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Academic Guide to Prevent Plagiarism

  Academic Guide to Prevent Plagiarism

by Rohan Mathew

Plagiarism is a cheating process that is as old as education itself. There have always been students who steal the works of others and present them as their own.

Plagiarism is not limited to education but it’s found here the most. Writers, artists, and even politicians are sometimes involved in it.

Since most assignment work is online, it is easy to locate copied parts with the use of the right tool. Mostly, finals in institutes are held physically, so students might or might not get away with it.

But the stakes are too high. The legal actions against plagiarism are very severe and you will learn about them later in the article. But before that, have a look at the definition of the word “plagiarism”

Plagiarism:

According to Cambridge Dictionary:

“the process or practice of using another person’s ideas or work and pretending that it is your own”

It has different types which include

  • Complete: copying the whole thing
  • Patching: copying bits and pieces
  • Self: copying one’s previous
  • Accidental: unintentional copying
  • Paraphrased: copying someone’s idea 

Consequences:

Learning about the consequences can make you realize how important it is to avoid plagiarism in any sort of academic work. 

Different institutes have different definitions and punishments for this act of plagiarism. Some consider it unforgivable even if it is accidental. And some think the intent matters.

But the most common consequences are:

  • Expelled from the institute.
  • Failing the subject.
  • Not allowed to take any course for a number of years.
  • Heavy fine.
  • And if it’s very severe then jail as well.

Just reading the consequences makes anyone want to stay from plagiarism at arm’s length.

Below are some techniques that can help students to avoid plagiarism and at the last is mentioned a tool to help avoid copying as much as possible.

How to avoid it?

For college and university students, there are some techniques they can follow to help them avoid plagiarism. Some of them are these:

Deep research:

The first step of writing an assignment should be to research the topic. This way you will have a lot of information to start. For research purpose, you can take help from 

  • Internet:

The Internet has information about almost all the topics that exist. You can search from macromolecules to the diameter of the earth to the Greek myths. 

Read from different pages and make sure they are authentic. For this purpose, use a DA checker.

  • Books:

Most of the time, you can find books related to your topic. These books can be in the library or somewhere else. Read the index to look for the topic. Students can have all the knowledge they want.

Make notes:

Just reading is not enough. Make notes of everything you read. Write them in a notebook and use a pattern of colors for easy understanding. Make headings, bullet points etc. 

      Online notepad:

For online notes, use the online notepad. It helps in making and editing documents with other features for easy use.

Online notepad

Citation:

On the way to making notes, don’t forget to mention the source, page number, and author at the side of the idea to use them in the final draft. Not mentioning the source is considered plagiarism by all institutes.

Research if the source is correct also. It is because sometimes, the article you read has wrong information which can be troublesome in the papers if the examiner finds out.

While citing, add quotation marks as well to make it look like a reference. For finding relatable pages and bogs, a link finder might come in handy.

Manage the time:

Plagiarism often happens when deadlines are drawing near. Students procrastinate till the last minute and when it is not possible anymore, they panic.

The result of this tension is that they make assignments hastily, citing improperly or forgetting them at all. This is why managing time also plays a role in plagiarism prevention. 

Making a timetable and following a routine can increase productivity.

Revise:

After making an assignment or writing down the paper, revise if the time is not up yet. This will help to find any accidental mistakes in citations or any errors in general.

Students should also check if the quote they are writing is by the person they are crediting it for or not.

The same goes for the ideas. If they have an idea, search in the words they have it in and see if the idea is presented by anyone else before or not. 

Realistic approach:

Last but not least, students should set their priorities straight. They should be seeking knowledge and experience, not good grades. 

According to Accredited schools online:

“You don’t have to ace every single paper to graduate and it’s certainly not worth putting yourself under that kind of pressure if the end result may be a plagiarism charge.”

Above were some tips to help learners if they want to avoid plagiarism. Now, let’s see which online tool can come in handy while avoiding copying.

Plagiarism checker:

After following all the steps above, there is still a chance of accidental plagiarism. To make sure you are not committing it, use an online plagiarism checker. This tool will highlight if there is any plagiarized content.

Plagiarism checker

  • If the notes are in docs or any other file, they can be uploaded directly. 
  • If the notes are in hard-copy, use an image to text converter, and paste the text to check for any plagiarism.

This might seem like a lot of work to do. But after reading the consequences you will definitely find the motivation to do so.

After looking at the matched sources, you can add the citation to the original sources. 

Bonus:

Grammar checker:

This is not exactly a plagiarism-avoiding tool. But it is really helpful if you are working on saving the grades. This tool can highlight grammatical mistakes, make suggestions and give the reason why they are not suitable.

To wrap up:

In the end, life rewards honest and hard-working students. No one likes theft even if it is as petty as copying a quote.

Following these rules and tools can, no doubt, help you. But the thing which matters the most is your intent. If you are fair to others, you are fair to yourself.

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