controversial because it undermines academic integrity and intellectual property rights, leading to ethical and legal consequences.

While it's never ethical or advisable to plagiarize, some individuals seek ways to evade detection. However, technology and vigilant educators make it increasingly difficult to plagiarize without consequences. Nonetheless, this article explores tactics some may employ to try to avoid detection.

This article offers insights into various methods people may attempt to plagiarize without detection, though it strongly discourages such behavior. From paraphrasing techniques to utilizing obscure sources, these strategies are explored with a focus on the ethical implications and potential risks involved.

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