Plagiarism is a serious offence. As Plagiarism.org points out, many of us use the word ‘plagiarism’ interchangeably with ‘copying’ work from someone else, or ‘borrowing’ someone else’s original ideas. It only tends to undermine the seriousness of the offence we commit by stealing other people’s work, passing it off as our own work, and not crediting our source for the idea. It is an act of fraud.
Legally speaking, all original ideas, writings, and works that have been recorded in some way (such as a book or in a computer file) are considered intellectual property. They are protected under copyright laws. Most countries around the globe have laws to protect one’s intellectual property.
Plagiarism Epidemic in UK Universities
According to a report published by The Times in January 2016, almost 50,000 students in British universities were caught cheating. Most of these students were international students from outside the EU.
It was revealed that 362 students were kicked out of Britain were cheating in three years, and about 20 students doing PhD or doctoral courses were disciplined for academic misconduct.
Universities reasons see any form of plagiarism as a breach of academic integrity on the part of students. They think that it is imperative that the academic community should be honest enough to acknowledge the people who originated an idea, generated data, or wrote words that enhanced our knowledge. When students try to pass off another’s work as their own, it not only shows that they have failed to master the process of learning but also that they have a tendency to engage in unethical practices. Hence, such students are considered a stigma to the name of the institution and the degree in which they are enrolled.
It is easier for universities to detect instances of plagiarism now because software tools like Turnitin can compare an individual’s work with the huge academic database available online.
The Plagiarism Spectrum by Turnitin
Turnitin, one of the most popular plagiarism checker tools used by universities, identifies ten types of plagiarism in student writing:
Cloning someone else’s work, where students submit another person’s work word-by-word as their work.
Copy-pasting huge chunks of text from one source without making any changes to it.
Copy-pasting text from a single source and then, re-writing some of its keywords and key phrases in different words to retain the essential essence of the content.
Copying content from multiple sources and then, arrange them together to come up with a writing piece.
Picking up content from multiple sources, and then paraphrase them to make them fit together.
Borrowing significant portion of the work done by someone else earlier and not citing the source properly.
Citing wrong sources (referring to sources that are non-existent or providing inaccurate information about them).
Presenting a work where some of the portions are properly cited while some of the passages that have been copied from somewhere are used without citation.
Presenting a dissertation where all sources are cited properly but the research paper hardly contains original work.
Presenting a research paper with a proper citation but most of the text and its structure relies heavily on the original work.
College students often turn to professional dissertation writing services because they know how to cite all the resources properly, and how to avoid intentional or unintentional instances of plagiarism. The experts understand that it is not only necessary to acknowledge others’ words or ideas but also other forms of expression like images, illustrations, graphs, music, videos, and other forms of media.
Most of the instances of plagiarism can be avoided by making sure that all your references and citations are absolutely correct, and that you use your academic skills to produce a research paper that can add and contribute something significant to the existing body of knowledge in your field.
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
Everybody make references to other people’s work in their research paper. So what’s the big deal?
Dissertation help experts suggest that you should go through the following checklist while you are writing your paper to avoid any kind of plagiarism that may mar your academic future or career prospects:
Ask Your Teacher
Plagiarism can be tricky, especially if you are dealing with it for the first time. The best way to know more about it is to discuss it with your lecturer or instructor. Ask them everything about how to cite your sources correctly, what is considered acceptable and what is not acceptable, and how to avoid plagiarism in writing. As long as you follow your instructor’s advice, you should be successful in avoiding any issues later.
Create an Outline
As we have discussed earlier, a dissertation should have a proper balance of the information or ideas you pick from the available literature on the topic, and the original ideas or study you want to present on the subject. Preparing a thesis statement, and creating an outline on how you are going to present your argument will help you define the sections in which you can use information from other sources, and the ones which will talk about your original work.
The service providers often provide free dissertation examples to help you assess the quality of their previous work. You may request for one related to your subject and use their Table of Contents or Index to get some idea on how to plan your dissertation.
Learn the Art of Taking Notes
Making notes is not only an effective way to learn in class but also comes in handy when you are working on your research paper. You must make sure that you organise the information you collect correctly – keeping a record of what you picked up from where.
Make an effort to know more about the citation style and the quotation style you need to follow, and note down the required details while taking notes.
You may use different-colored pens or fonts to distinguish your original ideas and the information you collect from various sources.
Evernote is one of the best apps to take notes and organise the task lists that you can use for free. You can write, sort, take, annotate, edit, comment, search, and export your notes using this app. CiteThisForMe is another excellent free tool for dissertation writers where they can cite a book, journal, newspaper, website, online image or anything in more than 30 writing styles.
If you have any queries about plagiarism, do mention them in the Comments below and we will answer them as soon as possible.
Good Luck for Your Exam!