Performance guaranteed

Performance guaranteed

What is plagiarism in an academic paper and how to avoid it?

Put forward in simple language, plagiarism is the usurping of someone else’s hard work and talent. Throwing more light on that, plagiarism may be defined as a grave offence which one makes by intentionally copying the ideas, views and the very words of some other author, without giving any due credit to the person. It is as serious a crime as theft or cheating, as the credit is taken away deliberately from the actual person who deserves it.

Plagiarism in Academic Writing

The first exposure that one gets to write a particular paper or thesis on any subject is in colleges and universities. Here the students are required to produce academic write-ups after carrying out extensive research on the given topic. While researching, the students are required to go through the previously published papers and other material on the topic. Thus, at this stage they are quite prone to falling prey to commit the offence of plagiarism. It is therefore necessary for the mentor, to assist the students in such a way, so that they may be able to devise their own new ideas, writing style and language, instead of borrowing them from and imitating other authors.

However, there may be cases, when one does not copy anyone on purpose, but co-incidentally, the ideas and language may match that of some other paper in a similar topic. Whatever the case may be, the student will still be accused of plagiarism. Therefore, it is good to follow some specific steps while writing your academic paper, which will prevent you from committing the sin of plagiarism.

Steps to Prevent Plagiarism

  • One must make sure to write the paper in such a lucid manner, that it becomes evident that the writer has a good grasp over the topic
  • A very important step is to cite the paper properly. One may follow specific referencing styles, like MLA, APA or the Chicago style, to refer to the paper or work from where one has gathered information
  • Referring to the sources will act as evidence of the ideas of the expert author which one is following in one’s thesis
  • It is a great idea to compare and contrast one’s own views with that of the author. This will obviously show case one’s originality
  • One must make sure to organize one’s paper into specific headings and sub-headings. This will also help in making the paper unique and minimise the risk of plagiarism in one’s paper
  • Finally, it is better to avoid re-phrasing or paraphrasing the papers of other authors. One must rather try to read the whole paper carefully and then formulate or develop new ideas keeping those guidelines in mind

The main task of assisting the students in developing new ideas after reading already existing ideologies lies in the hands of teachers or advisors. At the same time, a student must also exercise such values, which will prevent him or her from copying the thoughts and ideas of others.


Leave a reply