How To Avoid Plagiarism

How To Avoid Plagiarism

Written by Alison Lurie, In How To, Published On
June 28, 2023
Last modified on July 3rd, 2023

The truth is that plagiarism is considered a serious crime many people may not know about. Deep down, they may see it as something a little exaggerated. The truth is that this has serious penalties; for that reason, it is important that you read this article very well and do not think at any time in your life of doing something like this.

Remember to always work from your authorship and from your own creativity. 

What is plagiarism?

Avoid Plagiarism

Before we have to give some tips to avoid plagiarism, what we need to know is exactly what it means. In a few words, it is defined as the theft of intellectual property, placing another person’s text as if it were your own. We can say that we are talking about appropriating another person’s merits, which goes against the honor code of science.

We can say that quoting is not forbidden, but it is also important to always name the author. The truth is that plagiarism can be taken in different ways. We are not talking about the fact that it is only considered as such when it is copied directly, but also when a translation is made and not placed as such or when an idea is taken from another person without deciding to place it in the bibliography.

It is important to emphasize that plagiarism can be easily unmasked. There are special programs to discover this. If one is found, it can have great consequences that you can’t even imagine. We are talking about the failure of the work, as can also be the cancellation of enrollment and even preventing the student can choose to receive the degree.

Although, for many people, this is seen as a bit exaggerated, the truth is that copyright infringement is considered a crime against a person’s intellectual property, which means that it can be severely punished.

For this reason, students must become familiar with the rules on citations and bibliographic references, and this is to be able to know the gray areas and thus avoid, at some point, there is some kind of plagiarism.

Forms of plagiarism

  • Textual plagiarism: we are talking about the appropriation of words from any text fragment without at any time indicating the source.
  • Plagiarism of ideas: we are talking about the paraphrasing of a reasoning or an idea: the idea is someone else’s, and it is presented as one’s own by creating one’s own sentence.
  • Plagiarism of quotations: when the author takes quotations from the secondary bibliography without clearly indicating that the original source is not being cited. At this point, the author of the secondary source must be indicated.

10 tips to avoid plagiarism

Whether you are a student, an essay writing service professional, or a scientist, writing your science work, it is imperative to avoid plagiarism.

So here are 10 tips on how to avoid plagiarism:

  1. It is important to know that an academic paper must be 100% original because everything you have learned will be considered as part of the culmination of a degree or subject.
  2. All work must be solvent and rigorous, which is why it must be documented and based on existing scientific knowledge: concepts, data, ideas, theories, regulations, state-of-the-art, etc.
  3. In work, you can incorporate the content of external sources of information on which you base your work, but as long as you can clearly state it, it can be seen differently from the rest of the work.
  4. The amount of information you can add to your work will depend on the objectives and methodology, so you must consult with the people who are directing you because the truth is that an engineering project, a review study, etc. are very different.
  5. It is considered plagiarism to pass off as your own data phrases or other people’s ideas, and this violates academic rules and copyright. On the other hand, plagiarism will prevent the professional from learning, it will not prepare you well for what you will face in the closing, and all this can be detected very easily.
  6. When it is your turn to collect ideas from sources, it is important that you summarize them in your own words and then scientifically summarize them. You cannot paste and copy the fragments directly from your work.
  7. In general, it is always important to be able to collect the ideas of a source of information in work, and you have to summarize them in your own words; you can not put it in the same way as the author writes it; you must cite the origin and authorship of the same.
  8. If what you have to put in a paper are literal sentences from a source of information, this must be placed in quotation marks, in a separate paragraph, or in italics. If this is considered long, you must put the authorship and origin.
  9. If you have to place in your work tables, graphs, or images the data you obtained from a source of information, you can cite in the footnote of the figure what is the authorship and origin: Source:…
  10. So that you can do all this correctly, what you have to do is to orient yourself well on the styles of bibliographic citation and on the techniques, as you can also use bibliographic software. You also have the option of consulting all this in the library.

Plagiarism: second-hand creativity

When an author copies another author, it is called plagiarism.

When an author copies many authors, it is called science (anonymous, quoted in Winter 2004: 88, translated).

After we have already seen that citing demonstrates the degree of scientific basis that any type of text has, because any type of knowledge always comes from previous knowledge, it is important to be very aware of what can happen when a person does not make the citation in the right way. In short, when the intellectual property of other people is not placed as if it were someone else’s, plagiarism is committed.

We know that taking as our own something that does not belong to us is not right at all. We know that this is something we were taught as children, as is the fact that taking the ball away from another child is not right, and that is why parents make the decision to punish and even repress their children.

Now, let’s talk about adult life. We obviously have more responsibility, and the theft of intellectual property, as we are talking about in this article, plagiarism, will bring serious consequences even if people do not believe it, regardless of the fact that they are stealing ideas instead of material things.

Perhaps at this moment, you are wondering what exactly fraud is at the intellectual level in the scientific or academic area and how it can be avoided: “To plagiarize means to present someone else’s text as one’s own” (Kruse 2007: 82, translated).

This means that it is plagiarism when you take someone else’s text without mentioning them as the source’s author and put it in your own text.

Similarly, “the term plagiarism includes the appropriation of content, not words, i.e., the linguistic alteration of long text fragments, unless it is indicated that it is a paraphrase” (Gruber, Huemer, and Rheindorf 2009: 161, translated).

It is important to emphasize that plagiarism is like “a kind of mortal sin in the academic literature that devalues your work at a stroke since you are attacking a deontological code that is central to all sciences” (Kruse 2007: 82, translated).

Plagiarism does not give merit to anyone

We have already seen that some computer programs are special to be able to unmask all those people who are constantly committing plagiarism. What these new applications do is they are going to buy your work with the documents on the Internet.

At least universities always use plagiarism detectors to be able to detect possible plagiarism that students do in their work. That is why professors always require students to hand in their papers in PDF or Word format, with the printed version as well. All this is to be able to use the plagiarism detector.

If a professor comes to describe, in some cases, plagiarism, this can bring serious consequences of high scope, and that can happen to be the end of the university studies of the person who is committing this crime. “Plagiarism of academic texts is no different from shoplifting: the latter cannot qualify in any court of law as a “mistake in shopping,” just as plagiarism is not considered a “mistake in quoting” (Ernst 2011, quoted in Theisen 2013: 275, translated).

Surely at some point in life, you have heard of them, but a consequence can result from plagiarizing: some people who were considered eminent have lost their doctoral degree because they decided to plagiarize their thesis (as in the case of Oertner, Stn John). The truth is that we do not want to offend anyone, but the truth is that what is being said is that these people practically ended their careers when they committed this crime.

Consequences of plagiarism

Suspension and immediately, you will lose the right to the call that we are going to say below: 

  • Opening of disciplinary proceedings or cancellation of enrollment.
  • If a disciplinary file is opened, what will bring as a consequence is a perpetual or temporary expulsion from the center or temporary or lifetime disqualification from attending other educational centers.
  • Plagiarism is considered as the violation of intellectual property rights, which is considered a major crime, and thus the person can also be severely punished: it is therefore important that you can see it in the Organic Law 10/1995 of November 23, Penal Code, Art. 270 and the Intellectual Property Law (which is regulated by Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996 of April 12). If we talk about the prison sentence can be from 6 months to 4 years, as well as the fine from 6 to 24 months.

Similarly, for us, it is of utmost importance that this crime does not happen in any way, because due to this, many people take as their own the ideas and texts of the authors who have sweated their studies and who have taken the decision to sit at a computer to work with the knowledge you have, as well as also reflect what they consider as relevant or not.

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