Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who composed “The 7 Habits of Extremely Reliable Individuals,” states, “Trust is the greatest kind of human motivation.”
As authors, trust is your biggest possession. Your track record is merely a representation of our trust and authority.
Sadly, there is no easier method to betray that trust than by committing plagiarism.
While the majority of people believe avoiding plagiarism is easy, it’s a bit more nuanced. Occasionally, plagiarism arises inadvertently, such as through improper citations or forgetting to include a proper link.
Moreover, plagiarism is not simply an issue of academic community but can also be a significant concern for any type of composing, consisting of blog site writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated an idea.
This guide will provide actionable methods to prevent plagiarism and specify what constitutes real plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster offers a more formal meaning. We can specify plagiarism as the purposeful act of copying one’s concepts and passing them off as your own.
However, it is necessary to distinguish what constitutes plagiarism and what does not.
The loaning of one’s ideas or even the elucidation of which does not necessarily link plagiarism if the writing is initial or if they mention their source.
For example, if I compose a short blog site on the basics of SEO in my own words, I don’t have to provide credit or mention whoever the first person to coin the term SEO was to avoid plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of ideas is essential to the advancement of its knowledge base.
For instance, we can see Schopenhauer’s influence over Nietzche’s early concepts without the latter having to cite the former necessarily.
Furthermore, anything considered common knowledge would not be plagiarism. If I said that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not need to cite a source.
Furthermore, stating idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not need one to source Caeser.
However, material written nearly verbatim of what another individual has written without correct citation makes up plagiarism. So if somebody were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog, that would be purposeful plagiarism.
In addition, even if the wording of a message is altered, however its ideas and message are practically verbatim what another individual has written, this might qualify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Bad
It practically doesn’t require to be said that “plagiarism is bad” is a common truism in our society and requires little further explanation.
Nevertheless, there are both useful and ethical reasons why plagiarism is bad that should be enhanced:
- It’s a type of intellectual theft.
- It jeopardizes the integrity and reputation of the writer.
- Overlooking plagiarism sets a bad precedent for all the arts and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing skills and makes you a lazy author.
- It doesn’t feel good when it happens to you.
With that stated, I don’t think a majority of plagiarism circumstances develop out of some malicious act but rather out of lack of knowledge or haste.
Typical Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly avoidable utilizing contemporary tools and by planning ahead. For instance, lots of scholastic students plagiarize since they hesitate on assignments or do not understand how to point out things correctly.
Some typical sources of plagiarism include:
- Intentional theft.
- Poorly cited quotes.
- Improperly paraphrased research study.
- Utilizing a broken link to cite something.
- Not understanding that something isn’t common understanding.
- Recycling previous work of your own without understanding or effectively citing it.
To help you avoid plagiarism, I have actually detailed 7 practical tips to adopt to your composing process to ensure your writing remains tidy.
1. Make Notes When Pointing Out Other Sources
If you resemble me, you probably open a dozen tabs or two to investigate a topic just before you really compose any words.
In lots of circumstances, plagiarism can result from merely forgetting to mention something you may have published to a draft or jotted down without understanding it.
That’s why it’s important to effectively track all sources you point out, especially if you utilize any direct quotes in your article or require to point out a statistic or research point.
Monitor things you’re sourcing by including remarks, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any product you are sourcing from other individuals.
When in doubt, if you’re not sure something needs a source, add a hyperlink or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO point of view, linking to reliable third-party sites is considered best practice, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Text
Next, we need to determine how you will mention the sources you include in your document.
For now, much of academia requires APA citations, suggesting you will require to include a footer after any quote from your source or a parenthetical citation, such as (Lieback, 2023).
For fields outside of academia, inserting a link over a portion of the anchor text related to the source can be a simple citation.
For example, if I was citing Zeus as the world’s largest pet, according to CNN, I could have utilized “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s biggest pet dog” as my anchor text for the source link.
Finally, including quotes and mentioning the author or source’s name can likewise be a sufficient type of citation in more casual fields beyond academic community.
For instance, mentioning Steve Jobs as stating, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish,” is appropriate without connecting or developing a formal citation.
3. Paraphrase Details With Original Concepts
If you are not copying someone’s ideas verbatim, you will likely not require to source them, especially for more casual writing.
Preferably, I encourage my writers to try and paraphrase concepts however present them in a new light. Utilize the ideas you collect from your research study to support your own ideas and conclusions, which ought to be drawn independently as soon as all the realities are collected.
Not just does this guarantee your writing is tidy, but it likewise makes you a more important thinker.
One needs to ask themselves, what is the point of discussing someone else’s ideas if you are not going to use a brand-new viewpoint?
Use the details you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to make sure that you constantly prevent plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Editing
The most straightforward way to prevent plagiarism is to capture it before you publish a paper. Taking the time to modify your piece and your citations will guarantee that your piece stays tidy and is not in threat of any ethical violations.
Again, examine to see if the writing is initial and that the author derived their conclusions individually. This will make you a better editor also.
5. Use A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are incredibly helpful for capturing mistakes that humans can’t possibly perceive.
To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a current short article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly validated that the text I pasted matched what was published in the SEJ post. It even included a link to the SEJ short article to utilize as a reference/citation for the text I pasted.
Screenshot from Grammarly, January 2023 Tools like Grammarly are fantastic for finding most webpage content, however they may not work with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any content that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Strategy Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will ensure you have appropriate time to check pieces and prepare your describes appropriately. This permits you to monitor all of your sources, figure out
how to mention them properly, and help you avoid other errors. 7. Commit To Presenting Initial Concepts Lastly, this point speaks
to the principles of why we compose. By dealing with to be an independent author and thinker, you will never need to worry about plagiarism.
Most importantly, you will be far more effective
because of it. Preventing plagiarism isn’t necessarily challenging
, however it requires discipline and proper planning. More resources: Included Image: GoodStudio/Best SMM Panel