Stephen Covey, the inspirational educator who composed “The 7 Routines of Extremely Effective Individuals,” states, “Trust is the highest kind of human motivation.”
As writers, trust is your greatest asset. Your reputation is simply a representation of our trust and authority.
Unfortunately, there is no much easier way to betray that trust than by devoting plagiarism.
While most people think preventing plagiarism is basic, it’s a bit more nuanced. Occasionally, plagiarism develops accidentally, such as through inappropriate citations or forgetting to include an appropriate link.
Additionally, plagiarism is not just an issue of academia but can likewise be a major problem for any kind of writing, including blog writing, journalism, sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated an idea.
This guide will supply actionable strategies to avoid plagiarism and specify what makes up real plagiarism.
What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?
Merriam-Webster supplies a more official meaning. We can define plagiarism as the deliberate act of copying one’s ideas and passing them off as your own.
Nevertheless, it is very important to differentiate what constitutes plagiarism and what does not.
The borrowing of one’s ideas and even the elucidation of which does not always link plagiarism if the writing is initial or if they cite their source.
For example, if I write a short blog site on the fundamentals of SEO in my own words, I don’t have to offer credit or cite whoever the first person to coin the term SEO was to prevent plagiarism.
In any field, the sharing of ideas is necessary to the development of its knowledge base.
For example, we can see Schopenhauer’s impact over Nietzche’s early ideas without the latter needing to point out the previous necessarily.
Furthermore, anything thought about typical knowledge 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.
Additionally, specifying idioms, such as “crossing the Rubicon,” does not require one to source Caeser.
However, material composed nearly verbatim of what another individual has actually written without proper citation makes up plagiarism. So if someone were to copy and paste that last sentence into a blog site, that would be deliberate plagiarism.
Furthermore, even if the phrasing of a message is changed, but its ideas and message are nearly verbatim what another person has actually written, this could certify as plagiarism.
Why Plagiarism Is Bad
It practically doesn’t need to be said that “plagiarism is bad” is a typical truism in our society and requires little further explanation.
Nevertheless, there are both practical and ethical reasons plagiarism is bad that should be strengthened:
- It’s a type of intellectual theft.
- It compromises the integrity and track record of the writer.
- Overlooking plagiarism sets a bad precedent for all the arts and sciences.
- Plagiarism blunts your writing skills and makes you a lazy writer.
- It does not feel good when it happens to you.
With that said, I don’t think a majority of plagiarism instances develop out of some malicious act but rather out of ignorance or rush.
Common Sources Of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is easily avoidable utilizing modern-day tools and by planning ahead. For example, many academic students plagiarize due to the fact that they hesitate on tasks or don’t know how to point out things appropriately.
Some common sources of plagiarism include:
- Deliberate theft.
- Incorrectly pointed out quotes.
- Inadequately paraphrased research.
- Utilizing a damaged link to point out something.
- Not comprehending that something isn’t common knowledge.
- Recycling previous work of your own without realizing or effectively mentioning it.
To assist you avoid plagiarism, I have actually described seven practical tips to adopt to your composing procedure to guarantee your writing remains tidy.
1. Make Notes When Pointing Out Other Sources
If you’re like me, you probably open a dozen tabs or two to research a topic just before you really compose any words.
In numerous instances, plagiarism can result from just forgetting to cite something you might have published to a draft or made a note of without understanding it.
That’s why it’s important to effectively track all sources you point out, particularly if you use any direct quotes in your post or need to mention a statistic or research point.
Monitor 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 requires a source, add a hyperlink or citation to be on the safe side.
From an SEO point of view, linking to authoritative third-party websites is considered finest practice, regardless.
2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Text
Next, we require to figure out how you will cite the sources you consist of in your file.
In the meantime, 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 academia, placing a link over a part of the anchor text related to the source can be an easy citation.
For instance, if I was citing Zeus as the world’s largest pet, according to CNN, I could have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s biggest canine” as my anchor text for the source link.
Lastly, adding quotes and discussing the author or source’s name can also be an adequate type of citation in more casual fields outside of academic community.
For instance, mentioning Steve Jobs as specifying, “Stay starving, Stay foolish,” is sufficient without linking or creating an official citation.
3. Paraphrase Information With Original Concepts
If you are not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you will likely not need to source them, specifically for more casual 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 need to be drawn separately once all the realities are gathered.
Not only does this guarantee your writing is clean, but it also makes you a more important thinker.
One has to ask themselves, what is the point of writing about somebody else’s concepts if you are not going to offer a brand-new point of view?
Use the information you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to guarantee that you constantly avoid plagiarism.
4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Editing
The most straightforward way to avoid plagiarism is to capture it prior to you publish a paper. Making the effort to edit your piece and your citations will ensure that your piece remains tidy and is not in threat of any ethical violations.
Once again, examine to see if the writing is original which the author obtained their conclusions individually. This will make you a better editor too.
5. Usage A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly
Plagiarism tools are incredibly useful for catching mistakes that people can’t possibly view.
To test Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some text from a current article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.
Grammarly confirmed that the text I pasted matched what was published in the SEJ short article. It even included 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 excellent for finding most webpage content, but they might not work 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 draft your details appropriately. This permits you to monitor all of your sources, determine
how to cite them properly, and assist you prevent other errors. 7. Dedicate To Presenting Original Concepts Finally, this point speaks
to the ethos of why we write. By solving to be an independent writer and thinker, you will never need to worry about plagiarism.
Most significantly, you will be a lot more effective
because of it. Avoiding plagiarism isn’t always challenging
, however it needs discipline and proper preparation. More resources: Featured Image: GoodStudio/Best SMM Panel