Whenever you write your work, be it a term paper, thesis or essay the last thing you want is to be plagiarized. To begin with, it disqualifies you from even continuing with your education in the concerned institution or completing it. This is because many final papers that require long bodies of work are done at the end of a college education.

Literature is considered to be any written works of lasting artistic merit. This can also be reflected in books and published journals, as well as any other printed material of authority. Literature is taken as a form of human expression and by extension an art. Therefore, it may not apply to all things technical, scholarly or journalistic that is published because it may not come across as an art form. Plagiarism in literature is taken very seriously and very personally by the ones who claim plagiarism for their content. To counter the offense taken, it is an act reprimanded by the law as it is illegal.

In order to avoid plagiarism of any kind is as beneficial to be educated on the kinds of plagiarism to be able to avoid them completely. For those who want to establish themselves in the writing field to be known and referred to as published authors or have respected literary works, having an original script is mandatory.

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Plagiarism has been defined as “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work”. In the academic world, it is a very serious offense that can result in punishments such as a suspension or expulsion. There are a few ways in which plagiarism can arise, and we cover the various ways below:

For one, Direct plagiarism can take place

. This is taking another person’s ideas word for word without giving proper citation.

The second way can be through, Self-plagiarism

. Now, this type of plagiarism is not well known and comes as a surprise to many. It constitutes of submitting your own previous work as part of a current assignment without permission.

The third is known as Mosaic plagiarism.

This is deemed to be quoting another’s work without quotation marks. This can also refer to replacing words in another’s work with synonyms while maintaining the same overall structure and meaning. The next time you are trying to be clever on your assignment, stop in your tracks. You could be committing an act of plagiarism.

The fourth and final act is accidental plagiarism.

It is the simple way of forgetting to cite sources, misquoting sources, or paraphrasing sources without giving credit where credit is due. This can happen sometimes when we are in a rush to meet a deadline, or just to be done with a project. However, remember, to finish well you must go through your work. Proofread, edit and do the necessary.

You owe to yourself after all the hard work of writing down that novel, essay or literary works of art. Plagiarism is not something new, and in fact, many famous people have been accused of, or have committed acts of plagiarism. For the unlucky ones, it has caused them seats of power, respect of their peers and a bad reputation in society. It takes a long time to build a good name, but mere seconds to destroy what you have toiled over for years. Knowing full well artists put all their efforts and hearts into their works, it would be unfair to steal someone’s quotes and phrases without giving them their due diligence. A real artist and literary folk know the pain of losing to a copycat, strive for excellence by maintaining your own original script.