Plagiarism is not an offence you want to commit as a student, as a writer or in any capacity at all. It is a very serious offence and is heavily frowned upon.
I discussed plagiarism in detail in a previous post so today I want to focus majorly on how to avoid plagiarism when writing.
Writing so many different types of essays and articles for all my different clients requires me to be original in the content I deliver. And so, over the years I have managed to develop and adapt some tips in my writing routine that I believe have been effective in preventing me and my team from committing plagiarism.
So what exactly amounts to plagiarism?
You commit plagiarism when:
- You submit work that belongs to someone else
- When you use words from someone else’s work without giving the original owner credit.
- When you paraphrase someone else’s work
- When you don’t include the right information about a quote that you use in your work or when you fail to enclose a quote in quotation marks.
- Using images or a video in your work without giving proper credit to the original owner.
- Using copyrighted music in your work for example as music background
- Even performing someone else’s song as a cover is a form of plagiarism.
Most people don’t know this but there are several forms of plagiarism. Let us look at a few of them in this section.
Literal word for word plagiarism
This is when you copy someone else’s work word for word without acknowledging that they are the original owner of that work. If you have to include part of someone else’s work in your writing, ensure that you put it in quotation marks. Furthermore, cite the source of this piece of information and give the original owner credit for his work.
- Paraphrasing a text
Using different words to quote someone’s work in your writing is also considered plagiarism. This is something that most people do not know, however it is true.
- Recycling previous work
This is another common form of plagiarism. More often than not students may find themselves caught up with time when a deadline for submitting an assignment approaches and they forgot about or did not do the assignment. When this happens, a student may decide to submit a previously published assignment for grading. In other cases, students may reach out to other students who are ahead of them seeking an essay on a subject that was handled before. This is plagiarism. If you must include part of previously published work, indicate that that part of your essay has been previously published.
- Citing sources incorrectly
You may cite the sources used in your essay, however if you do this incorrectly you are committing plagiarism. It is important that you cite your source correctly and also include the same in your reference list at the end of your work. Secondary sources must also be included in the correct format.
- Copy pasting directly from the web
The internet is a hub for information. As such many students often search the web for this information when writing papers, assignments or essays. This is not wrong. However, if you take information from the internet and don’t acknowledge the website where you got that information from then you are committing plagiarism.
Plagiarism is tantamount to fraud because not only are you stealing someone else’s work, you are going a step further and lying about it. Whether it is done intentionally or unintentionally plagiarism is a serious offence. So, take care that you are not caught committing this grievous offence. Alternatively, you can see help from business paper help and get a plagiarism high grade paper.
So here are the tips that will hopefully be effective in helping you avoid plagiarism in your work.
The first tip on how to avoid plagiarism is to first of all know and understand what it means to plagiarize. There are various courses or articles that one can read to get information on what it is. Take the prerogative of reading more on this topic and gaining as much information as you can.
- Use plagiarism checking resources
There are a number of resources available where one can submit their essay or assignment or any written work to be checked for plagiarism before they hand it in to their professors. A lot of websites offer this service. It is just a matter of you taking the initiative and searching for one.
- Edit your work
Any writer or even your professor will tell you that editing your work before submitting it for marking is very important. While you are editing you are able to identify which parts of your essay are words or texts you borrowed. This will in turn make it easier for you to cite the source where you got your information from.
- Seek out assistance
If you are able to seek help from your professor or a professional, then take advantage of this and have him or her read through your work. As they go through it, they will be able to identify where you need to but have not cited the sources you have used. You will have an added advantage since they are the ones who will be marking your work.
- Familiarize yourself with copyright laws
It is Sir Francis Bacon who said these famous words ‘Knowledge is power’. Truer words have never been spoken. Arming yourself with knowledge about copyright laws will be your saving grace in preventing you from committing plagiarism.
Copyright laws are legal provisions put in place by the government that grants owners of intellectual properties exclusive rights to said properties. These laws cover literary works, music, art, films and movies among others.
- Cite all your sources
When all is said and done the easiest way to make sure you are not committing plagiarism is to cite any and all sources that you use in your writing. A quick tip that I can share is for you to always note down the source where you are getting a piece of information as you conduct your research. This will make it easier for you when you are writing to correctly cite the source where you borrowed the text you are using.
- Learn how to correctly paraphrase
Contrary to common belief, paraphrasing does not merely involve using other words to rewrite someone else’s work. Paraphrasing involves changing the words and the structure of the original text, but you have to be careful not to change the original content. Take note however that even though you will paraphrase you will still need to cite the original source. This is because even though the words are your own the ideas are not.
These are just a few tips on how to avoid plagiarism in your writing. Because plagiarism is a complex topic, we cannot cover everything in one article. You can get more information on this topic from other articles on our site.