Are there plagiarisms in the film?

Plagiarism - When cheating turns into a crime

Plagiarism is a mysterious field. Hardly any other topic is so dramatically expressed in the media; Well-known authors, doctors and Nobel Prize winners are said to have written off. Nevertheless, almost everyone has plagiarized themselves, sometimes with the intention of writing a paper as quickly and easily as possible, sometimes by mistake and without knowledge of producing a plagiarism themselves. What plagiarism is, what common mistakes are made, what consequences there are and how plagiarism can now be easily detected with the help of plagiarism detection software - that's what this article is about.

What is plagiarism anyway?


Pla | gi |at, that, noun

pla | gi |ie| ren, weak verb


Plagiarism is the takeover of third-party intellectual property, but this includes not only copied text passages, but also translations of foreign-language texts and generally stolen third-party ideas such as photos, films, sound recordings and the like. Even longer text passages that have been changed and not marked as such are counted as plagiarism. Without labeling the sources, this is intellectual theft, which violates copyright law and is punished with far-reaching consequences. The use of foreign ideas and quotations is legitimate, even common and necessary in science, only the naming of the author is essential. In this sense, a quote from the Ludwig Maximilian University on plagiarism:

“One speaks of plagiarism when ideas and words of others are passed off as one's own. It does not matter from which source (book, magazine, newspaper, internet, etc.) the foreign ideas and words originate, just as little whether it is a larger or smaller takeover or whether the borrowings are literal, translated or analogous. "

Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU)

Why plagiarism occurs and the most common mistakes when citing

Quoting is therefore the basic principle of scientific work and therefore indispensable in scientific work such as term papers, bachelor theses or master’s theses. When students plagiarize, there is usually no bad intent behind it, but rather a lack of knowledge about scientific work. How do I quote correctly, how do I mark direct and indirect quotations, what happens with a paraphrase and do I have to name the author of a translation? - Many students who are writing scientific papers for the first time ask themselves these and other questions. If these questions are answered incorrectly or not at all, plagiarism occurs more often. If you are unsure, read it again, for example here and to be on the safe side with the supervisor.

But even in advanced studies, errors still occur, here are the most common stumbling blocks when citing:

  • A verbatim quotation is taken from the source, but is not marked as such, for example only as an indirect quotation.
  • It is incorrectly paraphrased, for example using the author's sentence components or just changing the Synthax. Better formulate it in your own words.
  • No source is given, although it has been paraphrased and the ideas therefore come from another source.
  • When translating a foreign language text, no attention is paid to naming the source.
  • Quotations from secondary sources are used which have already been quoted there from the primary source. It is not evident here that the original source was not used, the naming of the secondary source is important here.
  • When using (not generally applicable) foreign proverbs, comparisons and metaphors, attention must also be paid to the reference to the source.
  • In some cases, general knowledge and specialist knowledge from other authors is used. General knowledge does not have to be quoted, but specialist knowledge does. The separation is blurred.

I plagiarized what now? - Consequences of plagiarism

The mistakes in quoting quickly lead to plagiarism, sometimes unconsciously. If these are smaller matches, this is usually not noticed at all. However, if larger text passages are taken over or the style does not match within a piece of work, the teacher quickly becomes aware. If plagiarism is proven, this is punished with different consequences. The assessment with the worst grade and thus failing the exam is still the mildest penalty. In the case of more serious plagiarism, de-registration, the revocation of the academic title and even a study ban can follow. Since copyrights are violated by plagiarism, this can even be reported and thus punished as a criminal offense.

Little helpers - quick checking of texts with the help of software

Teachers can usually find out quickly whether or not there is plagiarism; a search on Google is often sufficient. In the event of a suspected case or as a self-check for students, however, free and paid plagiarism detection software can still be used. These check the entire text or parts of it for matches from the Internet, books and other works, which are collected in a database. The HWR offers teachers a free license for the market leader If you are interested, please contact the elearning service.

There are also numerous offers for free and paid alternatives. However, free providers usually limit their offer to a word limit or a limit of the search processes, so that these are more suitable for shorter texts or websites. You should be careful with free, dubious-looking websites, as these are suspected of cheating or of reusing their uploaded texts. Since these providers are not financed by income, they usually publish the texts they have posted (usually after three months). This creates a risk of self-plagiarism and the loss of copyright over your own texts.

Problems with plagiarism detection software

Self-plagiarism (uploading and saving of the discontinued work from the software so that uploading the same work again leads to complete self-plagiarism, advertisements of 100% plagiarism) do not only arise with dubious offers, but are also a problem with other software. In general, you should therefore avoid uploading the work several times, unless it is expressly denied that it is saved on the website ( saves the work).

Further problems with various plagiarism detection software are false negatives (plagiarism in the text which the software does not recognize) and false positives (no plagiarism in the text which is recognized as plagiarism by the software). The displayed percentage of plagiarism therefore sometimes deviates significantly from the actually matching text passages. As a teacher, it is best to check the report yourself and exclude sources and bibliography from the analysis. The decision as to whether or not there is plagiarism does not lie with the software, but with the teacher.

The best (found) plagiarism detection software


partly free of charge:

  • PlagScan (word limit of 2000 words, one-time search)
  • Quetext (word limit of 500 words, limit of three searches)
  • PlagAware (check 10 pages for free, one-time search)
  • duplichecker (word limit of 1000 words, unlimited number of searches)

For a more detailed description of two selected plagiarism detection software (PlagScan and quetext) please refer to the HWR's OER blog.

And with that, good luck!

Sources and literature to read on