Stephen Covey, the inspirational teacher who composed “The 7 Practices of Highly Efficient People,” states, “Trust is the greatest kind of human inspiration.”
As writers, trust is your biggest property. Your track record is simply a representation of our trust and authority.
Sadly, there is no much easier method to betray that trust than by committing plagiarism.
While the majority of people believe avoiding plagiarism is easy, it’s a little more nuanced. Periodically, plagiarism occurs unintentionally, such as through incorrect citations or forgetting to add a suitable link.
Moreover, plagiarism is not simply a concern of academic community but can also be a major concern for any kind of writing, consisting of blog site writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who stemmed an idea.
This guide will offer actionable techniques to prevent plagiarism and define what constitutes real plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster supplies a more official meaning. We can specify plagiarism as the deliberate act of copying one’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to differentiate what constitutes plagiarism and what does not.
The loaning of one’s ideas and even the elucidation of which does not necessarily implicate plagiarism if the writing is original or if they cite their source.
For example, if I compose a brief blog site on the principles of SEO in my own words, I do not need to provide credit or cite whoever the first individual to coin the term SEO was to avoid plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of concepts is necessary to the development of its understanding base.
For instance, we can see Schopenhauer’s impact over Nietzche’s early concepts without the latter having to cite the former always.
In addition, anything thought about common knowledge would not be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not need to point out a source.
In addition, stating idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not need one to source Caeser.
However, content composed almost verbatim of what another person has written without proper citation constitutes plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog, that would be purposeful plagiarism.
In addition, even if the phrasing of a message is altered, but its ideas and message are practically verbatim what another person has actually composed, this might certify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Bad
It practically does not need to be said that “plagiarism is bad” is a common truism in our society and requires little bit more description.
However, there are both practical and ethical reasons plagiarism is bad that need to be enhanced:
- It’s a form of intellectual theft.
- It compromises the integrity and reputation of the writer.
- Neglecting plagiarism sets a bad precedent for all the arts and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing skills and makes you a lazy writer.
- It does not feel great when it takes place to you.
With that stated, I do not believe a majority of plagiarism circumstances arise out of some sinister act but rather out of ignorance or haste.
Common Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly avoidable using modern tools and by preparing ahead. For example, many scholastic trainees plagiarize due to the fact that they hesitate on tasks or do not know how to cite things appropriately.
Some common sources of plagiarism consist of:
- Deliberate theft.
- Poorly cited quotations.
- Poorly paraphrased research study.
- Utilizing a broken hyperlink to cite something.
- Not understanding that something isn’t common understanding.
- Reusing previous work of your own without understanding or appropriately citing it.
To assist you avoid plagiarism, I’ve detailed seven practical ideas to embrace to your composing process to guarantee your writing remains clean.
1. Make Notes When Pointing Out Other Sources
If you resemble me, you most likely open up a dozen tabs approximately to investigate a subject just before you in fact compose any words.
In numerous instances, plagiarism can result from just forgetting to mention something you may have published to a draft or written down without understanding it.
That’s why it’s important to appropriately track all sources you mention, specifically if you utilize any direct quotes in your post or need to cite a statistic or research point.
Monitor things you’re sourcing by including comments, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any material you are sourcing from other individuals.
When in doubt, if you’re not sure something requires a source, add a link or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO perspective, linking to reliable third-party websites is considered finest practice, regardless.
2. Include Citations Or Links In-Text
Next, we require to determine how you will cite the sources you consist of in your document.
In the meantime, much of academic community requires APA citations, implying you will require to add a footer after any quote from your source or a parenthetical citation, such as (Lieback, 2023).
For fields beyond academia, placing a hyperlink over a part of the anchor text related to the source can be a simple citation.
For example, if I was mentioning Zeus as the world’s biggest dog, according to CNN, I might have utilized “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s biggest pet” as my anchor text for the source link.
Finally, including quotes and pointing out the author or source’s name can likewise be an adequate type of citation in more informal fields beyond academia.
For example, pointing out Steve Jobs as stating, “Stay starving, Stay foolish,” is adequate without linking or creating an official citation.
3. Paraphrase Details With Original Concepts
If you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not require to source them, especially for more casual writing.
Ideally, I motivate my authors to attempt and paraphrase concepts but present them in a brand-new light. Utilize the ideas you collect from your research study to support your own ideas and conclusions, which must be drawn individually when all the facts are gathered.
Not only does this ensure your writing is tidy, however it also makes you a more critical thinker.
One needs to ask themselves, what is the point of discussing another person’s ideas if you are not going to offer a brand-new viewpoint?
Use the information you paraphrase as details, not gospel, to guarantee that you constantly prevent plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying
The most simple way to prevent plagiarism is to capture it prior to 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 infractions.
Again, inspect to see if the writing is original and that the writer derived their conclusions separately. This will make you a better editor as well.
5. Use A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are extremely useful for capturing errors that human beings can’t perhaps perceive.
To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a recent short article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly verified that the text I pasted matched what was published in the SEJ short article. It even included a link to the SEJ post to utilize as a reference/citation for the text I pasted.
Screenshot from Grammarly, January 2023 Tools like Grammarly are excellent for finding most webpage material, but they may not deal with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any material that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Plan Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will ensure you have sufficient time to proofread pieces and draft your lays out accordingly. This permits you to track all of your sources, figure out
how to cite them correctly, and help you avoid other mistakes. 7. Devote To Presenting Initial Ideas Finally, this point speaks
to the ethos of why we write. By dealing with to be an independent author and thinker, you will never ever have to stress over plagiarism.
Most notably, you will be far more effective
because of it. Preventing plagiarism isn’t always tough
, however it requires discipline and appropriate planning. More resources: Featured Image: GoodStudio/SMM Panel