Plagiarism: How to avoid it in your thesis?
Deadlines are a dreaded thing in academics, and so is plagiarism. If you’re short on time or were late to start your dissertation or thesis, you’d hope the submission day would never arrive. And days pass by as they should, they seem to pass faster than your dissertation is still in the works. You have no clue how it will turn out, or will it even be completed before the judgment day. Now you want to put a pedal to the metal and just get done with it. But you also want to impress your professor and get good grades. This is when most students put the copy to the paste. And once you include matter that’s not yours, and omit it, too bad. You have contributed to plagiarism.
Every college course demands that students be creative and original in presenting their ideas for research submissions. Presenting someone else’s ideas or words as your own is an act of Plagiarism. It is considered an academic malpractice and can land you in serious trouble. University policies and plagiarism will decide the severity of the disciplinary action. If caught, offenders could be given a failing grade or the more severe penalty of being suspended from a program or college.
Direct Plagiarism is the most blatant form of plagiarism where one includes a word-for-word transcript of a section of someone else’s writing. No citation, no paraphrasing. Do not do this even in the most desperate times. Direct plagiarism will lead to direct termination!
Patchwriting is a crafty method of plagiarism mostly undertaken by students who are more cautious in how they plagiarise. Also known as Mosaic Plagiarism, its when you copy and paste text from multiple sources while adding bits of original sentences and rewording existing ones. Patchwriting is paraphrasing taken to a whole new level!
Even if more efforts go into patchwriting, with the intent of coming across as original, it’s an effort in vain. The latest plagiarism-check software like iThenticate & Turnitin has the capacity to sift through tons of documents, even those that are not available on the web database and call you out! Save the struggle on this one.
And then, there are the more fortunate ones who can afford to hire ghostwriters to complete their dissertations on demand. Buying a copy of work written for you by a professional writer is also plagiarism. It also stands true when it’s not a paid service and you get it done by one of your friends or family members. The slightest effort doesn’t go into doing this and no one appreciates that.
Careful! You could do it unawares
There is much confusion even among the experienced lot in academia as to what constitutes for Self-Plagiarism. Some students think that it’s okay to add excerpts from their previous essays and submissions without adding a citation. Or submit essays in graduation that they had already written in high school on a similar topic. PhD students pick up huge chunks out of their previous work and add it to their thesis. This happens because most would ask “how can I plagiarize myself?” and then ignorantly accept that that’s not possible.
It’s important to understand that even if it’s your own ideas and words that you have used in your work, it is still not original. You have produced results based on your previous knowledge. For that, you must provide a citation.
Please consult your University’s plagiarism policy and academic code of conduct. That will give you a better idea of where to draw the line when using your previously published study.
Another type of ‘accidental’ plagiarism is Paraphrasing Plagiarism. It’s committed when you summarize ideas or text from another source and fail to cite the original author and give a proper reference. If the string of words resembling the original text run too long, it could also be taken for word-for-word plagiarism.
Tips to avoid plagiarism
Cite your sources
Provide citation wherever it is needed and no one can point fingers at you. This is the easiest way to avoid plagiarism. When in doubt, cite it.
Use quotation marks
When paraphrasing, use quotation marks and give a proper reference wherever needed. Clarify that it’s a borrowed piece and you acknowledge it.
Hire professional proofreaders and academic editors
Instead of hiring ghostwriters to write your theses and dissertations from scratch, hire proofreaders and academic editors to finish them with neat altercations and structuring. You can partner with PaperTrue to create plagiarism-proof works for any academic requirements.
Ask for help
Talk to your supervising professor or thesis advisor and be honest with them about your work. Seek advice on how much-borrowed material could be added to your papers.
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