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Have you seen a document that takes credit for someone else's work?

What happens to the integrity and reputation of the author when this happens?

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Adrienne W. | Very Experienced & Friendly Reading, Writing & ESL TutorVery Experienced & Friendly Reading, Wri...
The English word "plagiarism" comes from the French, meaning to steal or take hostage. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's ideas or words without proper attribution, that is without giving credit it where it is due. When someone commits plagiarism, whether purposefully or accidentally, they are therefore endangering their authority and credibility as a writer because they are considered to potentially be a word or idea thief. 
Examples of documents that take credit for someone else's work in this way are, unfortunately, numerous. Wikipedia, for instance, is what is known as a "socially constructed" website. Although its editors work very hard to ensure each page entry there is properly attributed and cited (tied back through the bibliography listing) to its original source, there are numerous pages where citations are incomplete or missing all together. This lack of consistent credibility in citation and attribution has forced most academic institutions to disallow Wikipedia entries as academically appropriate research sources.
Likwise, in his now famous New Yorker article "Something Borrowed," Malcolm Gladwell discusses the thing line between plagiarism and art, or the taking of something old to make something new. In this article, Gladlwell shares the impact of this on a British dramatist, who did not consistently offer attribution in regard to parts of her award-winning play "Frozen," which were taken both from the real life of psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis and news articles and videos written about her life. Although "Frozen" won a Tony award for the best play of 2004, the allegations of plagiarism against its author Bryony Lavery have caused her award-winning writing to become cloaked in controversy and discussion and her own professional success, which seemed to be on the rise, to diminish considerably. 
The thing a writer must remember, whether they are a student in an English course, a social writer on Wikipedia, or an award-winning playwright, is that plagiarism is more using a similar idea or pattern of language. It is fraud. Because a plagiarist commits the act purposefully with the intention to deceive. Even claims of plagiarism can damage a writer's credibility and thus their academic or professional reputation. 
Renee F. | Retired English Teacher teaching all levels and skills K-CollegeRetired English Teacher teaching all lev...
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As a teacher, I have seen plenty of plagiarized work, but I suspect that is not what you were looking for in your question. In Colorado, Scott McInnis lost the last  election for Governor because it came to the attention of the public that he had written a major report and took credit for work that was not his own.   He thought it was no big deal and people didn't care about the fact that he plagiarized another person's work.  I wrote a letter to the Denver Post at the time ( that was published)  on the subject.  Because McInnis actually not only took credit for the paper but took money for it as well, I questioned his integrity.  He had been in the lead in the polls until that point in time.  It is a major issue that questions the moral character of the individual.
Kassia D. | Experienced ESL, English, and Writing TutorExperienced ESL, English, and Writing Tu...
If the author is a student, he/she may be expelled from the school (university) or have the integrity issue in their permanent record. I think it would be almost impossible for this student to get into graduate school if he/she has had issues with plagiarism.
In America it is a serious issue. However, in other countries, Plagiarism is non-existent or not as serious. There are several ESL students who come to the US and have plagiarism issues because they do not know that what they are doing is immoral and illegal.