Plagiarism: Be Careful What You Write

by · May 24, 2015

The Internet has made it easy for everyone to access information on diverse topics. However, you need to be more vigilant while using information in assignments and project work. Sometimes it so happens that you refer information from many sources (websites, books etc.) and forget the source later on. It is very important that whenever you refer information from any particular website or online reference, you must save the URL or references and mention it at the end of your dissertation. Failing to do so can lead to Plagiarism.

Plagiarism can be considered as someone claiming someone else’s work as their own, copying words or ideas from someone else without citation or giving credit to the original author. Giving incorrect information about the source of information, rephrasing words but copying the sentence structure, copying more words or a passage as it is without mentioning the source of information. It doesn’t matter if the source belongs to a published author or a student, or extracted from a website without clear authorship. Anything copied from someone else and claimed as own is considered stolen, and not acceptable whether done intentionally or accidentally.

In most countries, the expression of one’s own ideas or concepts is considered as intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws. If someone wrongfully uses copyrighted information, legal action can be initiated on the plagiarist (a person who commits plagiarism).

Let’s see and understand some types of plagiarism that are commonly practiced:

Verbatim Plagiarism: If you copy language or word for word from another source and use the same in your essays and assignments, you are plagiarizing verbatim. Even though you have written down some information on your own along with the text or phrase that you have copied directly, it will still be considered as plagiarized.

Mosaic Plagiarism: This kind of plagiarism occurs when someone does not copy a passage directly from one source. However, they copy some information from various sources and then develop a complete passage. Words are changed here and there with suitable synonyms without completely paraphrasing or citing the quotation. This approach is called Mosaic Plagiarism, which is widely in practice.

Inadequate Paraphrase: When you consider a passage from a particular source, you have to restate the complete idea or concept in your own words. Just by changing two or three words here and there and copying the rest as it is in your document is an offense and considered as plagiarism.

Uncited Paraphrase: This type of plagiarism occurs when you use someone’s idea and describe it in your own language. Even though you have changed a single word or line, you have to cite the reference of the originator and give the credit that is due to him.

Uncited Quotation: This kind of plagiarism happens when you copy a quoted phrase as it is and present it in your essays and assignments. The right practice of avoiding plagiarism is whenever there is a need for a quote to be mentioned in your essays, you should provide the source link to help the reader refer back to the source and understand the concept better.

So, be careful next time when you submit an assignment that contains quotes, text, images, etc. which are not your own. Remember always to acknowledge the source.

To learn more about how to avoid plagiarism, you can visit Safe Space website.

Post By Editorial Team (18 Posts)

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Discussion2 Comments

  1. Maha says:

    Good article.
    Unfortunately, people are not familiar with the concept. I would say, that even some teachers across the country do it without thinking of it ethically.

    It is useful to mention that there are a lot of plagiarism program detectors or checkers that might help us detect these acts and you may find some for free.

    Surprisingly, teachers do not know about them which would make there lives easier. Here is a list of 10 tools that teachers may use for free:
    http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-free-plagiarism-detection-tools-for-teachers

    I am not sure if there is any Arabic programs and if there is any it is not widely known. and we definitely need to think of developing one!

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