A lot of you know what plagiarism is. A lot of you also know things about plagiarism. But what many do not know is that these 10 plagiarism facts are so cray, you will gouge your eyes out.
Read on to know how you can curb plagiarism in your essay writing, dissertation writing and other assignments.
1. Even when you are citing a source, it is still plagiarism.
See, the basic definition of plagiarism is copying someone else’s idea. Even when you are giving the credits to the author, you are still using his or her idea in your assignment.
The plagiarism checking software does not care that you are have given the credits. All it cares about is that you have used the work already published somewhere in your content. No matter what you do, it will give plagiarism red alert still.
So, whenever you see red highlights even after citing the source, do not be disheartened.
2. Using common English phrases is not plagiarism.
Using idioms, phrases and metaphors that are common across the English language is not plagiarism. A lot of students have often asked me if they can use so and so phrase in their assignment or not and if it will be plagiarism.
Come here, I will tell you a secret. I have even seen professional assignment help experts ask the same question. But rest assured, lad, because using phrases and idioms is not plagiarism.
You can also use religious texts in your assignments. For example, psalms from the Bible or quote from the Bhagavad Gita or the Holy Quoran.
3. Being way too unique can also invite plagiarism.
When you think that “okay, if I think if an idea that nobody has ever thought of, you are really inviting plagiarism with open arms”, you believe that the professor won’t know if you copy a content word for word from the website on the 10th page of the Google search results?
That’s how it feels.
When you are writing a way too unique argument or idea, the professor can be fooled once that you wrote it yourself. But not the plagiarism checker. Too unique ideas have a habit of colliding with one or other text that has been secretly published somewhere that not everyone is aware of.
4. Paraphrasing and summarising are two poles apart.
Do you think that Catholic and Christian are the same? Then why are you confusing paraphrasing with summarising? They are two different things. Paraphrasing is when you are re-writing a quote from a published work and then presenting it as your own. This process does not involve any understanding whatsoever.
When you are summarising, it means that you have taken out time. You have read the source word for word deeply and felt it from the heart. Then you explained the source idea in your own words as you perceived and understood it.
5. Using common knowledge facts is not plagiarism.
Everyone knows that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Or that Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Or that there are 365 days in a year. Maybe the fact that the distance of the moon from earth is 384,400 km is something new to you? No?
All these facts are common knowledge and everyone knows them. There is nothing special about these things that someone would copyright them and then ask you to cite them. Such general information that is publicly known and have no extremely special value is free to use without the need for a citation.
6. Virtual knowledge and plagiarism go hand in hand.
Out of 10,000 professors interviewed in 2018 for a survey, 91% of them voted that the rise of plagiarism in the academic documents of the students is because of the availability of information on personal blogs on the internet who have no academic credibility. The professors even say that the students do not want to put in extra efforts to find authentic information from a real source.
If I would start an online blog today and write whatever I please, there is a good probability that at least some students will read the blog and use my content in their assignment.
7. Plagiarism is not illegal or a crime.
Yes, plagiarism is not a crime, neither it is illegal. It is academic misconduct across the globe, true, but you will be punished as per the guidelines and rules set by the university. You will not find cops busting into the classroom and arresting a student because he or she used the key argument in the assignment and did not give credits.
Doesn’t work like that, no.
But that does not mean that you start writing plagiarised work, okay? You can still be terminated from the course for plagiarism and that will also not be illegal. University rules, remember?
8. Do not forget to use excerpts trying to save plagiarism.
There are some assignments which are better when you are using excerpts from the secondary source in the answer. This is particularly useful when you are writing a book review or the analysis of a poem.
Use excerpts in your assignment answers to improve the authority and the analysis of your answer. But do not overuse them as well. Are you getting me? For example, if you are writing the analysis of a poem, do not write the entire poem because it is not going to do you any good.
9. Public service websites also need to be cited.
When you are referring to a public source or a website that has no author name, you think who should be given the credit to this, right? Well, laddie, if you do not give the credit to anyone, then you surely are committing plagiarism.
While using a public domain or website, especially government websites, where no author is given, the citation will include the name of the organisation. Do not ignore the citation because someone somewhere worked and searched to provide you with that information. These websites are mostly government agencies and international organisations.
10. Explaining ideas by other people is not plagiarism.
When you read a source and think that this is definitely going into the assignment and the professor is going to love the argument, you have two options. You can either use the excerpt word for word in the assignment and then cite it in the assignment.
Or you can first understand the source yourself. And after that, you can use the source in your own words. The latter is a plagiarism free method. Yes, you would be required to cite the source author but you will not be seeing any red plagiarism marks.
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