Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who wrote “The 7 Habits of Extremely Effective People,” says, “Trust is the greatest type of human inspiration.”
As authors, trust is your biggest asset. Your track record is merely 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 think avoiding plagiarism is easy, it’s a little bit more nuanced. Periodically, plagiarism develops inadvertently, such as through inappropriate citations or forgetting to include a proper link.
In addition, plagiarism is not simply a concern of academic community but can likewise be a significant issue for any type of composing, including blog site writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated a concept.
This guide will offer actionable methods to avoid plagiarism and define what constitutes actual plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster supplies a more official meaning. We can specify plagiarism as the deliberate act of copying one’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
However, it’s important to distinguish what constitutes plagiarism and what does not.
The loaning of one’s concepts and even the elucidation of which does not always implicate plagiarism if the writing is initial or if they mention their source.
For instance, if I compose a short blog site on the basics of SEO in my own words, I do not need to give credit or cite whoever the first individual 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 influence over Nietzche’s early ideas without the latter having to mention the former necessarily.
In addition, anything considered typical understanding would not be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, I do not require to cite a source.
Moreover, stating idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not require one to source Caeser.
Nevertheless, material written nearly verbatim of what another person has composed without correct citation makes up plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog site, that would be purposeful plagiarism.
In addition, even if the wording of a message is altered, but its concepts and message are nearly verbatim what another individual has actually written, this might qualify 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 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 integrity and reputation of the author.
- Ignoring plagiarism sets a bad precedent for all the arts and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing abilities and makes you a lazy writer.
- It does not feel excellent when it takes place to you.
With that stated, I do not think a bulk of plagiarism instances develop out of some malicious act however rather out of ignorance or haste.
Typical Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is quickly avoidable utilizing modern-day tools and by planning ahead. For example, lots of academic trainees plagiarize due to the fact that they procrastinate on projects or don’t understand how to cite things correctly.
Some typical sources of plagiarism consist of:
- Purposeful theft.
- Poorly cited quotations.
- Improperly paraphrased research.
- Using a broken hyperlink to mention something.
- Not comprehending that something isn’t typical knowledge.
- Recycling previous work of your own without understanding or appropriately citing it.
To assist you avoid plagiarism, I have actually detailed seven useful suggestions to embrace to your writing process to ensure your writing stays clean.
1. Make Notes When Citing Other Sources
If you’re like me, you most likely open up a dozen tabs or two to investigate a subject right before you really write any words.
In numerous circumstances, plagiarism can result from merely forgetting to mention something you may have published to a draft or written down without recognizing it.
That’s why it is necessary to correctly track all sources you cite, specifically if you use any direct quotes in your short article or need to mention a fact or research study point.
Keep an eye on things you’re sourcing by adding comments, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any material you are sourcing from other individuals.
When in doubt, if you’re uncertain something requires a source, add a link or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO point of view, linking to authoritative third-party websites is thought about best practice, regardless.
2. Include Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Text
Next, we need to determine how you will mention the sources you consist of in your document.
For now, much of academia 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 beyond academic community, placing a hyperlink over a portion of the anchor text related to the source can be a simple citation.
For instance, if I was citing Zeus as the world’s largest canine, according to CNN, I could have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s biggest pet” as my anchor text for the source link.
Lastly, adding quotes and discussing the author or source’s name can likewise be an appropriate type of citation in more casual fields beyond academia.
For example, pointing out Steve Jobs as stating, “Stay hungry, Stay silly,” is sufficient without linking or producing a formal citation.
3. Paraphrase Info With Original Concepts
If you are not copying someone’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not need to source them, specifically for more informal writing.
Ideally, I motivate my writers to attempt and paraphrase concepts but present them in a brand-new light. Utilize the concepts you collect from your research to support your own concepts and conclusions, which need to be drawn separately as soon as all the truths are collected.
Not only does this ensure your writing is tidy, however it also makes you a more critical thinker.
One needs to ask themselves, what is the point of writing about another person’s concepts if you are not going to offer a new perspective?
Utilize the details you paraphrase as details, not gospel, to make sure that you always avoid plagiarism.
4. Carry Out Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying
The most simple way to prevent plagiarism is to capture it prior to you publish a paper. Taking the time to modify your piece and your citations will make sure that your piece stays clean and is not in risk of any ethical offenses.
Once again, check to see if the writing is initial and that the writer derived their conclusions individually. This will make you a much better editor as well.
5. Usage A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are extremely valuable for catching errors that humans can’t perhaps view.
To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a recent short article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly verified that the text I pasted matched what was released in the SEJ short article. It even consisted of 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 great for discovering most webpage material, however they might not deal with text from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any content that hasn’t been indexed by search. 6. Plan Ahead Of Time Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you have appropriate time to proofread pieces and draft your describes accordingly. This enables you to keep an eye on all of your sources, determine
how to cite them correctly, and assist you prevent other errors. 7. Devote To Presenting Original Concepts Lastly, this point speaks
to the values of why we write. By dealing with to be an independent writer and thinker, you will never ever have to fret about plagiarism.
Most notably, you will be far more successful
because of it. Avoiding plagiarism isn’t necessarily challenging
, however it needs discipline and appropriate preparation. More resources: Featured Image: GoodStudio/Best SMM Panel