Students are always reminded that plagiarism completely contradicts the principles of academic integrity. However, the problem is that some students don’t know how this term is defined. More importantly, they are not aware that there are different types of plagiarism. This article will explain these issues and describe ways of avoiding plagiarism.
Types of Plagiarism: Defining This Notion
On the whole, plagiarism can be understood as borrowing the ideas of other people without acknowledging their authorship. People who think that plagiarism is only copy pasting should remember that there are various forms of plagiarism, such as:
- Inaccurate citing or referencing. This type of plagiarism occurs when a student forgets to include an accurate in-text citation in the body of the paper or a reference entry in the bibliography. For instance, very often, people don’t specify the number of the page where a specific quotation can be found.
- Word switching. Some students take passages from books or articles, rephrase these passages and present them as their own ideas. Although existing software cannot usually detect such plagiarism, professors can. So, you need to remember that word switching is still plagiarism and may be penalized.
- Submitting papers written by someone else. Sometimes, such plagiarism is very difficult to detect, but professors may ask students to take viva-voce exams when they think that the paper might be plagiarized.
- Borrowing of ideas from different sources without acknowledging contributions of other scholars.
- Citing fictional sources. Sometimes students do so, when they use only one source but try to give the impression that they did an in-depth research. Again, in the age of Internet, such tricks are usually doomed to fail.
Types of Plagiarism: Writing Good Papers
So, now you have a better idea about various types of intentional plagiarism. Most likely, you don’t want any plagiarism to be part of your papers. Here are several principles that you need to stick to for that:
- Cite or give footnotes whenever you are using ideas of somebody else. This is the best way to ensure oneself against plagiarism.
- Record bibliographical information and compile a bibliography strictly according to a citation style like MLA, Harvard, or APA.
- Don’t abuse block quotes and try to express ideas in your own words.
- Provide an in-text citation in each case when you are not referring to common knowledge. For example, if you are speaking about the Pythagorean theorem, you don’t have to provide any in-text citation. It is normally called common knowledge, but if you are describing a mathematical proof developed fairly recently, you need to mention the person who developed it.
These strategies will enable you to avoid various types of plagiarism. Still, the main thing to remember is that plagiarism is a form of self-deception. By cheating, students fail to acquire knowledge and skills, and you surely mustn’t make this mistake.