What is Plagiarism and how to avoid it in your essay?

Mike Deep • February 16, 2019

“To steal and pass off ideas or words of another as one’s own”

-The Merriam Webster dictionary

To put it into simple words, plagiarism is the act of stealing or copying someone else’s work and playacting as if it’s yours. It is also said to be the way a student deceives one’s own instructor by submitting content that is the copyright property of someone else and one presents it as his own. Many institutes consider plagiarism as a very serious offense especially the French classes Brisbane.

Plagiarism, however, is not just about copying someone else’s work.

  • It’s also about using content without crediting its rightful owner.
  • Extracting an idea from an already existing piece and presenting it as new and original.
  • Not putting quotation marks when quoting someone.
  • Literary theft also comes under the same light.

In simple words, plagiarism is a fraud.

Stealing words

A very common question arises in the minds of thousands of people that how can words be stolen. Original ideas when expressed are known to be considered intellectual property. And any idea expressed, falls under the copyright protection according to the United States law. As long as those ideas are recorded in some way whether it is written or voice recorded or on a computer document.

Stealing images, music, and videos

Using an already existing image, video or music in your own work without asking permission from the rightful owner or without suitable citation is considered plagiarism. Though unintentionally in countless situations, media theft has become very common but Is still considered as a fraud. It may include:

  • Using someone else’s image in your own feature writings
  • Performing on an already existing music track (cover songs)
  • Embedding and editing a chunk of the video in your own work
  • Borrowing a lot of composition pieces and using them in your own composition
  • Recreating a visual work in your own medium
  • Remixing or re-editing audios and videos

How to Avoid Plagiarism in your Essays

It is clear from the facts stated above that plagiarism is an unethical act and must be avoided at all costs. While writing an essay one faces a lot of difficulties when dealing with plagiarism. To avoid those difficulties here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Comprehend the context

Instead of copy and pasting the data as it is from the sources, rephrase the crux in your own words. Re-read the text twice and understand the main idea in order to restructure it.

  1. Writing quotes

It is important to use outsourced information for the essay. In order to copy something said or stated by someone, make sure to use the word or sentence formation exactly the way it is mentioned along with quotation marks. Be careful to use the quotes according to the right format.

  1. Where and where not to use citation

Any ideas or words that belong to anyone but you must be cited very carefully. If you take content out of your previous essays, those too must be cited. If you do not cite yourself from the previous essays then it is called self-plagiarism. However, any facts or scientific revelations are not supposed to be cited. Common knowledge is also not needed to be cited. You can use a reference to play on a safer side.

  1. Citation management

Never forget to keep a record of your citations. Keep references for every source of content that you use. Citation software like EndNote can be used for this sort of management. Try to use multiple references.[

  1. Plagiarism Checkers

Make it a habit to use plagiarism tools. As writing content after research can be quite tricky, it seems to be a pretty good idea to keep checking your content through the tools that can check plagiarism thoroughly for you.

It is not wrong to research from the previously published work. In fact, researching from the already existing scholarly articles is the greatest way to understand your topic and the progress that follows. What’s not okay is that you read the text and rephrase it with more than half of it being similar to the original content. That is how plagiarism occurs. In order to avoid it, the suggestion is to read and re-read the research thoroughly until you grab the main idea clearly. And then start writing it in your own words according to your understanding, trying to use as many synonyms to the original text as possible. This is by far the most foolproof way to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism once being caught can cause serious threats to one’s work. In some cases, the essay can be canceled or rejected. In the worst cases, a student might be terminated or given the lowest grade ruining his transcript. Consider yourself lucky if you get out of these cases by merely a warning.

Author Bio: 
Amelie is the CEO of French Lessons in Australia. Her passion for languages never quitted her: Amelie undertook multiple language exchanges in Spain, America or Ireland, and also decided to make it part of her academic life as she completed a Bachelor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Paris and a Languages program at the not less renowned the University of Cambridge.