Plagiarism typically means the act of stealing someone else’s work. Sometimes this practice is intentional. There is no cure for intentional plagiarism except for direct action against the convicted. For the unintentional ones, there are some ways to avoid them. Either of these can be caught easily through plagiarism checker available online.
When students are writing an assignment, there are many places where they can go wrong and commit plagiarism without even knowing it. In projects like dissertation or thesis papers, proper research and collecting information are vital. The risk of committing plagiarism in these places increases to a higher level.
According to some studies, the percentage of plagiarism is more among students than professionals. This is because students are either too lazy to write their assignments or do not have enough motivation to do so.
On the other hand, some of them are too messed up or disorganized with their approach that they lose track of the pile of information collected or do not care. In all cases, they are unaware of the seriousness and repercussions of plagiarism.
To end the constant risk of plagiarism, it is imperative to understand the root cause. The root cause of increasing plagiarism in the classroom is the unavailability of adequate information and guidelines.
Both teachers and students have to be aware of the common mistakes committed, causing the risk of plagiarism to grow higher. Once you, as a teacher or as a student, understand where you are going wrong or the student is going wrong, you can easily avoid plagiarism by following a few tips and tricks.
Different Types of Plagiarism
- Complete Plagiarism: This is the most severe form of plagiarism. When someone copies the entire work of another person, word by word or element by element, then it will be considered complete plagiarism. Someone is just changing the name in the document and keeping the rest the same as the original composer’s creation.
- Misleading Source: As the name suggests, the entire document can be considered plagiarised when a researcher or writer cites a wrong reference or source. A wrong source means either the source does not exist or the information is not collected from the cited source. No matter how small or negligible the data is if it is collected from somewhere, it is inevitable to mention the correct source in the citation or referencing part of the thesis paper.
- Self-Plagiarism: This happens when someone copies a portion of their previously written or composed work. If your work is published somewhere or sold somewhere, you cannot copy from your work. In this case, as well you have to cite the source.
- Paraphrasing: This is the most common type of plagiarism. When a portion of the entire work is copied by making a few minor changes or alterations of some words, it is paraphrasing. Even though the words are different, the central idea remains the same as the original one. Thus, this act also is an act of plagiarism. If you need to escape with plagiarism you can use a paraphrasing tool free to the plagiarism.
- Mosaic Plagiarism: This is the hardest to detect when someone copies a quote from someone else and changes its way. Thousands of people all around the world quote thousands of things. It is impossible to keep track of the same. The plagiarism detecting tools cannot catch the words or quotes which are not documented.
- Accidental Plagiarism: This type of plagiarism is accidental or unintentional. Coincidences happen now and then. For example, sometimes, an idea can be similar to someone else but not copied. Still, that will come under plagiarism as there are no ways you can prove you have no copies from a published work.
Common Mistakes Causing Plagiarism
Students mostly commit accidental plagiarism as they do not understand the difference or importance. The only cure is to make them know what and why they are important.
The common mistakes that students commit that cause plagiarism.
- They take lots of notes, and gather information to include in their assignment. But forget to note down or keep a record of the source.
- They think paraphrasing is not plagiarism. Thus, they keep the idea the same and change some words.
- They do not value citation. They either consider citation unnecessary, do not know how to cite, or are too lazy to put in the effort.
- Some students who put in the effort to make a reference page also can commit plagiarism. If the referencing is not appropriately done, the references will not be considered.
- Procrastinate their work and copy from online sources without knowing the repercussions.
Hacks to Avoid Plagiarism
There are various ways to avoid accidental plagiarism. The teacher and students can consider the following points while dealing with unintentional plagiarism. As a teacher, you can teach your students how to avoid committing plagiarism.
Keep Record: Take note of the sources while collecting the information. No matter how insignificant the data is, if it is collected from somewhere, keep a record.
Never miss citing: If there is any collected information, cite the source from your notes. Follow the appropriate format for your subject.
Use reference generator: If you do not know the correct way to refer or cite, you can use reference generators such as Harvard reference generator, etc., available online. In this way, you will never cite incorrectly.
Use Quotes: If you have to use a phrase or part of a text, use quotes or italicize your text to avoid the risk of plagiarism.
Use plagiarism checking tool: There are many plagiarism checking tools available online. Make sure to check it before submitting it.
To wrap up: Plagiarism is a severe crime mainly committed accidentally by students. To avoid this, it is inevitable for the students as well as teachers to know everything about plagiarism and take action accordingly.
Author Bio: Rachael Taylor is a professor who has done her PhD in Education from the University of Queensland. She has been associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com for the last five years, where she offers assignments on the usage and importance of plagiarism checker and other free tools.
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