Generate or not to Generate: ChatGPT and Plagiarism Risks

All Posts

28 Mar 2023

The purpose of this guide is to explain the pros and cons of using ChatGPT. You will learn about plagiarism risks and the best ways to stay safe. 

ChatGPT and Plagiarism Risks

What is ChatGPT and why use it? 

ChatGPT is a special NLP chatbot that takes things to another level by offering human-like answers. It engages in a complex conversation based on artificial intelligence algorithms that create various language models. It can answer questions and assist with basic writing and composition tasks by implementing analysis and processing of the written content. You can easily compose email messages, work on school and college essays, or even address specific SEO tasks.

The most important is to remember that this tool uses machine learning, meaning it will respond better if you think twice before you type anything. While many learners will use the solution to do specific writing tasks for them, there are apparent plagiarism issues. Therefore, educators insist on addressing the risks, ChatGPT, and plagiarism cases since the tool is only sometimes used to explore or brainstorm things! 

Why ChatGPT exists?

The primary purpose of ChatGPT is to provide helpful feedback to help students learn, not have artificial intelligence patterns write things instead. This AI-based solution has the right means to improve writing skills, yet it will never do the thinking part or replace the learning aspect. When an average teacher provides a prompt to follow, the tool should be used to practice and correct grammar or spelling issues.

As long as it is used this way, there should be no plagiarism risks per se! When a student uses the tool to generate complete paragraphs or paraphrase a specific research paper, there are solid reasons to become concerned! 

Using ChatGPT for writing purposes 

No matter how much praise we would hear regarding using ChatGPT for academic writing and blogging, content marketing, and beyond, it remains generic and still needs to focus on proper analysis. It will always ask for a clear prompt, meaning clarity should always come first! You can start with the critical elements of your sentence and ask the system to complete it. As a rule, it will help to overcome writer's block, but one has to check things twice! Most students simply upload their written content and ask the system to correct it. Additionally, ChatGPT and AI are shaping the future of marketing managers by revolutionizing the way they create content and engage with their audience. With the ability to generate personalized marketing messages, conduct market research, and analyze consumer trends, ChatGPT provides invaluable insights and support. 

There's a risk that students might rely too heavily on AI tools like ChatGPT, which could potentially undermine their critical thinking skills. However, from my own experience, I've found that using ChatGPT for ideation actually requires a deeper understanding of the material to generate meaningful prompts. This can, in turn, enhance critical thinking and originality.

Richard Campbell, A Seasoned English Professor in South Korea

ChatGPT’s main flaw and strength All-in-One

Some corrections include dealing with the passive and active voice, correcting grammar, making sentences more straightforward, and more. Of course, it won't be able to compose an entire assignment for you, even though it is technically possible! The system can generate survey questions based on your prompt or help you start a discussion if necessary. It's also possible to ask ChatGPT what parts are hard to read and expect corrections. It is helpful for academic writing, bloggers, or website creators. The only problem is that the content generation will always be based on your input. It means that originality and plagiarism remain an issue to consider! 

ChatGPT and plagiarism risks

Encountering plagiarism when using ChatGPT for most purposes is inevitable if the primary content has been copied for paraphrasing or processing. Since we are dealing with artificial intelligence, the chances are high that the system will consider that the original content is flawless and won't change it much. The tricky part is that we are dealing with Natural Language Processing (NLP). It takes your written content and "writes" something based solely on that! In this particular scenario, cheating is hard to determine as there will be no direct copying cases in most cases.

It will come down to the skills of a teacher who will notice various peculiarities in the text that will look odd or sound strange. At the same time, it will be hard to prove that a person has cheated since we won't be able to specify a source where "original" content has appeared. 

  • Can ChatGPT writing be detected? Yes, it is possible to detect the fact but only possible to prove it if there is an exact match. Studying the subject of artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and plagiarism, certain solutions by OpenAI help to identify the use of specific applications by fine-tuning plagiarism detection mechanisms. There have even been certain talks about a special watermark that would show if there was an artificial content generation. The majority of plagiarism detection scores (when using ChatGPT-generated content) have been varying between 5 and 20%. 
  • Is ChatGPT plagiarism-free? The answer varies, depending on how we use the tool. it would be wrong to say that ChatGPT is a form of classic plagiarism since text generation is not the same as trying to copy something intentionally. As one can see, using ChatGPT is not a form of plagiarism when it’s used for grammar correction and the generation of a better thesis statement. It raises moral issues when the system generates an entire assignment, which can be spotted easily by modern plagiarism detection tools. 

