Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Academic writing is a crucial type of writing. There is no margin for plagiarism and other illegal and unethical activities in academic writing, as it directly relates to knowledge production, so schools and journals ask students and scholars to write articles only after extensive research.
Schools don't allow plagiarism, whether it is intentional or accidental. However, writing a unique and creative work is tricky, as students and scholars often cite different authors and rewrite their work to support their arguments. But don't worry; this article will answer many questions you may have in your mind regarding plagiarism and academic writing.
Before penning the ways to avoid plagiarism in academic writing, let's learn why it is essential to maintain uniqueness and prevent plagiarism.
Why is Plagiarism Considered Illegal in Academic Writing?
The short and concise answer to the question is mentioned in the first paragraph of the article. A detailed explanation is discussed below for clarity.
Form of Theft
Plagiarism is a form of theft of the intellectual property of a person or organization. The academic sector want scholars to avoid this activity as it can harm academic integrity. So, to protect that integrity and discourage writers from stealing others' ideas and words, the academic sector put rules in place to stop plagiarism.
Plagiarism is Unethical
Besides the legal aspects, plagiarism is unethical as well. As a knowledge producer, no one is allowed to rely on fraudulent activities. If an idea is not mine, I am no one to claim the authority for it. There is nothing wrong with mentioning who was the real person behind an idea or words. It enhances a work's validity and credibility. So, writers must avoid stealing others' ideas and develop their unique perceptions and opinions. Even when they are using others' ideas, they must mention them.
Excellent and well-reputed academic institutes always strive for creativity. Many prominent institutes like Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, and others produce great researchers, innovators, and experts in almost every domain. So, they cannot afford to give a free hand to their students to copy others' work and claim authority. This practice can ultimately harm their creative skills and keep them from growing in their professional fields.
Plagiarism can also discourage researchers who take a lot of time to study different phenomena and come up with solid conclusions. They may think their efforts are worth nothing if others can easily copy their ideas and take the credit. So, to combat the issue, academia has decided to make plagiarism illegal.
Now let’s explore the different ways to avoid plagiarism and be creative. Let's learn!
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
The essential tips to prevent plagiarism in academic content are mentioned below. These tips can make your work creative and authentic.
Develop an Understanding of your Topic
Students and scholars should never rely entirely on others' work without putting in any personal effort. Although paraphrasing is acceptable, one should only partially paraphrase others' scholarly articles. To understand the nitty-gritty of a topic, students have to put some time into research even before starting to write. They should also select the subject after reading multiple articles and books related to it. That practice can help them learn which things they need to explore and how they should conduct the research.
Cite the Sources
Plagiarism usually occurs when students don't cite the sources of information and claim that all the data is their own. So, whenever you write any research article, you must cite the sources appropriately. Moreover, it would help if you mentioned the references in the last part of the articles. That's how you can easily defend yourself if someone makes allegations about your work.
Use a Plagiarism Checker Before Submission
Online plagiarism checkers have made writers' work easier. Now they can check for plagiarism before submitting the work to their universities and journals. When they check plagiarism using a reliable plagiarism detector, it finds the same content over the internet and multiple databases and shows which parts of a text are copied. Students can easily modify the plagiarized portions or mention the sources using the provided data. Both of these practices can help them avoid plagiarism.
Try Paraphrasing Tools
Paraphrasing is an inevitable part of academic writing. Sometimes scholars cannot quote others' work due to various reasons. So, they have only one option, paraphrase it. It is important for students to learn how to paraphrase correctly. That's where a paraphrase tool can come in handy. Students can rewrite an entire text by replacing the words and modifying the sentences without changing the overall context by using a paraphrasing tool online. Ultimately, students get a plagiarism-free text within a few seconds. Students who need more time to write whole articles can utilize them. But it is always important to mention and properly cite the source that the information comes from, to save themselves from plagiarism’s consequences.