Stephen Covey, the motivational teacher who composed “The 7 Habits of Extremely Effective People,” says, “Trust is the greatest type of human motivation.”
As authors, trust is your biggest asset. Your track record is simply a representation of our trust and authority.
Regrettably, there is no much easier way to betray that trust than by committing plagiarism.
While most people believe avoiding plagiarism is simple, it’s a bit more nuanced. Sometimes, plagiarism occurs unintentionally, such as through inappropriate citations or forgetting to include a suitable link.
In addition, plagiarism is not just an issue of academic community but can also be a significant concern for any type of writing, including blog site writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who stemmed an idea.
This guide will provide actionable techniques to avoid plagiarism and define what constitutes actual 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 very important to distinguish what makes up plagiarism and what does not.
The loaning of one’s ideas or even the elucidation of which does not always link plagiarism if the writing is initial or if they mention their source.
For example, if I write 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 individual to coin the term SEO was to avoid plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of ideas is important to the development of its knowledge base.
For instance, we can see Schopenhauer’s impact over Nietzche’s early concepts without the latter needing to mention the previous necessarily.
Additionally, anything thought about typical understanding would not be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not need to mention a source.
Moreover, specifying idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not need one to source Caeser.
Nevertheless, content written practically verbatim of what another person has actually written without proper citation makes up plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog, that would be deliberate plagiarism.
Furthermore, even if the wording of a message is altered, but its concepts and message are almost verbatim what another individual has actually composed, this could qualify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Bad
It practically does not need to be stated that “plagiarism is bad” is a typical truism in our society and requires little bit further explanation.
Nevertheless, there are both useful and ethical reasons that plagiarism is bad that should be reinforced:
- It’s a kind of intellectual theft.
- It jeopardizes the stability and track record of the author.
- Disregarding 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 do not think a bulk of plagiarism circumstances arise out of some malicious act however rather out of ignorance or haste.
Common Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly preventable utilizing modern tools and by preparing ahead. For instance, lots of scholastic trainees plagiarize since they hesitate on assignments or do not understand how to point out things correctly.
Some typical sources of plagiarism consist of:
- Deliberate theft.
- Poorly cited quotations.
- Badly paraphrased research.
- Utilizing a damaged hyperlink to point out something.
- Not understanding that something isn’t common understanding.
- Recycling previous work of your own without understanding or correctly mentioning it.
To assist you prevent plagiarism, I have actually detailed 7 practical tips to embrace to your composing process to guarantee your writing stays clean.
1. Make Notes When Citing Other Sources
If you resemble me, you most likely open up a lots tabs or two to look into a topic prior to you really compose any words.
In numerous circumstances, plagiarism can arise from merely forgetting to mention something you might have posted to a draft or made a note of without understanding it.
That’s why it is essential to correctly track all sources you point out, specifically if you utilize any direct quotes in your post or require to point out a figure or research point.
Keep track of 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 not sure something needs 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 best practice, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Text
Next, we need to find out how you will cite the sources you consist of in your document.
For now, much of academic community requires APA citations, indicating you will need to add a footer after any quote from your source or a parenthetical citation, such as (Lieback, 2023).
For fields outside of academic community, placing a link over a part of the anchor text related to the source can be a simple citation.
For instance, if I was mentioning Zeus as the world’s biggest canine, according to CNN, I might have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s biggest pet” as my anchor text for the source link.
Lastly, adding quotes and mentioning the author or source’s name can also be an appropriate kind of citation in more casual fields beyond academic community.
For example, mentioning Steve Jobs as specifying, “Stay starving, Stay absurd,” is sufficient without connecting or creating an official citation.
3. Paraphrase Info With Original Concepts
If you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not need to source them, especially for more informal writing.
Preferably, I motivate my writers to attempt and paraphrase ideas however present them in a new light. Utilize the concepts you gather from your research to support your own ideas and conclusions, which must be drawn individually as soon as all the facts are gathered.
Not only does this guarantee your writing is clean, but it likewise makes you a more critical thinker.
One has to ask themselves, what is the point of discussing somebody else’s ideas if you are not going to offer a brand-new point of view?
Utilize the information you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to make sure that you constantly avoid plagiarism.
4. Carry Out Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying
The most simple way to prevent plagiarism is to capture it prior to you release a paper. Taking the time to modify your piece and your citations will guarantee that your piece remains tidy and is not in danger of any ethical offenses.
Again, check to see if the writing is initial which the author derived their conclusions individually. This will make you a much better editor as well.
5. Usage A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are incredibly practical for catching errors that human beings can’t potentially view.
To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a recent post on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly validated that the text I pasted matched what was published in the SEJ short article. It even consisted of 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 discovering most webpage content, but they might not work with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any material that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Strategy Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will ensure you have sufficient time to check pieces and draft your lays out appropriately. This permits you to monitor all of your sources, find out
how to cite them properly, and assist you prevent other errors. 7. Dedicate To Presenting Initial Ideas Lastly, this point speaks
to the ethos of why we compose. By dealing with to be an independent author and thinker, you will never need to worry about plagiarism.
Most significantly, you will be a lot more successful
because of it. Preventing plagiarism isn’t necessarily tough
, but it requires discipline and correct preparation. More resources: Featured Image: GoodStudio/SMM Panel