Plagiarism is one of the most serious “offences” in the academic world. No, you are not getting arrested for that but you can surely get thrown out of the university and deported back. And I am sure that you do not want that to happen, do you? So, here are 10 ways you are plagiarising without even knowing!
Are you all set? Do you have your coke and popcorn handy with you?
Lights, camera, aaaaaaad, action!
As the name suggests, this is a straight forward plagiarism type that the students make. I recall my own incidence when I was in my first year at the university. It was the first time I was hearing that we need to write O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L answers and I had absolutely no idea what it meant.
I did what I always did. Hop hop hop, I searched a couple of online articles and bam! I copied them word for word. Uh-oh, my professor caught me. “Celina, I said original work! What is this?”
And that day I realised what I did was called clone type of plagiarism.
2. CTRL – C
This is similar to the clone type of plagiarism. Just like you are citing someone else’s work in clone word for word as your own, you copy and paste their work word for word without any alteration.
I know you are thinking “I am citing them. Does that still account for plagiarism?”
Yes, kiddo, that still is plagiarism. Even though you are citing them, copying is copying. You are pasting the content of others without any modification and that is plagiarism. No questions asked.
3. Find and Replace
Have you ever used to find and replace feature in the MS Word? This is not similar. Find and replace is a clever type of plagiarism in which you copy the content word for word and not copy it still. Confused? Do not worry.
In this type of plagiarism, you copy the content from the source and paste it in your document word for word. Then, you find some key phrases and keywords that are essential for the sentence. You replace those phrases and keywords with your own words and Voila! You get original content despite copying it.
There are remixes of the songs. They are the same as the original song and yet feels different. There are VIP (variation in production) songs as well. Well, remix plagiarism is also somewhat similar. Mind you, this type of plagiarism is also a weapon of clever people. And I used that a lot during my university time.
What you do here is that you search for a single topic and open 10 to 15 different research articles and blogs and books, etc. Then, very slyly, you copy a few phrases from each source and fit them all together to form your own idea. This way, you did not have to write anything, you copied the sources and also kept the originality intact.
This is one of the most problematic plagiarism types out there. Just like a clone, you are submitting someone else’s work word for word and are claiming it to be your own. Stress on the latter. Sounds like plagiarism to you, right?
So, what do you do in a recycle plagiarism? This is a not-so-clever idea and often leads to problems. Here, students think “Okay, this research paper was published even before my professor was born. Who would know, right? Let me copy it word for word.” That is where you slip and get caught in academic misconduct.
A hybrid type of vehicle is the one which has the features of gas and electricity. All you have to do is switch it up. Let us not go there. So, students also think that they will be really smart if they copy a couple of lines from source 1 and a couple of lines from source 2. Then they will put a citation of source 2 and blend their copied content with the cited content.
I do not see any point in doing that. But who knows that you presented that as your idea and then gave a cited source as support to your idea.
A mashup type of plagiarism is similar to the remix type of plagiarism. Here, the students are copying a number of sources and I mean a number of sources, putting them all together, adding some spices of their own mind and stirring it at the low flame of cleverness.
Remember, you are using the sources about the same topic. If you are writing about Types of Plagiarism, you will not write some sources about the 10 best pop mashups of this decade.
8. 404 Error
When you open a website page that is not there, you get a 404 error. There are times when we write some information in our assignment that is the production of our own mind and knowledge. And sometimes we get an amazing argument that is so powerful that even the ISIS chief will be down on his knees in front of you.
But not every argument has a supporting document. So, quietly, you take out a source that looks somewhat similar to the argument you have written and then cite it with the author. 404 error plagiarism is when you cite an argument to a null source, some source that does not even exist.
This type of plagiarism is a way I can call you adroit instead of a clever person. Yes, if you are using this type of plagiarism in your assignment then you are most likely at a higher level in plagiarising work and not at all an amateur in that.
So, what actually are you doing? Students write an argument and cite it. The play is that you are using an actual citation, a citation that is real. But you are not writing any piece of information from the source you have mentioned. Yes, clever, eh?
This type of plagiarism is the one in which you are using proper citation, really good. But at the same time, you are mentioning the original text’s structure and wording in almost a similar way. Sounds confusing, right?
Let us say that you have a source that is talking about some particular concept. Mmmm, solar system maybe. Then, your plagiarised content will include the same content word for word but only different words. It is analogous to paraphrasing.
What to do to save yourself from plagiarism?
Students, knowingly or unknowingly, get engaged in plagiarism on a lot of occasions. But, the best way to save yourself from any type of plagiarism is a really simple way. All you have to do is read the source material that you have to cite, understand it like you never understood anyone before and then explain it in your own words.
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