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Don’t Devastate Your Writing Profession


Stephen Covey, the motivational educator who wrote “The 7 Habits of Extremely Efficient Individuals,” says, “Belief is the very best type of human motivation.”

As writers, belief is your best asset. Your status is merely a illustration of our belief and authority.

Sadly, there isn’t a simpler technique to betray that belief than by committing plagiarism.

Whereas most individuals suppose avoiding plagiarism is easy, it’s somewhat extra nuanced. Often, plagiarism arises by chance, akin to by means of improper citations or forgetting so as to add an applicable hyperlink.

Moreover, plagiarism isn’t just a priority of academia however will also be a serious subject for any sort of writing, together with weblog writing, journalism, gross sales copy, and even technical or medical writing from authors who originated an concept.

This information will present actionable methods to keep away from plagiarism and outline what constitutes precise plagiarism.

What Is Plagiarism, And When Is It Not Plagiarism?

Merriam-Webster gives a extra formal definition. We can outline plagiarism because the deliberate act of copying one’s concepts and passing them off as your personal.

Nonetheless, it’s necessary to tell apart what constitutes plagiarism and what doesn’t.

The borrowing of 1’s concepts and even the elucidation of which doesn’t essentially implicate plagiarism if the writing is unique or in the event that they cite their supply.

For instance, if I write a brief weblog on the fundamentals of website positioning in my very own phrases, I don’t have to provide credit score or cite whoever the primary individual to coin the time period website positioning was to keep away from plagiarism.

In any area, the sharing of concepts is crucial to the event of its information base.

For instance, we are able to see Schopenhauer’s affect over Nietzche’s early concepts with out the latter having to quote the previous essentially.

Moreover, something thought of widespread information wouldn’t be plagiarism. If I stated that Joe Biden is the president of the USA, I don’t have to cite a supply.

Moreover, stating idioms, akin to “crossing the Rubicon,” doesn’t require one to supply Caeser.

Nonetheless, content material written nearly verbatim of what one other individual has written with out correct quotation constitutes plagiarism. So if somebody have been to repeat and paste that final sentence right into a weblog, that might be deliberate plagiarism.

Moreover, even when the wording of a message is modified, however its concepts and message are nearly verbatim what one other individual has written, this might qualify as plagiarism.

Why Plagiarism Is Dangerous

It nearly doesn’t must be stated that “plagiarism is unhealthy” is a typical truism in our society and requires little additional rationalization.

Nonetheless, there are each sensible and moral the explanation why plagiarism is unhealthy that needs to be strengthened:

  • It’s a type of mental theft.
  • It compromises the integrity and status of the author.
  • Ignoring plagiarism units a foul precedent for all the humanities and sciences.
  • Plagiarism blunts your writing expertise and makes you a lazy author.
  • It doesn’t really feel good when it occurs to you.

With that stated, I don’t imagine a majority of plagiarism situations come up out of some malevolent act however fairly out of ignorance or haste.

Frequent Sources Of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is well preventable utilizing trendy instruments and by planning forward. For instance, many educational college students plagiarize as a result of they procrastinate on assignments or don’t know easy methods to cite issues correctly.

Some widespread sources of plagiarism embrace:

  • Deliberate theft.
  • Improperly cited quotations.
  • Poorly paraphrased analysis.
  • Utilizing a damaged hyperlink to quote one thing.
  • Not understanding that one thing isn’t widespread information.
  • Reusing earlier work of your personal with out realizing or correctly citing it.

That will help you keep away from plagiarism, I’ve outlined seven sensible tricks to undertake to your writing course of to make sure your writing stays clear.

1. Make Notes When Citing Different Sources

If you happen to’re like me, you most likely open up a dozen tabs or so to analysis a subject simply earlier than you truly write any phrases.

In lots of situations, plagiarism may result from merely forgetting to quote one thing you will have posted to a draft or written down with out realizing it.

That’s why it’s necessary to correctly monitor all sources you cite, particularly when you use any direct quotes in your article or have to cite a statistic or analysis level.

Hold monitor of belongings you’re sourcing by including feedback, highlighting, or hyperlinking to any materials you’re sourcing from different folks.

When unsure, when you’re not sure one thing requires a supply, add a hyperlink or quotation to be on the secure facet.

From an website positioning perspective, linking to authoritative third-party websites is taken into account greatest observe, regardless.

2. Add Citations Or Hyperlinks In-Textual content

Subsequent, we have to determine how you’ll cite the sources you embrace in your doc.

For now, a lot of academia requires APA citations, that means you’ll need so as to add a footer after any quote out of your supply or a parenthetical quotation, akin to (Lieback, 2023).

For fields outdoors of academia, inserting a hyperlink over a portion of the anchor textual content associated to the supply might be a simple quotation.

For instance, if I used to be citing Zeus because the world’s largest canine, in keeping with CNN, I might have used “Zeus,” “CNN,” or “the world’s largest canine” as my anchor textual content for the supply hyperlink.

Lastly, including quotes and mentioning the creator or supply’s title will also be an ample type of quotation in additional casual fields outdoors of academia.

For instance, citing Steve Jobs as stating, “Keep hungry, Keep silly,” is ample with out linking or creating a proper quotation.

3. Paraphrase Info With Unique Concepts

If you’re not copying somebody’s concepts verbatim, you’ll doubtless not have to supply them, particularly for extra casual writing.

Ideally, I encourage my writers to try to paraphrase concepts however current them in a brand new mild. Use the concepts you collect out of your analysis to assist your personal concepts and conclusions, which needs to be drawn independently as soon as all of the details are gathered.

Not solely does this guarantee your writing is clear, but it surely additionally makes you a extra essential thinker.

One has to ask themselves, what’s the level of writing about another person’s concepts if you’re not going to supply a brand new perspective?

Use the data you paraphrase as info, not gospel, to make sure that you at all times keep away from plagiarism.

4. Undertake Rigorous Proofreading And Modifying

Probably the most simple technique to keep away from plagiarism is to catch it earlier than you publish a paper. Taking the time to edit your piece and your citations will make sure that your piece stays clear and isn’t at risk of any moral violations.

Once more, verify to see if the writing is unique and that the author derived their conclusions independently. This may make you a greater editor as nicely.

5. Use A Plagiarism Checker Like Grammarly

Plagiarism instruments are extremely useful for catching errors that people can’t presumably understand.

To check Grammarly’s plagiarism checker, I copied and pasted some textual content from a current article on SEJ into the Grammarly editor.

Grammarly confirmed that the textual content I pasted matched what was printed within the SEJ article. It even included a hyperlink to the SEJ article to make use of as a reference/quotation for the textual content I pasted.

Grammarly plagiarism checkScreenshot from Grammarly, January 2023

Instruments like Grammarly are nice for locating most webpage content material, however they could not work with textual content from books, PDFs, ebooks, or any content material that hasn’t been listed by search.

6. Plan Forward Of Time

Avoiding procrastination will guarantee you may have ample time to proofread items and draft your outlines accordingly.

This lets you maintain monitor of your whole sources, determine easy methods to cite them appropriately, and enable you keep away from different errors.

7. Commit To Presenting Unique Concepts

Lastly, this level speaks to the ethos of why we write.

By resolving to be an unbiased author and thinker, you’ll by no means have to fret about plagiarism. Most significantly, you may be rather more profitable due to it.

Avoiding plagiarism isn’t essentially tough, but it surely requires self-discipline and correct planning.

Extra sources:


Featured Picture: GoodStudio/Shutterstock



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