Plagiarism—An Illegal Act
Plagiarism can be defined as “the representation of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one’s original work.” It is illegal, unethical, and has the potential to end one’s career. Hence avoiding it is always the best way.
Know about various forms of plagiarizing a content
A writer should be well aware of the possible forms of plagiarism in that way, s/he might avoid plagiarizing, at least unintentionally.
- Direct Plagiarism: It is the word-for-word replication of a portion of someone else’s work, without the due attribution or quotation marks.
- Self-plagiarism: Mostly, due to impending deadlines, students tend to plagiarize their previous work only, and this gets regarded as self-plagiarism.
- Mosaic Plagiarism: It occurs when a student uses phrases mentioned in a source without using quotation marks. It can also occur when a student uses just the synonyms for the source creator’s language and maintain the original structure and the meaning created by the author.
- Accidental plagiarism: It happens when students are not very careful as a result of which they forget to cite sources or even misquote sources. It can also occur if the student unintentionally paraphrases a source using similar words or phrases with the original meaning.
One would be surprised to know that many types of plagiarism, accidental or unintentional plagiarism is one of the most common mistakes most people make.
How should one avoid plagiarism?
Plagiarism can have consequences in both academic lives or careers. It can cause legal problems, cancellation of projects, or even expulsion.
These days, with the massive volume of online content available, it is easy to copy someone’s idea. It is essential to produce original content as it ensures a better SEO ranking.
- Always cite sources: Only quoting is not enough. Citing sources is equally important. Citing includes writing the name of the author, the date of the publication, and the blog or article from where information is taken and similar information.
Even if one uses their previous writing, it is necessary to cite these sources too. Not doing the same can result in self-plagiarism.
- Use original language: It is always better to present the material or the gist of it in one’s own words. It helps in avoiding unnecessary paraphrasing.
- Use plagiarism checker: Plagiarism checkers can help detect plagiarism and also displays the amount of plagiarism in an article. Plagiarism checkers are always available online and refer to materials available online to check for plagiarism.
These are accurate and hence help avoid accidental plagiarism. Some plagiarism checkers also display the amount of plagiarized content and also suggest necessary changes
- Use quotation marks: It is always necessary to use quotation marks to paraphrase any line or paragraph.
Copying more than two words verbatim without quotation marks is usually regarded as plagiarism. However, quoting of 40 words or more is considered plagiarism.
It is thus necessary to avoid plagiarism and produce original content.