If I use one of these essays for my college class, will it be compared to some database?

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Tracy Jennings, Works at Noodle and here to help!

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Yes, you should be wary of copying anything from the Internet, even it's "just" a paragraph. Many of your classmates might have lifted copy without getting caught, but you should take the easy way out. If you're thinking enough about it to post this question, then I bet your gut is telling you it's not worth it. There are so many free tools available (e.g. http://plagiarisma.net/) that makes it easy for grad students, teachers, interviewers, whomever, to run through your essay and see if you've plagiarized. It's not worth taking the chance.

You might find these articles helpful for more context:

Also, you're in college to learn, right? It's simple to put together a straightforward essay - I find the hardest part is getting started! - check out this this article about 7 tips to write a better essay. You don't have to write a earth-shatteringly ground-breaking novel to succeed. The typical reason why you are assigned essays is to practice putting your thoughts on the page in an organized way. Think of that as the task at hand in that way, and I hope it helps! Good luck, and have fun with it.

Stacey Ebert, Educator, Writer, Event Planner, Traveler

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I agree with the aforementioned sentiments. NEVER copy anyone's work verbatim without giving credit where credit is due. First, it's dishonest. Second, yes-there are databases and sites that teachers and professors can use to input data that doesn't sound as if it's written by the student or if it's lifted from another location to find the exact space on the internet from where it comes. Third-if you're in university or any type of class to learn, the benefit is to do just that - LEARN. Although taking something may seem like a way to get something done faster - it's NEVER right and will take far from which to recover (if ever) in the future. If you need help, ask someone or find some services that can assist with the writing. Don't take the chance of being expelled, failing or having to repeat a class over again for cheating. It's not difficult to figure out if a student has cheated or 'stolen' a piece of work. Either give the correct credit for the part of the paper you've used to strengthen your own position or don't use it at all. There are far better choices to make and resources to utilize than to decide to use someone else's work. There are places to go for assistance - it's a far better choice to make.

Kazuya Shiba, Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer, Gamer

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YES. Do not copy anything word for word unless you give credit in your paper. This will apply more and more as technology advances so just make that a rule set in stone for the rest of your life in academics.
Copying or plagiarism can have massive implications on your academic record (you get kicked out and fail courses) so it's not worth it.

Anonymous, I <3 Noodle

Your teachers might not know, but God will.

Becky, Thanks

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Just so that everyone knows, I ended up writing it on my own with the help of the tutor at my school.

Brittney Miller, Graduate student instructor, gifted education instructor

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You should NEVER use somebody else's work as your own without giving credit. Using an essay you find on the internet or elsewhere is academic dishonesty and should result in a failing grade. College classes should be running essays through a program to detect plagiarism, and it's usually not difficult for professors to identify if a student is cheating or turning in work that is not their own. Students should be attending college to learn and to challenge themselves. If you're struggling, talk to your professor, instructor, or teaching assistant for help, and take advantage of resources on campus, such as a writing lab.

rose sandra, Online Assignment Writing

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Anonymous, Former graduate student

The short answer to your question is: "Likely." With today's technology, professors and teachers can easily use a program or online service that runs essays across the internet, looking for matches to other literary works. Sites like turnitin.com will be able to easy find plagiarized work. That being said, you should NEVER plagiarize. Every school has strict policies on this and getting caught will result in dire consequences. Plagiarism is the equivalent of cheating and you should never consider doing it. I would highly recommend you write your own essay.

Sure, you can read other essays for inspiration and ideas, but ultimately, your work should be your own and should come from your own mind. If you're quoting something, you should always use quotation marks and cite where the source is from. This is used to avoid plagiarism. I hope this helps you and I wish you good luck on writing your essay (which should be original!)

M. Erez Kats, Seattle Language Arts Teacher

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I agree with the above experts. There is no problem with using somebody else's words, as long as you absolutely cite and give credit to the original author using the proper MLA or APA formatting. Otherwise, you are guilty of plagiarism, and that is not only illegal, but it can get you thrown out of school, and will lead you down a path you don't want to go down. So just make sure that you are giving credit - really, even if you paraphrase (or put into your own words) an idea that belongs to another author, you still need to give credit to and cite that author. Only your own ideas and your own writing does not need to be cited. Hope that helps!

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