Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who wrote “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” says, “Trust is the highest form of human motivation.”
As writers, belief is your best asset. Your status is merely a illustration of our belief and authority.
Sadly, there isn’t a simpler strategy to betray that belief than by committing plagiarism.
Whereas most individuals assume avoiding plagiarism is easy, it’s somewhat extra nuanced. Often, plagiarism arises by chance, akin to by way of improper citations or forgetting so as to add an applicable hyperlink.
Moreover, plagiarism isn’t just a priority of academia however can be a serious subject for any sort of writing, together with weblog writing, journalism, gross sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated an concept.
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 offers a extra formal definition. We can outline plagiarism because the deliberate act of copying one’s concepts and passing them off as your individual.
However, it’s essential 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 unique or in the event that they cite their supply.
For instance, if I write a brief weblog on the fundamentals of SEO in my very own phrases, I don’t have to offer credit score or cite whoever the primary individual to coin the time period website positioning was to keep away from plagiarism.
In any area, the sharing of concepts is important to the event of its information base.
For instance, we will see Schopenhauer’s affect over Nietzche’s early concepts with out the latter having to quote the previous essentially.
Moreover, something thought of widespread information wouldn’t be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of america, I don’t have to cite a supply.
Moreover, stating idioms, akin to “crossing the Rubicon,” doesn’t require one to supply Caeser.
However, content material written nearly verbatim of what one other individual has written with out correct quotation constitutes plagiarism. So if somebody have 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 individual has written, this might qualify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Dangerous
It nearly doesn’t have to be stated that “plagiarism is bad” is a typical truism in our society and requires little additional clarification.
However, there are each sensible and moral explanation why plagiarism is dangerous that ought to be strengthened:
- It’s a type of mental theft.
- It compromises the integrity and status of the author.
- Ignoring plagiarism units a foul precedent for all the humanities and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing expertise and makes you a lazy author.
- It doesn’t really feel good when it occurs to you.
With that stated, I don’t imagine a majority of plagiarism situations come up out of some malevolent act however quite out of ignorance or haste.
Widespread Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is well preventable utilizing fashionable instruments and by planning forward. For instance, many tutorial college students plagiarize as a result of they procrastinate on assignments or don’t know find out how to 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 information.
- Reusing earlier work of your individual with out realizing or correctly citing it.
To provide help to 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
Should you’re like me, you most likely open up a dozen tabs or so to analysis a subject simply earlier than you truly write any phrases.
In lots of situations, plagiarism may end up from merely forgetting to quote one thing you’ll have posted to a draft or written down with out realizing it.
That’s why it’s essential to correctly monitor all sources you cite, particularly if you happen to use any direct quotes in your article or have to cite a statistic or analysis level.
Preserve monitor of stuff you’re sourcing by including feedback, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any materials you might be sourcing from different individuals.
When unsure, if you happen to’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 greatest observe, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Textual content
Subsequent, we have to work out how you’ll cite the sources you embrace in your doc.
For now, a lot of academia requires APA citations, that means you will want so as to add a footer after any quote out of your supply or a parenthetical quotation, akin to (Lieback, 2023).
For fields exterior of academia, inserting a hyperlink over a portion of the anchor textual content associated to the supply will be a straightforward quotation.
For instance, if I used to be citing Zeus because the world’s largest canine, in line with CNN, I might have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s largest dog” as my anchor textual content for the supply hyperlink.
Lastly, including quotes and mentioning the creator or supply’s identify can be an enough type of quotation in additional casual fields exterior of academia.
For instance, citing Steve Jobs as stating, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish,” is enough with out linking or creating a proper quotation.
3. Paraphrase Info With Unique Concepts
If you’re not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you’ll possible not have to supply them, particularly for extra casual writing.
Ideally, I encourage my writers to try to paraphrase concepts however current them in a brand new gentle. Use the concepts you collect out of your analysis to help your individual concepts and conclusions, which ought to be drawn independently as soon as all of the details are gathered.
Not solely does this guarantee your writing is clear, however it additionally makes you a extra crucial 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 at all times keep away from plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Enhancing
Probably the most easy strategy 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 at risk of any moral violations.
Once more, verify to see if the writing is unique and that the author derived their conclusions independently. This may 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.
Within the instance beneath, I copied and pasted a little bit of textual content from a current submit on the SEJ web site, and the instrument informed me that the textual content was 100% plagiarized and even gave me the supply hyperlink.
These instruments are nice for citing any web analysis, however they might not be efficient towards issues cited from books, PDFs, ebooks, or something not accessible in an web index.
6. Plan Forward Of Time
Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you have got enough time to proofread items and draft your outlines accordingly.
This lets you hold monitor of your entire sources, work out find out how to cite them accurately, and provide help 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 impartial author and thinker, you’ll by no means have to fret about plagiarism. Most significantly, you’ll be far more profitable due to it.
Avoiding plagiarism isn’t essentially tough, however it requires self-discipline and correct planning.
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