Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who wrote “The 7 Habits of Extremely Efficient Individuals,” says, “Belief is the best type of human motivation.”
As writers, belief is your best asset. Your repute is merely a illustration of our belief and authority.
Sadly, there isn’t any simpler option to betray that belief than by committing plagiarism.
Whereas most individuals suppose avoiding plagiarism is straightforward, it’s slightly extra nuanced. Often, plagiarism arises by accident, comparable to via improper citations or forgetting so as to add an acceptable hyperlink.
Moreover, plagiarism isn’t just a priority of academia however may also be a serious subject for any kind of writing, together with weblog writing, journalism, gross sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated an thought.
This information will present actionable methods to keep away from plagiarism and outline what constitutes precise plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster gives a extra formal definition. We can outline plagiarism because the deliberate act of copying one’s concepts and passing them off as your individual.
Nonetheless, it’s vital to tell apart what constitutes plagiarism and what doesn’t.
The borrowing of 1’s concepts and even the elucidation of which doesn’t essentially implicate plagiarism if the writing is authentic or in the event that they cite their supply.
For instance, if I write a brief weblog on the basics of website positioning in my very own phrases, I don’t have to present credit score or cite whoever the primary particular person to coin the time period website positioning was to keep away from plagiarism.
In any subject, the sharing of concepts is important to the event of its data base.
For instance, we are able to see Schopenhauer’s affect over Nietzche’s early concepts with out the latter having to quote the previous essentially.
Moreover, something thought of widespread data wouldn’t be plagiarism. If I mentioned that Joe Biden is the president of the USA, I don’t have to cite a supply.
Moreover, stating idioms, comparable to “crossing the Rubicon,” doesn’t require one to supply Caeser.
Nonetheless, content material written nearly verbatim of what one other particular person has written with out correct quotation constitutes plagiarism. So if somebody had been to repeat and paste that final sentence right into a weblog, that might be deliberate plagiarism.
Moreover, even when the wording of a message is modified, however its concepts and message are nearly verbatim what one other particular person has written, this might qualify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Dangerous
It nearly doesn’t have to be mentioned that “plagiarism is unhealthy” is a typical truism in our society and requires little additional rationalization.
Nonetheless, there are each sensible and moral the reason why plagiarism is unhealthy that ought to be bolstered:
- It’s a type of mental theft.
- It compromises the integrity and repute of the author.
- Ignoring plagiarism units a nasty precedent for all the humanities and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing abilities and makes you a lazy author.
- It doesn’t really feel good when it occurs to you.
With that mentioned, I don’t imagine a majority of plagiarism cases come up out of some malevolent act however slightly out of ignorance or haste.
Frequent Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is well preventable utilizing trendy instruments and by planning forward. For instance, many tutorial college students plagiarize as a result of they procrastinate on assignments or don’t know cite issues correctly.
Some widespread sources of plagiarism embrace:
- Deliberate theft.
- Improperly cited quotations.
- Poorly paraphrased analysis.
- Utilizing a damaged hyperlink to quote one thing.
- Not understanding that one thing isn’t widespread data.
- Reusing earlier work of your individual with out realizing or correctly citing it.
That can assist you keep away from plagiarism, I’ve outlined seven sensible tricks to undertake to your writing course of to make sure your writing stays clear.
1. Make Notes When Citing Different Sources
When you’re like me, you in all probability open up a dozen tabs or so to analysis a subject simply earlier than you truly write any phrases.
In lots of cases, plagiarism may end up from merely forgetting to quote one thing you might have posted to a draft or written down with out realizing it.
That’s why it’s vital to correctly monitor all sources you cite, particularly for those who use any direct quotes in your article or have to cite a statistic or analysis level.
Hold monitor of belongings you’re sourcing by including feedback, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any materials you might be sourcing from different folks.
When unsure, for those who’re not sure one thing requires a supply, add a hyperlink or quotation to be on the secure facet.
From an website positioning perspective, linking to authoritative third-party websites is taken into account finest apply, regardless.
Subsequent, we have to determine how you’ll cite the sources you embrace in your doc.
For now, a lot of academia requires APA citations, which means you will have so as to add a footer after any quote out of your supply or a parenthetical quotation, comparable to (Lieback, 2023).
For fields exterior of academia, inserting a hyperlink over a portion of the anchor textual content associated to the supply might be a simple quotation.
For instance, if I used to be citing Zeus because the world’s largest canine, in response to CNN, I may have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s largest canine” as my anchor textual content for the supply hyperlink.
Lastly, including quotes and mentioning the creator or supply’s identify may also be an ample type of quotation in additional casual fields exterior of academia.
For instance, citing Steve Jobs as stating, “Keep hungry, Keep silly,” is ample with out linking or creating a proper quotation.
3. Paraphrase Data With Unique Concepts
In case you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you’ll doubtless not have to supply them, particularly for extra casual writing.
Ideally, I encourage my writers to attempt to paraphrase concepts however current them in a brand new gentle. Use the concepts you collect out of your analysis to assist your individual concepts and conclusions, which ought to be drawn independently as soon as all of the info are gathered.
Not solely does this guarantee your writing is clear, nevertheless it additionally makes you a extra vital thinker.
One has to ask themselves, what’s the level of writing about another person’s concepts if you’re not going to supply a brand new perspective?
Use the knowledge you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to make sure that you all the time keep away from plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Enhancing
Essentially the most simple option to keep away from plagiarism is to catch it earlier than you publish a paper. Taking the time to edit your piece and your citations will be sure that your piece stays clear and isn’t in peril of any moral violations.
Once more, test to see if the writing is authentic and that the author derived their conclusions independently. This can make you a greater editor as effectively.
5. Use A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism instruments are extremely useful for catching errors that people can’t probably understand.
To check Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some textual content from a current article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly confirmed that the textual content I pasted matched what was printed within the SEJ article. It even included a hyperlink to the SEJ article to make use of as a reference/quotation for the textual content I pasted.
Instruments like Grammarly are nice for locating most webpage content material, however they could not work with textual content from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any content material that hasn’t been listed by search.
6. Plan Forward Of Time
Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you’ve got ample time to proofread items and draft your outlines accordingly.
This lets you hold monitor of your whole sources, determine cite them appropriately, and show you how to keep away from different errors.
7. Commit To Presenting Unique Concepts
Lastly, this level speaks to the ethos of why we write.
By resolving to be an unbiased author and thinker, you’ll by no means have to fret about plagiarism. Most significantly, you can be rather more profitable due to it.
Avoiding plagiarism isn’t essentially tough, nevertheless it requires self-discipline and correct planning.
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