Plagiarism | Plagiarism Checkers | Paraphrasing Techniques | Scholarly Paraphraser

In this blog, we will discuss plagiarism in detail, its consequences, and techniques to avoid it. We will also look at different types of plagiarism using practical examples.

1. What is considered plagiarism?


Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else’s work without acknowledging the original author. Plagiarism is regarded as stealing and often leads to serious consequences and harsh punishment. This is usually found in several areas, especially academic writing, where concepts and statements are derived from an origin without proper citing.

2. What are the consequences of plagiarism?

plagiarism consequences

Damage to student image: Schools usually include the ethics of their students in their academic records. Students who are found guilty of plagiarism are usually suspended or expelled from the schools, thereby causing the student not to be able to get into another school. 

Damage to professional image: A lot of people, including journalists, freelancers, and writing professionals, are usually impacted by the effect of plagiarism all their life. This has led many professionals to lose their jobs or get retrenched at their workplaces. Furthermore, this dent tends to go with them throughout their career, making it difficult to secure another job. 

3. Why do students plagiarize?

Following are some reasons why students plagiarize or cheat:

plagiarism consequences
  • Fear of failing
  • For good grades
  • Confidence that they won’t be caught
  • Short deadline
  • Ignorance of what plagiarism is?
  • Procrastination
  • Limitation of one’s ideas

4. What are the different types of plagiarism?

Direct or Complete plagiarismThis is commonly regarded as the most serious form of plagiarism. It occurs when you copy and paste the entirety of someone else’s writing and pass it off as your own.
Accidental PlagiarismThis Plagiarism occurs unintentionally. It usually involves a lack of proper citations or incorrect citations, forgetting or failing to quote, or accidentally using the same phrases or similar word combinations as given in the original text. 
Self-plagiarismSelf-plagiarism occurs when a writer decides to reuse a piece of text from his or her previously published paper without rewording or rephrasing the text.
Different Types of Plagiarism

5. What are some common examples of plagiarism?

  • You are asked to complete a term paper in a short period. Due to this short timeframe, you find an article from your search, duplicate it as your work, and present it for submission. 
  • You come across an article that looks like your assignment, and you edit some of the wording so that it isn’t a direct copy, but the details, writing pattern, and concept are not new. 
  • When you ask a freelance academic writer to finish a literature review for a class. The freelancer does the entire review, which you then submit as your own work.
  • Not citing a statement that is not yours. 
  • Copying and pasting contents from various materials into your write-up. 

6. A practical example of plagiarism in a paper

Let’s look at some examples of Plagiarism.

More than 70% of papers rejected by scientific journals are written by non-native English speakers.

Source text: Statement from paper by Elan et al. (2017)

This piece of text shown above is from a paper written by ‘Smith et al’. Now, the authors have used this statement in their paper as shown below. They have done the right thing by citing the source at the end of the statement. The mistake here is that since they have used the exact text from the paper, they must enclose them in quotes. This will be considered plagiarism.

More than 70% of papers rejected by scientific journals are written by non-native English speakers. (Elan et al., 2017)

Incorrect: Unaltered text not it quotes and hence it will be considered plagiarism

So the correct way to do this will be to put the text in quotation marks and then reference the paper.

As Smith et al. (2017) state: “More than 70% of papers rejected by scientific journals are written by non-native English speakers”.

Correct: Proper way to quote the paper

It is generally not advisable to use a lot of unaltered text from other papers and put them in quotes in your paper. You should only use the exact text from someone’s work if you think it is important to be precise.  This can include things like a philosopher’s statement or definition of something. Most referees and supervisors expect you to understand the work and then write them in your own words. In the example below the authors have paraphrased the text and then cited the paper, this is how it should be done.

Manuscripts authored by non-native English speakers are rejected by scientific publications 70% of the time. (Smith et al., 2017)

Correct: Text paraphrased and source cited (the recommended way)

7. What is self-plagiarism?

Self plagiarism occurs when you use a piece of text from your own published work in a new paper that you are writing. You might ask, what is the problem? It is my work and why can’t I use it again in a different paper? The problem is that once you publish your work, the copyright for the text belongs to the publisher, you cannot use the unaltered text from your old paper in your new paper. You have to paraphrase your text if you want to use the same content in your new paper. 

Self plagiarism
Self-plagiarism occurs when you use unaltered text from your previously published paper without modifying it.

Self-plagiarism even applies to figures, if you want to reuse a figure from your old paper in your new paper exactly as it is, you have to get permission from the publisher of your old paper. If the publisher does not give you permission, then you should modify it.

8. Simulateneous submission to multiple journals

Another serious type of self-plagiarism is submitting exactly the same paper to multiple journals. You cannot do this. When you submit your paper to a journal you will be signing an agreement that clearly states that “the work in question has not been published before and is not under submission at any other journal”. If you submit the same manuscript to multiple journals, then, it is a violation of the ethical standards of publishing. You must submit your paper to a journal first and wait for the outcome. If the paper gets rejected, then submit your paper to another journal. Keep repeating the process until you get your work published.

Self plagiarism
Duplicate submission of the same paper to multiple journals is unethical and is a common form of academic misconduct

9. How do you avoid plagiarism?

There are numerous ways to avoid plagiarism in your academic and professional work. Below are the top hints to avoid plagiarism:

10. Frequently asked questions about plagiarism

Plagiarism is when you make use of someone else’s work without acknowledging that they own it.

There are numerous methods and citation formats you can use when referencing sources.

Several academic disciplines and publishers have developed a number of standards for citing sources, including IEEE, Havard, MLA, APA, and Chicago.

If you are unclear about the acceptable citation style for your research paper, consult your instructor or read the journal instructions. The proper format to employ while composing your Bibliography or List of Works Cited is provided by citation style guides.

The fundamental bibliographic data needed is the same regardless of your chosen citation style. Don’t forget to gather these data as your research advances.

  • For books, include the following information: author, title, publisher, and year of publication.
  • For journals, author, article title, journal title, volume, issue, date, page numbers, and doi or permalink are required.
  • Author, page title, web address or URL, and access date are required for web page resources.

Finally, use a good referencing tool to manage your references and generate bibliography.

Here are some techniques for paraphrasing the text to avoid plagiarism.

  • You read the text out loud and understand the meaning
  • You write down your paraphrase
  • Confirm that your writeup aligns with the original text.

You can also use academic paraphrasing tools to paraphrase your text and plagiarism detection tools to identify plagiarism in your text.

Yes! Self-plagiarism occurs when you make use of your previous write-up in a new one, but this can be avoided if the previous write-up is properly cited and paraphrased.

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