Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who wrote “The 7 Practices of Highly Effective People,” says, “Trust is the highest type of human motivation.”
As writers, trust is your greatest asset. Your track record is merely a representation of our trust and authority.
Regrettably, there is no easier way to betray that trust than by devoting plagiarism.
While most people believe preventing plagiarism is simple, it’s a bit more nuanced. Sometimes, plagiarism occurs mistakenly, such as through incorrect citations or forgetting to include an appropriate link.
Furthermore, plagiarism is not just an issue of academic community however can also be a significant issue for any type of writing, consisting of blog writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who stemmed a concept.
This guide will provide actionable methods to avoid plagiarism and specify what makes up actual plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster provides a more formal meaning. We can define plagiarism as the intentional act of copying one’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
However, it’s important to identify what makes up plagiarism and what does not.
The borrowing of one’s concepts or even the elucidation of which does not always implicate plagiarism if the writing is original or if they mention their source.
For example, if I compose a brief blog on the fundamentals of SEO in my own words, I don’t have to give credit or cite whoever the first person to coin the term SEO was to avoid plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of concepts is necessary to the advancement of its understanding base.
For example, we can see Schopenhauer’s impact over Nietzche’s early ideas without the latter needing to point out the previous necessarily.
Additionally, anything considered typical knowledge would not be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not require to mention a source.
Moreover, specifying idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not need one to source Caeser.
However, material written almost verbatim of what another individual has composed without proper citation constitutes plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog, that would be purposeful plagiarism.
Additionally, even if the phrasing of a message is altered, however its ideas and message are almost verbatim what another person has actually composed, this might certify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Bad
It nearly doesn’t need to be stated that “plagiarism is bad” is a common truism in our society and needs little bit more description.
However, there are both useful and ethical reasons why plagiarism is bad that ought to be enhanced:
- It’s a type of intellectual theft.
- It jeopardizes the stability 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 author.
- It does not feel excellent when it happens to you.
With that said, I don’t think a bulk of plagiarism circumstances emerge out of some malevolent act but rather out of ignorance or haste.
Typical Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly preventable utilizing contemporary tools and by preparing ahead. For instance, numerous scholastic trainees plagiarize since they hesitate on projects or do not know how to point out things correctly.
Some typical sources of plagiarism include:
- Deliberate theft.
- Poorly cited quotations.
- Poorly paraphrased research.
- Utilizing a damaged hyperlink to mention something.
- Not understanding that something isn’t common knowledge.
- Reusing previous work of your own without understanding or effectively citing it.
To help you avoid plagiarism, I’ve detailed seven useful suggestions to embrace to your composing procedure to guarantee your writing stays tidy.
1. Make Notes When Pointing Out Other Sources
If you resemble me, you most likely open a lots tabs or two to research a topic prior to you actually compose any words.
In lots of circumstances, plagiarism can arise from simply forgetting to point out something you might have published to a draft or documented without recognizing it.
That’s why it is very important to effectively track all sources you mention, particularly if you use any direct quotes in your post or need to mention a fact or research point.
Keep an eye on things you’re sourcing by adding comments, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any material you are sourcing from other people.
When in doubt, if you’re unsure something needs a source, include a hyperlink or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO viewpoint, linking to reliable third-party websites is thought about best practice, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Text
Next, we require to figure out how you will cite the sources you include in your file.
In the meantime, much of academic community needs APA citations, indicating you will require to include a footer after any quote from your source or a parenthetical citation, such as (Lieback, 2023).
For fields beyond academic community, placing a hyperlink over a part of the anchor text related to the source can be an easy citation.
For instance, if I was pointing out Zeus as the world’s biggest dog, according to CNN, I might have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s largest dog” as my anchor text for the source link.
Finally, including quotes and mentioning the author or source’s name can also be an appropriate kind of citation in more informal fields beyond academia.
For instance, pointing out Steve Jobs as mentioning, “Stay starving, Stay silly,” is sufficient without linking or creating a formal citation.
3. Paraphrase Info With Original Concepts
If you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not require to source them, specifically for more informal writing.
Ideally, I motivate my writers to attempt and paraphrase concepts but present them in a new light. Use the concepts you collect from your research to support your own ideas and conclusions, which ought to be drawn separately as soon as all the facts are collected.
Not just does this ensure your writing is tidy, but it also makes you a more critical thinker.
One needs to ask themselves, what is the point of discussing someone else’s concepts if you are not going to use a new perspective?
Utilize the information you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to ensure that you constantly avoid plagiarism.
4. Carry Out Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying
The most straightforward method to prevent plagiarism is to capture it before you publish a paper. Taking the time to modify your piece and your citations will make sure that your piece remains clean and is not in danger of any ethical violations.
Once again, check to see if the writing is original and that the author derived their conclusions individually. This will make you a better editor as well.
5. Usage A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are exceptionally practical for catching mistakes that humans can’t perhaps 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 confirmed that the text I pasted matched what was published in the SEJ post. It even included a link to the SEJ article to utilize as a reference/citation for the text I pasted.
Screenshot from Grammarly, January 2023 Tools like Grammarly are terrific for finding most webpage content, however they might not deal with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any content that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Strategy Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you have appropriate time to check pieces and prepare your details accordingly. This permits you to keep an eye on all of your sources, determine
how to mention them properly, and help you prevent other errors. 7. Dedicate To Presenting Original Ideas Lastly, this point speaks
to the values of why we write. By resolving to be an independent writer and thinker, you will never ever need to fret about plagiarism.
Most importantly, you will be much more successful
due to the fact that of it. Preventing plagiarism isn’t necessarily tough
, however it needs discipline and correct preparation. More resources: Featured Image: GoodStudio/Best SMM Panel