Plagiarism is considered a grave sin in academic writing. It will cost your reputation, cause the recall of your certificate, or discontinuation from school. Some of the victims do not know that they have been caught on the web. In some cases, you might have circumvented the trap only to be discovered long after your paper was submitted and accepted.
To avoid plagiarism, you must know what it takes for your work to be regarded as plagiarized. It is also worth noting that an academic paper cannot be 100% original. You are required to include a few citations and quotes from scholars in your field. According to termpapereasy.com, these references will be captured by plagiarism tools but are only accepted up to a particular percentage.
What tells you that your paper is plagiarized?
- A high percentage when subjected to plagiarism checkers. Plagiarism checkers will indicate even percentages below 1%. Since departments indicate the recommended level to accommodate citations, you must operate below such a percentage.
- Similarity of ideas- despite paraphrasing, your professor can see that all or some of the ideas are similar to those of another student or a known writer. If you paraphrase an article or paper written by another scholar, your widely read professor will still catch you. Develop new ideas instead of copying what other people have written.
- Inability to express or defend the points you have raised- your professor can notice shallow or repetitive defense of ideas in your writing. You fail to go beyond what the original author mentioned. In other cases, your performance during a physical presentation is wanting. You claim to have written a paper but you cannot explain some of the conclusions. It is deemed that you copied other people.
Once you know how the department or your professor detects plagiarism, you can take deliberate steps to avoid the trap. Scholarly work should be accompanied by the highest level of integrity. You, therefore, have a responsibility to avoid plagiarism. Here are excellent tricks you can employ to avoid plagiarism.
1. Read Extensively
Plagiarism arises when you run out of ideas to include into your research paper. The only option left is to copy what others have written to fulfill the required number of words or chapters. To ensure that you have enough ideas to produce a captivating paper, you must read extensively.
Reading not only reveals the existing ideas but also gives you the insights to develop others. You can follow arguments by one side of scholars and that by the other side then find a middle ground or a new dimension.
You will also gather multiple ideas such that you do not have to depend on a single scholar. Read books by multiple authors and those discussing different dimensions of the same subject. You can identify cracks and new opportunities that will feed your research paper. Beyond including the ideas in your paper, you will be a more insightful scholar.
2. Constantly Use Plagiarism Checkers
Pass each section of your work through a plagiarism checker as you continue writing. Do not wait until the last minute to check your work because it might be too late. As you check different sections early, you will notice the mistakes that are causing you to be flagged for plagiarism. Correct them from the beginning and embark on creating more original content.
Early warnings also help you to take necessary measures. For instance, if you notice that citations are necessary yet have been flagged as plagiarism, you can use the remaining sections to raise the level of originality. Paraphrase future citations or pick a shorter version without failing to make your point. It is tiring to revise an entire paper upon completion. If the problem can be identified early, it will be easier to solve.
3. Paraphrase Instead of Direct Quotations
A scholar must quote other authors and references to give context and relevance to the ideas discussed. However, direct quotations will be considered as plagiarism. In some cases, they are too long that they dominate an entire page or section. Plagiarism checkers will flag such citations, raising your percentage so high that you might not recover easily.
Instead of a direct quotation, it is recommended that you paraphrase. Paraphrasing helps you to still capture the idea without appearing on the radar of plagiarism checkers. Use different words to express the same ideas. You may still capture a few short direct quotes while the remaining areas are paraphrased.
4. Keep Your Citations Short
Part of academic writing includes the addition of citations to help make a point or provide support from other writers. Paraphrasing reduces the power of a quote. The next best alternative is to quote a small section then paraphrase the remainder. The small quoted section will give your point the boost and direct voice it requires without being detected by plagiarism checkers.
5. Develop New Ideas
Plagiarism comes because most of your work is based on the ideas borrowed from other people. While borrowing is unavoidable, you can circumvent the problem by coming up with new ideas. It means that they are worded differently and supported by data you have collected. It is a chance to make a mark in the scholarly world without the risk of plagiarism.
There is no room for plagiarism in academic writing. Make all the effort possible to avoid being flagged or lowering the percentage of originality of your work. Here are excellent tricks you can employ to avoid plagiarism.