How to avoid plagarism


How to avoid plagarism

As a professional writer, I often hear over and over from folks that they are “plagiarists” when it is simply not true. When you can make money on the internet, you will be able to write about anything you want. In fact, some people can even get rich selling their own ideas without being affiliated with any other creators. So why do others sometimes find themselves in this situation?

Plagiarism happens when someone borrows your idea using one of your sentences or word combinations and then publishes it without giving credit to where it came from (you). What happened in my scenario is what I call plagiarism. It is the act of stealing another person's work or sharing someone else’s work by using an entirely different piece of content. Typically, the purpose for such copying is financial gain. The average plagiarist might not even know who has used their work, which makes them seem honest. But they still need to pay off debts to others. Not only does plagiarism negatively impact one’s reputation but it also costs time and money because there are no guarantees that the original creator of the idea is going to see it as valuable.

Plagiarism isn't illegal. Most academic papers have plagiarism standards that would prevent this kind of activity. However, there are many ways in which plagiarism can happen. For instance, here are just a few of these examples:

• Copying words that don't belong in your paper such as misspelling a word or writing two different sentences to achieve the same effect.

• Using the same title or abstract to refer to multiple papers that use slightly similar titles. This leads more people to believe that the author of the first work is the legitimate creator, making them feel less respected.

• Republishing someone else's article or publication, like mine was. Although this is considered cheating as my work is essentially plagiarized, most professors don't care because students who get caught publishing someone else's work will lose their jobs. However, if you get caught putting someone else’s work in your essay or project, you could be penalized.

• Doing research in-house without using an encyclopedia or library. Even though doing so is usually considered unethical because you're taking time away from your studies. Unless you're teaching the topic yourself, you shouldn't be asked to write an entire textbook that explains every single point you learned, especially if nobody wants to read it. You should just quote the text you found online.

• Writing articles or books that aren't necessary but look good on your resume. If you can show potential employers that you've put effort into researching the topic or book, then why not? They'll probably trust you. Your employer knows you've worked hard on something important to them, and they deserve to see it.

Plagiarism is not always easy to detect. Some people may not suspect it as long as they're sure they haven't fallen victim to it in the past. While plagiarism is frowned upon among higher education officials, there are plenty of cases known to occur in the real world. When we know how to avoid becoming entangled with plagiarism, we can save ourselves both time and money. Here are 10 pieces of advice to help you avoid this type of activity:

• Make sure you thoroughly check your sources every time before submitting them. Check the date range at least twice, but never try to prove it to somebody. Don't ever let anyone tell you you have done enough research or that your work is better than theirs. Instead, focus on doing actual research on your topic. Ask questions, consult others for inspiration, and find reliable resources.

• Use citations whenever possible; however, you must keep in mind that this won’t guarantee you won’t receive a penalty even if you submit their work to someone else.

• Always double-check your work before submitting it. Find out whether the source of information is reliable. Is it dated or written by someone who knows how to cite correctly? Do they give credits for images? Sometimes, the easiest way to correct incorrect references is to contact the person who wrote it.

• Be careful about your transitions. A sentence that starts a paragraph can often get wrapped up in an argument quickly. An example: “The current school system does harm children by depriving them of basic human rights and opportunities” (Smith)

• Learn when and how to paraphrase. Paraphrasing doesn't have to be difficult, so don't be too nervous when you first start practicing it. Just remember to read it out loud whenever you do it just to ensure it's accurate.

• Keep your research separate from the draft. Whenever possible, leave it aside before publishing your version. Otherwise, you might end up repeating information that already exists. Also, make a copy that includes all of your quotes, articles, graphs, etc.

• Edit your work after publishing it; there’s no excuse to do that. Go through it carefully and correct mistakes, including typos. Remember that you're doing this to improve yourself and not to impress anyone. That said, you might still go ahead and publish it anyway.

• Know when to say no. There are certain situations when it would be rude to publish someone else's work. If you feel a lot of pressure is added to that work, just wait for an opportune moment to come around.

• Read the guidelines of the specific author you are contacting as closely as you can. The last thing you want is to be accused of plagiarism. Look for links to articles, lists of quotations, etc., rather than copying someone else's work.

• Proofread everything you write. Double-checking your work will help improve it, and proofreading will make you aware of errors.

• Never submit a paper without having researched its topic/author thoroughly beforehand. If you plan to put a particular writer or group of writers under consideration for awards or grants, please make sure to have a clear understanding of the work they've produced. Anybody can submit their work to these types of competitions but you must be aware that you may be subjecting yourself to additional scrutiny.

• Once you finish editing your work, it's best to send it for review. Getting a second opinion could either show that you were right all along or make you realize that you made a mistake. Then, once you're done evaluating it again, you can decide whether or not you still have to submit it.

• Try to learn as much as you can about your chosen field before applying for internships and working on projects in related areas. Maybe a new term for something you studied in high school came online recently and now you understand the implications of it better than I do. Or maybe you understand certain topics better than the authors and teachers that taught you in college. Learning their perspectives and what they discovered gives you a whole new outlook on things. Plus, you might even have a stronger case of the student versus teacher debate.

• Get feedback from friends and family members before submitting your work. They'll be impressed by your progress and will offer constructive criticism as well. You may be surprised by what you discover, so take their input seriously.

• Choose the right topic to write about and stick to it. At times, you may need to abandon your main idea. After exploring something else and getting feedback, you can return to your main topic and continue your journey in search of the problem to solve. And eventually, it may become clear that there is a suitable solution to your problems, and you will be amazed by what will flow into your next story.

• Think critically when you get feedback. Take note of how someone responds to their thoughts on your personal or professional growth, so you can improve your skills as well. Many readers respond positively to suggestions for improvement, while several people express disappointment with you for not delivering what they expected. Either way, taking someone else's ideas as your own will ultimately lead to frustration. Take note of compliments and let them motivate you to continue pursuing your goals. But, make sure your self-confidence never takes a hit because it's really easy to lose confidence.

• Give credit to those who did the research for you. It would be nice if you knew who to thank, especially after completing a task that is actually quite complicated. In fact, you may find that your friends and colleagues come back to you for support. Besides helping you build a network in the industry, writing positive reviews is vital because it encourages future employers to hire you. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review stated that 85% of hiring managers prefer candidates with strong recommendations posted by coworkers (Cascio & Cipolla, 2016).

• Stay focused. Work like crazy if you want to live up to your expectations. There were moments when I wanted to throw in the towel because I felt disheartened. Because of this, I stopped pushing myself and was ready to quit altogether. Now I'm happy to say I have a steady salary and a job that I enjoy! No matter what life throws at me, there will always be something amazing waiting in the wings and I am very thankful.

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