Stephen Covey, the inspirational educator who composed “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Individuals,” says, “Trust is the greatest form of human motivation.”
As writers, trust is your greatest property. Your track record is simply a representation of our trust and authority.
Sadly, there is no easier way to betray that trust than by committing plagiarism.
While many people think avoiding plagiarism is basic, it’s a bit more nuanced. Sometimes, plagiarism arises inadvertently, such as through incorrect citations or forgetting to include an appropriate link.
Furthermore, plagiarism is not just an issue of academia but can also be a significant concern for any kind of composing, including blog writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who stemmed 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 official meaning. We can specify plagiarism as the purposeful act of copying one’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to identify what makes up plagiarism and what does not.
The loaning of one’s concepts or perhaps the elucidation of which does not necessarily link plagiarism if the writing is original or if they cite their source.
For instance, if I compose a short blog on the fundamentals of SEO in my own words, I don’t have to offer credit or mention whoever the very first person to coin the term SEO was to avoid plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of concepts is vital to the development of its understanding base.
For instance, we can see Schopenhauer’s impact over Nietzche’s early ideas without the latter having to cite the previous necessarily.
In addition, anything considered typical knowledge would not be plagiarism. If I said that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not need to mention a source.
In addition, specifying idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not require one to source Caeser.
Nevertheless, material written almost verbatim of what another individual has actually composed without correct citation constitutes plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog site, that would be intentional plagiarism.
Additionally, even if the wording of a message is changed, but its concepts and message are almost verbatim what another person has composed, this might certify 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 bit further explanation.
However, there are both practical and ethical reasons plagiarism is bad that must be strengthened:
- It’s a kind of intellectual theft.
- It jeopardizes the stability and track record of the author.
- 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 excellent when it occurs to you.
With that said, I do not think a bulk of plagiarism instances emerge out of some malevolent act but rather out of ignorance or haste.
Typical Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly avoidable utilizing modern-day tools and by planning ahead. For instance, lots of academic students plagiarize since they put things off on projects or don’t know how to cite things properly.
Some typical sources of plagiarism consist of:
- Deliberate theft.
- Poorly mentioned quotes.
- Badly paraphrased research study.
- Utilizing a broken hyperlink to cite something.
- Not understanding that something isn’t common knowledge.
- Recycling previous work of your own without understanding or appropriately citing it.
To help you prevent plagiarism, I’ve detailed 7 practical pointers to embrace to your writing procedure to ensure your writing remains clean.
1. Make Notes When Pointing Out Other Sources
If you resemble me, you probably open a dozen tabs or two to look into a topic right before you really compose any words.
In lots of instances, plagiarism can arise from merely forgetting to mention something you may have posted to a draft or made a note of without understanding it.
That’s why it is very important to correctly track all sources you cite, specifically if you use any direct quotes in your article or require to point out a fact or research study point.
Keep track of things you’re sourcing by including comments, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any product you are sourcing from other individuals.
When in doubt, if you’re uncertain something requires a source, add a hyperlink or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO point of view, linking to reliable third-party websites is considered best practice, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Links In-Text
Next, we need to find out how you will mention the sources you consist of in your document.
For now, much of academic community requires APA citations, indicating you will require to add a footer after any quote from your source or a parenthetical citation, such as (Lieback, 2023).
For fields outside of academia, placing a link 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 pet dog, according to CNN, I might have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s largest dog” as my anchor text for the source link.
Lastly, including quotes and mentioning the author or source’s name can also be an adequate type of citation in more informal fields beyond academia.
For instance, citing Steve Jobs as stating, “Stay hungry, Stay silly,” is appropriate without linking or creating an official citation.
3. Paraphrase Information With Original Ideas
If you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not need to source them, especially for more informal writing.
Ideally, I encourage my writers to try and paraphrase concepts but present them in a new light. Use the concepts you gather from your research to support your own concepts and conclusions, which ought to be drawn independently once all the realities are gathered.
Not only does this ensure your writing is clean, however it also makes you a more important thinker.
One has to ask themselves, what is the point of discussing somebody else’s ideas if you are not going to use a brand-new viewpoint?
Utilize the details you paraphrase as information, not gospel, to ensure that you constantly avoid plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying
The most simple method to prevent plagiarism is to catch it before you publish a paper. Taking the time to modify your piece and your citations will ensure that your piece stays clean and is not in risk of any ethical violations.
Again, inspect to see if the writing is original which the author derived their conclusions independently. This will make you a better editor also.
5. Usage A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are exceptionally helpful for catching mistakes that human beings can’t perhaps perceive.
To check Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a recent short article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly validated that the text I pasted matched what was released in the SEJ article. It even included a link to the SEJ short article to use as a reference/citation for the text I pasted.
Screenshot from Grammarly, January 2023 Tools like Grammarly are terrific for discovering most webpage content, however they may not deal with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any material that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Strategy Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you have adequate time to proofread pieces and draft your details appropriately. This permits you to keep an eye on all of your sources, figure out
how to cite them correctly, and assist you prevent other mistakes. 7. Dedicate To Providing Original Concepts Lastly, this point speaks
to the values of why we compose. By solving to be an independent writer and thinker, you will never ever need to worry about plagiarism.
Most importantly, you will be far more successful
since of it. Preventing plagiarism isn’t necessarily hard
, however it requires discipline and correct planning. More resources: Included Image: GoodStudio/Best SMM Panel