How can I avoid plagiarizing?

Plagiarism is a word that is absolutely unwelcome in the world in all fields. It is a very wrong, unethical and bad practice. The very word signifies copying, unoriginality and absolute dishonesty. You may wonder as to what this word means. In simple terms it is the copying or stealing of another person’s thoughts and ideas. This is the very basic and general meaning of this word. In the academic world however, this word is hated more and absolutely detested. Here it has a more specific meaning than the general one. Plagiarism here means the copying of another academic’s thoughts, ideas and maybe even the basic language used by him or her. Academic research nowadays requires for fresh thoughts and ideas to be put forward. Many of the researchers are able to achieve this by thinking freely by themselves. Sadly, however, many others mainly students in today’s times are cheating these people by copying from them. Such an act belittles the effort, thought and hard work put in by the original author of the work. Hence, one should totally avoid plagiarism by all means.

Another different and a totally opposite aspect from plagiarism is a citation. A citation, in simple terms, is a reference to any of the thoughts, ideas, work or language of a previously published author that one might use in his or her work/research. Why is this word so different from the word mentioned above? This is because while plagiarism is an absolutely wrong and unethical act of copying or stealing of another person’s thoughts or ideas, a citation is not so. A citation is in fact much more similar to respecting and acknowledging of another person’s ideas. When a citation is given, the person giving the citation is very clearly stating the work to be someone else’s and not claiming that it is his/her. The person is acknowledging the previous author’s work and thus doing a very respectable thing. This is why a citation is so different and using it is not wrong at all. While many mentors of students would want them to avoid or use as less citations as possible, this is not entirely right. A citation, in fact ought not to be used too much nor too less. The reason why mentors would want students to avoid using citations is because they feel it would be nothing short of plagiarism. They believe that this only shows copying from another person’s work and shows unoriginality of the student. They further believe that doing so only hinders and restricts the original and fresh thinking of the students.

A citation can be a wonderful tool to be used in a student’s work. The following methods can help avoid any sort of plagiarism in a student’s work. Firstly, do not hesitate to use citations. One should never use too many or too less of citations but just the right amount, that too wherever required. A student should use citation as and when required to support his or her ideas. Students state many points in their work, whatever these thoughts and ideas may be. However these points need to be backed by serious evidence and reasons. This is where citations come in. These act as evidence to the student’s work as they are concrete proofs and they justify the student’s work. This is because they are the works of the experts who have put them forward. Not only this, but putting in a citation makes the work look professional and not amateurish. It just shows that the student has understood the purpose and material of the research project assigned to him or her. The only thing to be kept in mind is that the original thoughts and ideas of the student and the citations being given to support them ought to be kept different to avoid plagiarism.

Secondly, one should keep all details of all the information being collected. Whenever referring to any previous author’s work, one should not only refer to the knowledge but should also make a note of the author and other details. This only helps the student to later refer to this and put it forward in his or her project as a citation. The work ought to be referred to for the sake of understanding it and for helping the thinking process. Apart from this however, one should think and use a different language and a different approach for stating one’s ideas. Finally the author should be mentioned for the reference taken from his/her work in the assignment. Thirdly, the student should clearly differentiate in the paper between his/her own ideas and the author’s ideas by putting them in quotes to clearly show them to be someone else’s. These methods will help students to avoid plagiarism of all sorts.

« Cultural perspective of plagiarism « Prev
Self-plagiarism » Next »

Latest blog posts

Paraphrasing, Summarizing, Quoting: What's the Difference?
Paraphrasing, Summarizing, Quoting: What's the Difference?

Is there any more severe sin than plagiarizing today? Everyone somehow related to writing is scared of making a mistake that may lead to plagiarism. It is almost a phobia in the students as an accusation in copying the ideas may even result in falling into a trap and expulsion from school. For sure, such services as ...

Continue reading
Tips to Reuse Your Old Writings
Tips to Reuse Your Old Writings

Everything changes so fast. Posting some content online, a writer cannot leave it as it is for years as it happens with articles, books, and news. You could have believed that updating your old content is not an important matter; however, nowadays, it is crucial to give new life to the content no matter how brilliant ...

Continue reading
Reasons to Avoid Free Online Plagiarism Checkers
Reasons to Avoid Free Online Plagiarism Checkers

There is hardly anything more essential in the life of students than a reliable plagiarism detection tool they can use for their assignments and research papers. Still, if you are a blogger, it is also crucial to be sure that there is no duplication in the content of the posts; otherwise, the blogs will have a ruining ...

Continue reading
How to Write a Plagiarism-Free Research Article?
How to Write a Plagiarism-Free Research Article?

It is a common misconception that it is as easy as ABC to write a research article from the first attempt and make it perfect. You do want your paper to be strong, but are you sure you know how to use the previous findings and incorporate them into your own research without any copying? It is a real challenge to give ...

Continue reading
Mastering the Skill of Paraphrasing
Mastering the Skill of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing has come into the life of people of the 21st century with the development of technologies and the Internet. Rewording of the texts keeping the original meaning intact is a skill which has a significant value nowadays. If you are a website owner, you will not be able to attract new site visitors without ...

Continue reading
Perfect Personal Statement for Graduate School
Perfect Personal Statement for Graduate School

Do you know how to write a personal statement? If you apply for a graduate program, you cannot do without this knowledge. You may believe that it is enough to submit your academic credentials in recommendation letters and transcripts from your school, but that is not right. You want to be successful in your ...

Continue reading