From university students to professionals, everyone needs to avoid plagiarism in their work. Some people see it as borrowing the other person’s ideas or copying their work, but that is not all you can include in it.

Plagiarism also occurs when one employs the other individual’s ideas or words and does not provide them with credit. Using wrong information in-text citation, using the same sentence structure, and not putting quotation marks for quotations serve the same purpose.

Plagiarism can have consequences, which can be as severe as academic expulsion. However, it nowhere eliminates the need to create content for assignments and business purposes. In this blog, we will focus on how to avoid plagiarism in any writing.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s ideas and works as if it was yours, with or without their consent. It can include both published and unpublished material in manuscript, electronic, or printed formats.

There are different forms or kinds of plagiarism, and they all violate academic integrity. You can take a look at the brief description over here:

Direct plagiarism

It comprises the transcription of every word of a person’s work without giving them attribution or using any quotation marks.

Self-plagiarism

It occurs with the submission of own previously performed work or utilizing sections from the previous assignments in the absence of permission from professors.

Mosaic plagiarism

Often known as patchwriting, this kind of plagiarism occurs when you use a phrase from the source without any marks or quotations.

It can also include finding synonyms without changing the structure or the meaning of the sentence.

Accidental plagiarism

It happens when you fail to provide citations to the original source or do not quote the sources properly.

It can also include unintentional rephrasing of the source while keeping the exact words or sentence structure without providing any attribution.

Consequences of Plagiarism

If you are found culpable of plagiarism, it can have aftermaths as the author of the content retains the right to take action against you. The outcome of the act can depend on where the write-up is published. To provide you with a broader picture, here are the common after-effects you can face from plagiarising:

Lower-grade

Accidental plagiarism can occur in assignments that can impact you with a lower grade. The educational institutions and professionals often guide students with instructions for writing papers or provide them with an instruction manual about the high writing standards to avoid plagiarism. Any copying for work without giving a citation can make you simply fail the grade.

Ruined reputation

Being guilty of plagiarism can tarnish the reputation of a student, but this act is not limited to academic writing only. Where teachers can observe the paper more deeply after plagiarising once, being a plagiarist, you can also face other disciplinary actions or expulsion. If you are a school student, it can hinder your path to college. On the other side, if any professional turns out to be a plagiarist, they can lose their job or public image.

Legal & monetary consequences

As per different copyright laws, you, as a writer, cannot use some other person’s material without providing the proper citation or proper acknowledgment. Paraphrasing will also not be an exceptional case here, and it can lead to a lawsuit if discovered by the original author. If that happens, you may even have to pay monetary compensation. If you are a professional, a legal issue can affect your employment also.

How to avoid plagiarism?

One can face severe impacts making it necessary to look for every possible way to avoid plagiarizing. Doing that is an easy task once you become familiar with the means for that. We will here focus on a few ways you can circumvent plagiarism.

Provide citation

When you have to add information that does not belong to you, you must cite that information. The citation needs to have the name of the source and its date of publication. You must also include citation elements as per your writing instructions.

Add quotation

If you are using the exact words as there in the sources, you must use quotation marks around that text to provide it with a proper acknowledgment. It should also have citations so that readers can learn about its place of origin.

Paraphrase

Paraphrasing refers to phrasing a piece of writing in different words without changing its meaning. However, if not done correctly, it can have the possibility of making you a plagiarist. You have to be precautious and avoid using similar phrases or words from the source passage.

You have to change the meaning of what the original writer has used as the idea. Please note that paraphrasing is still using another person’s source to compose your write-up, so you should provide citations to it.

Present your views

Rather than replacing the author’s words differently, you can put your thoughts and opinions in your writing. Please remember that if you are mentioning the idea from some other source for presenting your write-up, you must take care of the guidelines you have learned in the previous points.

Use tools

Once you have completed creating your writing, you can check the plagiarism using a plagiarism checker. At the same time, you can even start using the paraphrasing tools like Smodin. You can prepare your writing and ensure that it is unique.

Dealing with self-plagiarism

The ideal way of avoiding plagiarism is to not use previous content to compose the new one. If you are worried about the limited information, explore a new angle or look for something different to add.

Make the best use of your writing skills! If you still have to take ideas from previous work, do not forget to cite the sources correctly.  You can even prepare new research notes and then start with your writing all over again.

This blog has focused on serving as a writing style guide to avoid plagiarism. Let us now focus on some of the uncovered yet frequent queries about the same:

What are the common examples of plagiarism?

Here, let us look at the examples of plagiarism according to their categories.

Direct plagiarism

  1. A university student has an academic paper due but is short on time. So he looks for an old indistinct paper prepared by someone 20 years ago. He copies and submits it further as his paper.
  2. A business owner wants to create a website for his business, but rather than writing new content for that, he copies from other sites.

Accidental plagiarism

A student adds a verbatim paragraph from a research paper and adds a footnote but fails to present the text as a direct quote.

Mosaic plagiarism

Let’s say you strived to paraphrase a few lines, but you kept the same sentence without mentioning the reference source.

Self-plagiarism

Let’s say you used the texts for a paper for your present session from a previous paper for the last semester showing it as something totally new.

How is plagiarism detected?

The readers or professors can identify the plagiarism in an assignment by comparing the tone, style, and format you have used in the different parts of a paper. They can also learn about it if they know about the source of information used.

Apart from that, several universities use plagiarism detecting software. Tools that compare a selected text from the database of different sources.

How is accidental plagiarism different from intentional plagiarism?

You can understand the difference between both kinds of plagiarism by their names only. Accidental plagiarism is an unintentional act, which can happen due to improper use of sources and failure to cite the source.

On the other hand, Intentional plagiarism includes using someone else’s texts while being aware of the act. For example, copying an academic paper and presenting that ahead like it was all own ideas. It can also include making up an unoriginal source to provide attribution to the self-thought ideas so that they appear as your own.

Conclusion

The term plagiarism can undoubtedly be a nightmare for students and other professionals. In this blog, we have learned about different ways to avoid plagiarism in writing, even when using concepts from someone else’s work. We have also become aware of the concepts related to plagiarism, including its kinds, consequences, and ways to deal with it.

Where plagiarism can be accidental and also from your content, there are different ways you can avoid it. Otherwise, you can face the aftermaths, including the possibilities of a  wrecked reputation, low grades, and even legal impacts.

Now, the need is to create unique writings while preserving time. That is where we can take advantage of technology. With tools for paraphrasing such as Smodin.io and the extensive list of tools it provides, you can ensure delivering the original content while saving time.