Difference between Copying and Plagiarism

At present, with all the scandal generated as a result of Melania’s speech; Donald Trump’s wife, much has been said about what plagiarism is and what it is to copy what someone else has done. What many sometimes ignore is that the action of plagiarism is not the same as that of copying, nor do they have the same implications or receive the same punishments.

If you are also wondering what the difference is between copying and plagiarism or you just want a little more information about it, keep reading, because below we will explain some points concerning this topic.

COPY  Difference between Copying and Plagiarism

Surely you remember when in school the teachers would send the students to copy words or sentences on the blackboard, the same teachers and administrators would make copies of articles from newspapers, magazines or brochures; they sent you to copy poems or fragments of books; among other things. However, in those days you understood that when teachers told you “do not copy so and so” the connotation of the word “copy” was different from that of the previous cases. All this because even the teachers themselves frequently use the words copy and plagiarize interchangeably.

Copying is the act of doing or saying the same thing that someone else has said or done, although in some cases you can copy someone else’s style and still say or do different things. Now, whoever copies does not do so with malicious intent or with the purpose of obtaining personal gain from the work of another. It is usually copied for recreational and pedagogical purposes without necessarily being frowned upon, much less punished.

Whoever copies may or may not give recognition to the original author, however, they always acknowledge that the work is not theirs; that is, he does not attribute it to himself.


Plagiarism, on the other hand, is an exact copy of what someone else did or said; But in this case, the person in charge of plagiarizing the other’s work attributes it to himself and does not recognize the original author at all.

Whoever plagiarizes someone else’s work commits fraud and theft, therefore, depending on some factors, the plagiarist may even receive a fine, a moral punishment and up to a few years in jail.

Today there are many copyright laws that are responsible for regulating and protecting people’s intellectual rights. All this with the aim of avoiding that some individuals attribute works of others as their own and thus incur in plagiarism.

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