“Plagiarism” Avoiding the Big Mistake

Posted: October 17th, 2013





“Plagiarism” Avoiding the Big Mistake

In most cases, plagiarism is defined as a person’s imitation, wrongful/illegal appropriation, publication and stealing another person’s work, expressions or ideas, thus presenting them as though they were their own. Inadequate proper citations are some of the challenges faced by academic researchers in most learning institutions. This mistake led them to plagiarism cases. However, the boundaries between plagiarism and originality still bring forth debates and problems in most of the cases. Either way, there are ways of avoiding plagiarism.

Plagiarism can be intentional or accidental. Both kinds of plagiarism have severe consequences in the majority of the universities. There are many rules guiding researchers to avoid plagiarism. The first step in avoiding plagiarism is to study the expectations and policies of conducting an ethical research as far as that particular institution is concerned. This can be accessed through the school/institute’s web pages or writing/library centers. Although most of these expectations and policies are the same in most institutions, they differ at some levels.

When writing the actual research paper or any other academic related work, the student should develop a topic founding it on the existing works and assumptions. However, the work should be original and new. For example, one can write about another side of the already existing discussion. Relying on the opinions of the authorities and the experts is another step of avoiding plagiarism. This can be done by agreeing, disagreeing or improving (building up) on the same arguments.

The most recommended way of avoiding plagiarism is giving credit to the researchers who have conducted previous researches. This can be done in diverse ways. Using the appropriate in text styles is one way. For example, one can use the APA (American Psychology Association) style, the MLA (Modern Language Association) style, Harvard Style, Chicago/Turabian style and Oxford style. This includes citing any direct quotes and paraphrased statements.

Each citation style is incorporated differently. The title page and the references are different in each style. A researcher should ensure that each of these styles depicted in the right way. One should enquire from the appropriate people about any unsure citation styles or works. This should be done before and during the research. It is also advisable to incorporate other people’s help as they help the researcher to proofread his/her work.

Due to the advanced technology, there are systems that have been developed to detect any plagiarized work. A researcher may incorporate this system in order to help him/her detect any unintended plagiarism before handing in the research for assessment. One of the well-known systems is called the ‘turn-it-in” system. If there is any plagiarized work, the appropriate citations or new ideas should be developed and incorporated.

Research work includes reading existing works/researches, getting ideas, developing an original work form these works and presenting an original work. It is important for any researcher to improve his/her English to fit into a dialogue community. This can be done by building upon what is reads or heard. However, once own voice or words are greatly significant. This is the best way to avoid plagiarism. As earlier, identified, plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Researching on the existing works, getting ones own ideas, appropriate citations for the quoted, paraphrased works or other people’s ideas and finishing the paper with the right tile page and the reference page in accordance to the citation style, is the best way to do an original work.

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