What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism means presenting someone’s thoughts or ideas in your work without the author’s acknowledgment. There are different types of plagiarism, such as direct, accidental, mosaic, and self-plagiarism. Let’s dig deeper and define each of them.
Direct plagiarism occurs when one copies a section of someone’s work word-for-word, without quotation marks or attribution. This kind of plagiarism is not only unethical but also grounds for disciplinary actions, including dismissal.
Cases of accidental plagiarism happen when one neglects to cite the sources or misquotes them. It also happens when a person unintentionally paraphrases someone’s work by using similar words. It’s important to note that lack of intent does not free students from responsibility for plagiarism.
Mosaic plagiarism or “patchwriting” is a form of plagiarism when one takes phrases from a source or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping original general structure and meaning. This kind of paraphrasing is considered academically dishonest.
Self-plagiarism means using one’s own previous works or mixing parts of previous writing. For example, it may occur when one incorporates some parts of a term paper into an essay. In case a student submits the same piece of work in different classes without permission, it’s regarded as self-plagiarism as well.
How to avoid plagiarism?
In order to avoid plagiarism, one should keep track of all the used sources. This is important since plagiarism often occurs just because students forget where they took an idea from and unintentionally present it as their own. It would be helpful to take notes of sources while researching the topic.You should make sure that you record the source of each piece of information you are going to mention in your work. Don’t forget to include websites and videos, not only books and articles.
In case copying the text word-for-word is inevitable, enclose it in quotation marks and attribute it to the original author. Also, you can resort to paraphrasing, which means explaining something from a source with your own words. It might include condensing of information and changing the sentence structure in order to make the text different from the original.
No matter whether you use quoting or paraphrasing, it’s obligatory to always include an in-text citation pointing to the original author. Note that each in-text citation in your work must correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper. Before creating a reference list, check the requirements of your citation style and make sure you apply it consistently throughout the whole text.
All educators find it critical to check students writing for plagiarism. They typically use university plagiarism checkers with huge databases of publications to detect unoriginal content in papers. Their technology is very reliable, so after scanning your document they have all the similarities highlighted. If you are not sure that your work will pass this check, you can try https://gradesfixer.com/plagiarism-checker/ for proofreading. This online service allows users to identify plagiarized parts in their works, so they can correct them by paraphrasing, adding quotation marks or citations. Even free plagiarism checkers available on the web can help you fix all the mistakes and submit original work.
Reasons for plagiarism
The reasons why students plagiarize are various. Probably, one of the most common is the lack of knowledge or information unavailability. Another reason might be the absence of writing skills due to the poor practice. Students who don’t complete a lot of writing tasks often experience difficulties with delivering information and expressing their thoughts. Therefore, they may decide to copy someone’s well-written content.
Students that are not good at managing their time also tend to plagiarize ideas. The lack of time is a frequent excuse for plagiarism since creating original works can take really long. Most students feel the burden of numerous assignments so they decide to steal content in order to relieve homework-related stress.
Another reason for plagiarism is just a loss of interest in a subject. Sometimes, curiosity may disappear, so students end up plagiarizing someone’s works. The absence of engagement and non-serious attitude to study often lead to plagiarism.
Why is a plagiarism-free rule important for students?
Plagiarism prevents students from broadening their knowledge and developing writing skills. It doesn’t leave a chance to master critical thinking, boost creativity, and improve vocabulary. Plagiarism is not beneficial for students in the long run as they lose learning opportunities while using someone’s ideas. It’s impossible to get a better understanding of the content without processing it. On the contrary, writing all the assignments by yourself provides more insights into the subject and helps to get high grades at exams.
Plagiarism ban promotes academic integrity. Original works demonstrate your honesty and make the competition in the classroom fair. Unique content created by yourself reflects the level of your knowledge and helps to understand your strong points. By submitting the work that was completed on your own, you can also get objective feedback and realize what your areas of improvement are.
As you see, avoiding plagiarism is not only easy with the help of reliable plagiarism checker tools but also essential for successful learning.
Judy Nelson is an academic writer and editor at a leading essay writing service. Her job is to create original college papers for students who need help with their studies. Judy has high professional standards, so she always completes assignments of exceptional quality and makes sure that they are hundred percent unique.