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How to avoid plagiarism when writing an article

Plagiarism is probably the nastiest word in academia. The problem is that high schools in more than one country now have become increasingly tolerant of it. However, colleges and universities across Canada and other countries still have a zero-tolerance policy against theft. This means that a college student who plagiarizes isn’t a student for much longer. In this article, we will explore why people shouldn’t plagiarize and give a few tips on how to avoid plagiarism when writing an article.

How to avoid plagiarism when writing an article

Before getting too deep into the subject, be aware that it’s always a good idea to have a good, reliable site to-go-to when it comes to checking for plagiarism. The free plagiarism checker by ca.edubirdie is a good choice for students and writers. Having a free and easy-to-use plagiarism checker is a must for anyone writing essays, papers, or articles.

This may not seem important at first, but the best way to avoid the theft of ideas is to have the tools to check online to make sure that your paper or essay isn’t plagiarized and many of them are free. It is possible that even when someone doesn’t do it intentionally, they can accidentally write a paragraph or sentence that has close similarities to someone else’s, and plagiarism checkers are the surest method of avoiding that. 

Why is Plagiarism Such a Bad Idea? 

With the unfortunate rise of primary and secondary educational institutions giving students a “break” to idea theft, there are now many full-grown adults who go into the workplace or university with the mentality that there’s nothing wrong with it. So, why is plagiarizing a bad idea? 

Plagiarism is Disrespectful 

This is the first and most important reason that people shouldn’t steal other people’s ideas. The person who created that article, essay, paper, or even book worked hard on it, and they deserve to be quoted rather than ripped off.

The best way to think of it is going to work, putting in that full, grueling two weeks of pay only to find out when it comes payday to find that someone else got your two weeks of pay! It’s not fair. Why should you work so hard only for someone else to get paid for it? That’s what plagiarism does: It takes the money and respect that someone else deserves and puts it in someone else’s pocket. 

Using DMCA

If you are a content writer then it’s a great idea to consider signing up for DMCA protection such as DMCA.com. After signing up you’ll get a badge as shown below, which tells your readers that your website is DMCA protected, they can also help you with DMCA takedowns.

DMCA.com Protection Status

Universities and Colleges Do Not Tolerate Plagiarism 

As in zero tolerance, say good-bye to your degree, kind of zero tolerance. Some post-secondary institutes have softened their policy a bit in recent years, but not by much. Some colleges, for example, have adopted a three-strike rule to deal with plagiarism.

That means that if they catch a student, they get a warning. If they do it again, they’re written up or officially reprimanded and told the consequences of doing it again. If they steal other’s words a third time, they are cast out of the school, and those are how the nice guys deal with it.

Zero tolerance policies mean that if you do it just once, you are automatically expelled. Do not pass go; do not collect two hundred dollars. Go straight to the curb. In both cases, student plagiarists run the danger of not just getting kicked out of school, but are never permitted to attend that school again.

Not bad enough? Other universities are just as likely to refuse attendance because of word leaking out as to what happened at the last one.

Plagiarism is Illegal

For those who don’t need to concern themselves with the university, there is an even bigger problem with plagiarism in the real world: it’s illegal. Whether publishing an article, a short story, or a book, plagiarism can lead to massive lawsuits and even bigger settlements. Not only this but people who plagiarize go on to find that their reputations are ruined for years to come. 

How to Prevent Plagiarism

The theft of other people’s words rarely happens unintentionally, and as we established, a plagiarism checker is a free tool that is easy to come by online. Doing a check will eliminate the unintentionally similar line or paragraph, but most people really want to know how not to plagiarize intentionally.

The most common way people do this is by taking information from other sources by quoting them directly. To ensure this doesn’t get red-flagged as theft, there are two things that a person can do:

First, quote the source and either give a link to the quote or list it in your work’s references section. When you quote and give credit, it’s not plagiarism.

The second option is to paraphrase. What is a paraphrase? Paraphrasing is when you put what someone else said into your own words. In doing so, you avoid idea theft, but be aware that you should always give credit to the original document, anyway. 

Be Aware of What Plagiarism Is

People are told not to plagiarize, but they are usually not completely aware of what it actually is. They just not how to do a check for content originality. Some may have an idea, but not a whole concept of what this form of stealing is. The actual definition is pretty simple in that it is defined as taking someone else’s idea or work and attempting to pass it off as their own, but it’s more complex than that.

Having the same sentence in one essay as another may not be plagiarism if the two essays are otherwise different from each other. Coincidences like this do happen. An entire paragraph is far less likely to happen, and that’s when it’s considered theft. Likewise, passing in an entire essay that was written by someone else is definitely stealing. So, knowing what exactly can be construed as plagiarism is the best way to avoid it. 

The End of Plagiarism 

Whether a person is attending college, are part of the workforce, or are starting a novel, avoiding plagiarism is necessary. The best way to end this form of theft is to ensure that a person knows what can construe it, have the tools to avoid doing it accidentally, and being fully aware of the consequences of stealing someone else’s work.

With these ideas in mind, anyone can make sure that their content is one hundred percent original and that all of their sources are either quoted properly or paraphrased. As always, though, the best way to make sure you never hand in a stolen paper is first to put it through a good plagiarism checker!

  1. Hi!
    I am currently a student and your post was really informative and interesting to read. I should also add that there are plenty of free plagiarism checkers that can be useful for anyone reading this post.
    Thanks for sharing!

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