How Does Plagiarism Affect Me?

In the most basic terms, plagiarism is illegal and unethical. Although copyright law is very complex and has relatively limited application to your work, you could be sued by the author for taking credit for their work if you copy enough of something and then try to publish it. Of much greater relevance to your work at this university are the professional standards that intellectuals have embraced. People may be charged with plagiarism without breaking any law. They will not go to jail or pay a fine, but in many cases their careers will be ruined because people will no longer trust them and will not want to read what they write.

If you plagiarize as a student, you not only risk your future reputation, but you undermine your own intellectual growth. You are investing a lot of time and money in your college education. This is your best opportunity to learn how to think critically and write persuasively. When you copy someone else's work, you are throwing away this opportunity. Students who commit an act of academic dishonesty also risk sanctions by the university as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.