What is Plagiarism in Writing and How to Avoid it?

plagiarism in writing

Plagiarism in writing represents one of the biggest problems in academics. It is associated with the presentation of other people’s ideas as your own. This means that the representation of another author’s work is done without consent and you fail to fully acknowledge them.

The term applies to all forms of written material whether they are published or not.

Why plagiarism in writing is a major problem?

Plagiarism in writing is not illegal but significantly goes against the ethical code of conduct that governs writing in general. In academics, plagiarism in writing is a very serious offense that can have a negative impact on your schooling. It bears consequences that mostly vary from one institution to the next. However, common consequences include probation, suspension, expulsion, low grade, and failing a course.

Plagiarism in writing as a form of theft

Plagiarism in writing is considered as stealing the ideas of another and using them for one’s benefit. It is a serious form of dishonesty because one ends up representing the work of others as their own without asking them or acknowledging them. Plagiarism is also very harmful because limits proper learning as a result of a lack of proper synthesis of information and the inability of one to integrate one’s ideas into writing.

Writers prone to plagiarism are mostly limited from their full learning potential.

Plagiarism in writing is a lack of academic integrity

Plagiarism is considered a significant violation of academic integrity. This refers to the moral and ethical code that governs the processes and procedures of academic learning. It includes the violation of truth and knowledge that is promoted by a lack of honesty in learning and researching. It is an unfair process of learning and at the same time promotes a lack of responsibility as well as respect.

Types of Plagiarism in writing

  1. Poor Paraphrasing 
  2. Cutting and pasting 
  3. Improper citation
  4. Verbatim

How to Avoid Plagiarism in writing?

  1. Academic integrity is a factor of students taking full responsibility for the learning process and this includes ensuring that they follow strict ethical and moral codes that guide learning and teaching. 
  2. Academic work needs to be carefully planned and executed. This involves a lot of reading, understanding, and synthesis of information. In the process, one will become fully capable of representing concepts and ideas using their own words.
  3. Using multiple sources to understand a specific subject is important for developing a better understanding and thus limits one from merely copying and pasting information.
  4. Taking notes in the process of learning, reading and researching go a long way toward developing a better understanding of concepts and ideas. 
  5. Proper paraphrasing of sources is a factor of how well an individual has understood the concepts and ideas presented. If you do not understand sources, then seek help from peers and gain adequate clarity to be able to properly paraphrase.
  6. Use of proper citation is critical in ensuring that proper acknowledgment is provided for information obtained from other people. 
  7. Understanding plagiarism and how it occurs can also help you make the necessary changes to your learning habits.
  8. Checking your work for possible plagiarism is also an important way of avoiding it. This includes using different platforms that check similarities with other sources.

Lastly, you can offer your work to experts who can help you out navigate this process by ensuring the work that you present is quality, plagiarism, and exceptional.

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