The pros and cons of applying ChatGPT to a human-written content

As a rule, there are both positive and negative sides to ChatGPT, depending on the final application and initial purposes. It is acceptable if the system corrects grammar or assists with poor English (or any other language) skills. The same works for generating thesis statements or asking questions based on keywords or scanned text. Things become entirely different if the bot is used intentionally for cheating intentions. Summing things up, we receive the following suggestions.

ChatGPT Pros: 

  • ChatGPT is not an intentional tool that copies or plagiarizes text per se. It should not be considered plagiarism because the system only works with the text you input. It will always depend on a person's actions, making it wrong to say that ChatGPT is illegal. 
  • Generating outlines, creating short theses, and processing lengthy text paragraphs are possible. 
  • It's good to learn English for the exchange students. 
  • It helps to make your text more readable and assists in the simplification of odd sentences. 
  • Grammar, spelling, and structure checking. 
  • Paraphrasing and processing the original content. 
  • A great time-saver when facing writer's block. 

ChatGPT Cons: 

  • There may be unintentional plagiarism risks. Even if you try to paraphrase something, checking things with a plagiarism detector is necessary to ensure that everything is within originality scores. 
  • Some students may be tempted to complete sentences or entire paragraphs using ChatGPT. 
  • A reduction of user analysis and strategic thinking. When time runs out, the system may catch some facts and vital information based on shared content. 
  • Paraphrasing mistakes or content generated with logical mistakes. 
  • Students tend to believe that ChatGPT can do work instead of them, leading to various cheating and plagiarism cases. 

Privacy concerns and accuracy of ChatGPT in practice 

In addition to the privacy concerns that are being raised all the time, the use of ChatGPT is also prone to false alerts or inaccurate representation of the facts. If we ignore the mistakes the user may have entered, one should not rely on using the AI-based system when working with serious research. Although it may provide us with the numbers or information that could be obtained via a basic web search, students tend to ignore it and use ChatGPT instead.

Moreover, if the information the system provides needs to be updated, the learners will not double-check it and may leave it the way it is. While it’s not a classic case of plagiarism, it removes the necessity of unique research and analysis, which is a more serious issue! 

Avoiding plagiarism

It reveals a vital necessity for teachers and college professors to check most assignments manually, as some new concerns and dangers must be spotted and detected. Since there are always risks of academic misconduct and cheating, using and checking for the use of ChatGPT is like burning the candle at both ends. Knowing the students well, trained educators will always detect cases of plagiarism.

Therefore, every student should learn how to create unique content and ensure that analysis is involved in every written assignment. Using ChatGPT and other tools for writing, one should check things with a plagiarism detection tool like Fixgerald to stay safe! 


  • Can professors tell you have used ChatGPT?

According to the news reports, systems like TurnItIn claim to detect cases of ChatGPT. Most college professors will know you have used artificial intelligence by checking for your writing style, tone, repetition, and clarity. Your college professor may talk to you if your writing skills change suddenly or your sentences sound relatively strange. While most cases of ChatGPT will be almost impossible to prove, specific mechanisms and schemes will still detect if something is concerning.

  • Can the use of ChatGPT be detected as a case of plagiarism?

It will depend on the severity of plagiarism and the final assignment you submit as your original work. If you have used ChatGPT only to correct your grammar and fix the clarity of your writing, it won't be considered plagiarism. However, suppose you have used the tool to complete every sentence and create entire paragraphs based on someone else's work (paraphrasing, intelligent language processing). In that case, it's a direct and severe case of plagiarism. Even if some system doesn't detect the original content, a college professor will always know if something has been copied or processed through AI-based tools.

Was this article helpful?

10 readers found this helpful

Yes No
Thanks for your feedback!

Related Articles

We keep you up to date with the latest news and industry insights