Avoiding Copy Paste Plagiarism

Mike Deep • May 28, 2014

Anyone who has reached school age should know that copying someone else’s work and claiming it as their own is wrong. In writing, this is called copy paste plagiarism and it is, unfortunately, becoming more commonplace as the information age progresses. Students have access to a glut of already-written articles on the internet. Through either a lack of understanding about copyright rules or plain laziness, more people use copy paste plagiarism as a way to get content fast.

Copy Paste Plagiarism Explained

Whether you take a full piece or a few sentences here and there, it is still plagiarism and it is quite easy to detect with new plagiarism checker programs.

With one research window open and one word processing window open on a computer screen, it is very easy to highlight a section of text and just copy paste it from the finished work to the new project. It is frequently not done for a whole document, but bits and pieces of different articles can be copied and mixed in with other writing. Whether you take a full piece or a few sentences here and there, it is still plagiarism and it is quite easy to detect with new plagiarism checker programs.

Any time you take someone else’s work and use it as your own, you are breaking copyright law and plagiarizing. Not only can you get in trouble for cheating at school, but you can actually get in legal trouble and get sued by the original writer or whoever owns the rights to the piece.

What To Do Besides Plagiarize

Always write things in your own words, but reading a sentence and rewriting it with a few synonyms or word order changes is not enough. This is so close to copy paste plagiarism to be considered almost the same thing and these mixed-up phrases can also be flagged by modern checker programs.

Instead Of Copying Work, You Have Two Options

The first option is usually the best. Research the topic and write about it in your own words. Gather information from a wide variety of sources. Take notes and truly understand the topic you need to write about. Formulate a unique approach to the information, start with an outline and only then write the research paper or essay. Do so with your notes open but not any other pieces of writing.

The second option is to use the other person’s work verbatim, but put it in quotation marks and credit the creator or rights holder correctly.

How To Quote Without Plagiarism

First of all, check your school’s guidelines or rules about using quoted text in papers or essays. Some may seriously frown on boosting word count using other people’s writing, even if cited correctly and not copy paste plagiarized. Too much indicates that you did not write enough for the assignment by yourself.

Secondly, any time a phrase, sentence or group of sentences written by someone other than yourself is used in an essay, it must be contained by quotation marks and the other writer must be indicated clearly. There are various style guides that deal with proper citing methods. In general, using the writer’s name and the date is sufficient. If the bit of text comes from a book, other publication or report, the name of the source should also be included.

As people get busier, perhaps lazier and have more access through the internet to written articles, ebooks, and reports, the incidents of copy paste plagiarism are increasing. Avoid trouble, poor grades, and possible legal charges by learning to research well, put things in your own words and cite quotations when necessary.