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Avoiding Plagiarism

Updated on April 21, 2016
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella has written many articles on writing and how to become an online writer, she has been writing online since 2007.

Don't be a copycat!

Plagiarism is to be avoided at all costs
Plagiarism is to be avoided at all costs | Source

All your own work?

The definition of plagiarism is to take the ideas or works of another individual and pass them off as your own original work. Here is a basic look at plagiarism and its implications from an academic standpoint.



Good practice regarding plagiarism.

Some may feel that plagiarism is quite harmless because the producer of the work has already been paid, but this is distorted thinking. Genuinely creative people will usually be appalled that anyone would wish to do this as they only desire recognition for the things they themselves have created. Copying someone else’s writing and ideas is thus not something a reputable writer or conscientious student would ever contemplate.



Internet issues and copyright

Plagiarism nowadays has more repercussions and far reaching consequences than ever before with the advent of the Internet. If you copy someone else’s writing and post it on the Internet as written by you, sooner or later you will be found out. It is a serious matter that most reputable writing sites will check as standard. Some may argue that there is nothing new under the sun and that everything is merely a rehashed, updated version of something that came before, but to blatantly copy someone else’s work is pure unadulterated plagiarism for which there is no excuse.

Permission should always be requested from the rightful owner whenever their works are to be incorporated into posts or blogs of your own and it is prudent to make sure you are aware of all copyright laws before you do this. Always give rightful credit to the original writer and mention the source or link location.

Be true to yourself

Students who consider plagiarism as a quick fix way to solve a problem when doing homework think again, because as well as stealing the work of another you are not doing yourself any favours either. You may have copied and pasted and dutifully fulfilled your assignment commitments, but you won't have learned anything from this pointless exercise. You won't have made any progress or benefited from a genuine learning experience. No input of knowledge will have been gained. Just as someone who has copied the paper of another in an exam,you will not have been true to yourself. Not only have you plagiarised the works of the rightful owner of the work, but you have in fact cheated yourself and hindered your own progress.


Be original

Plagiarism is more often than not associated with the written word. It is of course highly plausible that two authors may devise a similar plot to their novels at the same time, but to completely rip off the works of another author - however obscure or even dead - is a complete "no-no." Incorporating the views and opinions of others into your own work is fine, and the use of citations and quotation marks is the normal way to do this, but deliberately making identical or paraphrased copies of the works of others is unacceptable for the reputable writer.

How can anyone call themselves creative if they can’t come up with something truly original to bestow on the world? Creating an original work is always time-consuming; whether you are a writer, painter, musician or artist, you will not only be devoting inordinate time and energy to your creative works, you will likely be putting your life and soul into such projects too. This is what true creativity is all about, so when someone comes along and copies your work and takes credit for it you may feel robbed - even raped - and quite rightly so. Perversely, there are also writers who delight in the fact that their writing has been plagiarised as it confirms their writing must have been of a high standard for someone else to pass it off as their own work!


Be inspired

Realise your own creativity that you are surely capable of if you believe enough in yourself. By all means, listen to great music, read great works of literature and go to the art gallery to view fine works of art, and then you will find that they may inspire you to great things by sowing the seeds of creativity in your own mind and provide you with the inspiration to create original works yourself. This way you will never consider plagiarism as an option.. If you research a subject thoroughly and can speak with confidence about it, there is no need to plagiarise. A keen thirst for knowledge will help you overcome any temptations to plagiarise someone else's work. You will become a competent writer and be proud of your own achievements.


Internet writing is not well paid and when someone plagiarises your work, you may get nothing at all

Writers write sometimes often for a mere pittance and it is struggle to make anything at all from online writing
Writers write sometimes often for a mere pittance and it is struggle to make anything at all from online writing | Source

Author's note: a writer's standpoint

As someone whose writing has been plagiarised on a number of occasions, I feel there is no real way an Internet writer can take any preventative measures to guard against this blatant form of plagiarism. Anyone can copy and paste away to their hearts content nowadays and my original works have often turned up on sites I haven't even heard off. I was originally a writer on helium.com which closed a few years ago and since then I have gradually been re publishing my original articles on hub pages. At least twenty or so of these articles have been refused publication by hub pages since they are now viewed by them as duplicate content.as they appear elsewhere on the Internet. I've been advised to file a complaint against these sites who have hijacked my writing but as they have no contact details this is proving impossible. I'm thus left with the only option of doing a complete rewrite which is frustrating especially when many of those articles are based on personal memoirs and could not possibly have been written by anyone else!

I have kept all my original articles and now whenever I try to republish one on hub pages I have to conduct a Google search of the first few lines to check that it is not already published elsewhere! It makes me wonder whether any of these sites who have posted my articles have actually got paid something for reproducing them. They are certainly not giving me any remuneration or recognition as the original author!

I'm sure many other Internet writers have had similar experiences as there are sites full of articles that have made no proper accreditation to the original author at all. But the offending sites have blatantly put their own copyright symbols on the articles at the foot of the page!

It takes a huge amount of effort and research to compile an interesting article which has great content and relevant up to date information; so monetary aspects aside, it is annoying and upsetting when an original author such as myself discovers one of their articles published on a site they have absolutely no connection with.

Plagiarism checkers

There are several sites on the Internet where you can check a document fro plagiarism. Some will allow you to check an entire document and others let you check a few paragraphs, Some sites are free and others charge a small fee. These sites can be useful for teachers and tutors if they suspect their students of cheating.

Be successful with your own writing

You can be successful without copying from someone else
You can be successful without copying from someone else | Source

Advice on avoiding plagiarism

More advice on avoiding plagiarism

© 2015 Stella Kaye

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    • SANJAY LAKHANPAL profile image

      Sanjay Sharma 4 months ago from Mandi (HP) India

      Plagiarism is a serious problem for the copyright holders. Several people copy and paste the content of others in their name. Even a lot of complaints remain pending with DMCA, which causes a great revenue loss to the copyright holder.

    • Juliet Stewart profile image

      Juliet Stewart-Austin 2 years ago from San Antonio, TX.

      You are welcome Stella and yes I did, so many People don't realize the consequences.

    • Stella Kaye profile image
      Author

      Stella Kaye 2 years ago

      Thank you very much for your comment; I'm pleased you found my article useful.

    • Juliet Stewart profile image

      Juliet Stewart-Austin 2 years ago from San Antonio, TX.

      Having been subjected to having my work Plagiarised twice..., This article is a necessary one. The Internet makes it possible to pull from vital information, Friends may copy and repost without thought as to Intellectual property rights. Thank you so much.