Academic writing is a major requirement in our education, and one thing that stands against this is academic plagiarism.
Plagiarism is a flagrant mortal sin in academic writing. While there are many rules and dos and don’ts to academic writing, very few students know that it is NOT enough to merely paraphrase sources and cite them properly.
So here are things you need to check from The Visual Communication Guy on plagiarism.
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So, we have divided this entire blog article into subsections so you could refer to it more easily. You may do a self-check in accordance with these things, to know whether you are committing the crime of academic plagiarism or not.
If you have done any of the following below, then you have DEFINITELY committed PLAGIARISM.
Copying is a crime of plagiarism that (hopefully) only a few commits (unless one is committing academic suicide), because this one is pretty obvious, and everybody knows you can’t just copy!
The most explicit form of plagiarism, is if you steal, copy, duplicate or even purchase another person’s work and claim it completely as your own. You see, by completely regarding another person’s writing as your own, it entails you have stolen an author’s work.
Some number of students think they can get away with plagiarism for as long as they cite the author in some portions of their paper. No you don’t. If you copy large portions of the entire paragraph and sections of another person’s work, and not give full credit, it is still plagiarism.
While even fewer students think that it isn’t plagiarism if they use ideas, paragraphs or portions of a source and change a few key terms even without citation. Wrong. This is plagiarism. Even so changing a few selective key terms, this is very much plagiarism, especially if there is no proper citation.
Note: Even if you authored your own work, you still have to cite it. Otherwise, it is still a profound form of plagiarism.
This section is where it gets tricky, most people think that for as long as they change the words and rearrange the paragraphs, they can get away with the crime of plagiarism. Flash news: no you don’t.
Even if you paraphrase a source or a paragraph making it sound as if you have created the content, and not cite the source, this is hugely plagiarism.
Since most academic papers require a minimum number of sources, there are some students who get tired searching for sources. Hence, some students are sometimes tempted to just create their own content and falsely cite an author to it, worse, invent an author to cite. This is, of course, still very much plagiarism.
Not only that! You know citation can be tricky, say, you have misinterpreted a source, albeit citing it correctly, is to some extent, still plagiarism.
Also, if there is only a few original thought written in your academic paper, and most contents of your paper resemble closely to your sources, even if you have cited everything completely, the totality of your work can still be considered as plagiarized.
Thanks to The Visual Communication Guy, it also provides a checklist of things you can ask yourself upon reviewing your work prior to submission.
- Make sure that the ideas you have NOT cited are either common knowledge that no longer requires citation or they are your original thought.
- Make sure that you have cited all authors you have used, the sources you have paraphrased, and most especially the ones you have directly quoted.
- Citation is not only limited to words if you have used images, infographics or any other form of media, make sure that you cite them also completely and properly.
- Double-check if you have not misinterpreted any context of the sources you have cited in order to fit into your argument. If you did, this is still an act of plagiarism.
- One can also commit plagiarism by copying another work’s structure or style of writing, so make sure that those things are original to your academic paper.
- Make sure to provide citations that can be located by the readers, otherwise, even if you cite them, citing sources wrongly can still be a form of plagiarism.
- Make sure that in writing your academic paper, you have correctly and completely cited everything, because even though you have cited most sources properly, but left out a few numbers of sources uncited, well, that is still accounted to as plagiarism.
- Lastly, do not forget to include page number and publishers accordingly with your chosen citation style. Otherwise, this can still be considered a mild form of plagiarism.
Need of a citation guide? Head to owl.purdue, the website is an easy-to-use guide for your citation needs!
There you go! Thanks to The Visual Communication Guy, you now would know whether you have committed the crime of plagiarism!
Also, see what I did down there? I cited my source correctly and properly.
Newbold, C. (2014). Did I Plagiarize? The Types and Severity of Plagiarism Violations. The Visual Communication Guy. Retrieved from: https://thevisualcommunicationguy.com/2014/09/16/did-i-plagiarize-the-types-and-severity-of-plagiarism-violations/