23 Plagiarism Facts and Statistics to Analyze Latest Trends


Plagiarism means taking someone else’s work or ideas and claiming they’re yours. It happens in writing, art, or music, but it’s not limited to creative fields. By plagiarizing content, creators take credit for something they didn’t do, which causes strife for all parties involved. 

The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) has led to growing plagiarism. Researchers have found text matches in content previously generated with AI tools or on the internet. Many businesses have started using plagiarism checker tools with extensive online databases to crawl the web and compare work. 

Plagiarizing text leads to consequences, like failing class or damaging your reputation for a long time.

Top plagiarism facts and statistics

It might surprise you to discover how many people claim work that’s not their own. Understanding the following facts helps us see why giving credit where it’s due is so important. 

  • An average student spends almost eight minutes editing one page of plagiarized content. They write around 190 pages of assignments per semester and spend 50 hours a year fixing plagiarism issues.
  • 2.2% of students in Australia got caught for plagiarizing text in 2021.
  • 14.1% of students in Canada plagiarized words without referencing their sources in 2021. 
  • Among 30,000 college students, 68% admitted to cheating, and 16.5% had no regrets about it. 
  • 14.5% of people in the US intentionally used someone else’s text without referencing them correctly. 
  • 85% of students feel plagiarism helps them get better scores.
  • Google received over 75 million copyright takedown requests in 2016, indicating the breadth of content plagiarism and theft.
  • 3.2% of students in the US got caught plagiarizing text in 2021.

Facts about plagiarism

Below are some interesting facts about plagiarism that may take you by surprise.

  • Plagiarism extends beyond just written text; it also applies to music, art, and photography, as long as it involves copying someone else’s work without credit.
  • You can self-plagiarise. Yes, it’s a thing and is considered unethical in academic and professional contexts.
  • Replicating another person’s work’s style, tone, or structure is also considered plagiarism, even if it’s not a word-for-word copy.
  • Paraphrasing doesn’t exempt you from plagiarism. Proper credit must be given to the source, even when rewriting in your own words.
  • Plagiarism can have legal, academic, professional, and ethical consequences.

Plagiarism in high school and colleges

Worldwide, high school or junior college students openly admit to plagiarizing content in their assignments, homework, and tests. Many have used other’s work without referencing the original source, adding to academic dishonesty. 

The statistics below show the real state of plagiarism in schools, colleges, and universities.

  • 64% of high school students cheat on tests. 34% of students say they have done it more than twice.
  • 1 out of 3 high school students use the internet to plagiarize assignments. 
  • 58% of students’ assignments, homework, or tests contain plagiarism. 
  • 16.2% of students in Ireland used others’ work without giving a reference in 2021, the highest among the countries surveyed.
  • 95% of students cheat on a test or homework, committing plagiarism. 
  • 15% of students are affected by the rise of fake or copied term papers in the university system.

Student sentiments about plagiarism

The social aspects of plagiarism matter not just in schools and work, but in the ways we respect each other’s agency and creativity. Understanding how students feel about plagiarism could be the first step toward encouraging them to produce original work. The statistics below reflect their opinions and thoughts on plagiarism.

  • 85% of students feel cheating is essential and plagiarize their work. They think it could help them score better grades, scholarships and rewards. 

90%

of students feel they won’t get caught or punished for plagiarism or cheating.

Source: Library Guides

  • 13% of students were curious to know if buying a pre-written paper online was plagiarism or not. 9% of students felt it wasn’t a form of plagiarism.

Generative AI and plagiarism statistics

Technologies like large language models and generative AI have made content creation easier. They can generate text at scale based on the prompts users provide. Since they’re trained on a big dataset, it’s unlikely to get entirely the same results on advanced models. 

But sometimes, in less advanced versions of tools like GPT 3 or 3.5, the generated text matches previously generated text. The statistics below show how gen AI relates to plagiarism. 

  • 48% of students use ChatGPT for at-home quizzes, 53% have used it to write essays, and 22% turn to it to create outlines. 
  • 89% of students use ChatGPT to do their homework assignments. 19% of text generated by ChatGPT matches previously generated texts and other sources on the internet, especially in GPT 3 and GPT 3.5 models. 
  • 34% of educators want schools to ban ChatGPT. 
  • 5% of educators use ChatGPT to teach, and 7% to construct writing prompts.
  • 66% of educators support student access to ChatGPT. 

Plagiarism is a creator’s plague

Plagiarism makes you dependent on copying to pass tests or achieve creative success, limiting the learning process. When caught, you might even face consequences like suspension from school or job loss. People think it can help them perform better or get good grades. But no matter how much it helps you expedite things now, it will cause a severe and negative impact sooner than you think.

Check out the top eleven plagiarism software tools to remove copied content from your work.





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