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How To Avoid Plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of theft which involves stealing someone else’s words, work or idea without acknowledging the person – citation.

This can happen consciously or unconsciously. Intentionally or unintentionally. But no excuse justifies this illegal act. 

If you haven’t had an in depth research on what plagiarism is and the different forms, then you most likely might be guilty of this offence without knowing. “Ignorance is no excuse”, remember. 

Read on to learn more about plagiarism and how to not be a victim. As it is a punishable offence, especially when it comes to academic research works. 

Forms of Plagiarism

  • Self-Plagiarism: This is using or borrowing from your former published works without citing them. Amazing right? Who would have thought this as an offence? It’s your work anyway and you can choose to do whatever you like with it, right? So I thought too, but the fact remains that it is against legal citation.
  • Copy & Paste: This requires no debate. It involves lifting other author’s words or works word for word and at the same time not citing or referencing them. Some authors term this Direct Plagiarism
  • Complete Plagiarism: This happens when an individual takes the complete work of an author, and submits it in disguise as theirs.
  • Paraphrasing: This involves stealing another’s words and idea and tactically changing some of the words but still retaining the message or idea and failing to reference the original source.
  • Duplication: This is when you share or submit the same work of yours to different publishers or editors without their knowledge and permission.
  • Mosaic Plagiarism: Mosaic plagiarism happens when a researcher intentionally lifts the words of an author and imbed them in between theirs without bothering to alter the words, use quotation marks or even cite the author.
  • Inaccurate Citation: This is where a writer or researcher wrongly cites a wrong author or work for the work of a different author, knowingly or mistakenly. It can also be a the act of citing a non-existent source for a stolen idea merely out of laziness.
  • Accidental Plagiarism: This is by omission. It happens when a writer takes information from an author or incorporates the works of another author and unconsciously forgets to cite or reference the author.

Implications of Plagiarism

Plagiarism and Reputation
  • Plagiarism can result in a loss of reputation and credibility. Such that no one ever trusts the originality of your work.
  • It can lead to legal punishments for copyright infringement
  • It devalues the efforts of the original authors
  • It makes it impossible to find the real source of a research when one needs a further verification of data, this applies majorly in the scientific or medical fields.
  • It robs you off the opportunity to hone your writing skill and authority, leaving you dependent on others and not trusting your abilities.

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

Everyone can easily be liable of this offence even without knowing. So it is best to abide by plagiarism law as much as possible.

Ways to Avoid Plagiarism
  1. Avoid copy and paste.
  2. Always cite your references. 
  3. Make use of quotation (marks) when quoting an author word for word in a situation you want to avoid losing the original meaning.
  4. Paraphrase
  5. Introduce your ideas.
  6. Make notes on the go as you take information from other authors, so you don’t forget who and where to cite.
  7. Confirm your work legally passes plagiarism score with an online plagiarism checker

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