Plagiarism is a very simple concept meaning that one steals the words or ideas of another person without acknowledgment. Every student is expected to adhere to codes of conduct that involve academic integrity and plagiarism prohibitions. Both intentional and accidental plagiarism is considered a serious offense in academic settings. Currently, educators are devoting quite a bit of energy to plagiarism control in order to solve this issue. But still, plagiarism remains a pressing problem in schools.
Educators say that it’s a pointless form of cheating, which cheapens the entire notion of intellectual honesty. Plagiarizing is not fair to other students, who are working hard and sticking to the rules. Also, it cheats a plagiarizer out of the opportunity to acquire real intellectual growth. Plagiarism can define a student’s reputation, which is quite embarrassing. Even one incidence can be a reflection of a personality. All these things must be enough to avoid plagiarism. The question is how to do it. Let’s consider the most effective ways of preventing plagiarism in this article.
Some plagiarism checker tips for students
- Give yourself enough time to do research. If you don’t run out of time, there is no need to rush and be tempted to plagiarize. There shouldn’t be any pressure so you can pay attention to your content. Plan your research ahead and you will be able to write an original work.
- While drafting your paper, be scrupulous in taking notes. Label all the ideas as your own or someone’s, so you will not forget to cite them. Keep records of all the sources you resort to, so you can use them in a reference list.
- Always cite other people's words and ideas properly. Make sure you do it correctly and meet the standards for the paper you are working on. You can always find style manuals at most reference desks and online.
- Use paraphrasing in the right way. To do that, you should properly understand the original source that you are resorting to and write the information in your own words.
- Find the best plagiarism checker to make sure that your writing is 100% unique. Students often use someone’s ideas unintentionally, especially when it comes to an essay or other kind of creative assignments. So the best solution for them could be an online similarity checker for texts that can ensure text originality. Using such online tools is the easiest way to eliminate obvious resemblance with someone’s work. It can solve issues with plagiarism and save your reputation as a student.
Tips for teachers to reduce plagiarism
- Teach students to define plagiarism by giving a clear explanation of this concept as well as teach them to detect it by sharing real plagiarism examples.
- Give assignments that encourage creativity. Create unusual tasks so that it’s impossible to copy them.
- Provide students with model works. Each time you assign a task, give them examples of that type of paper.
- Teach them to correctly cite the sources. Students need practice with paraphrasing and correctly citing sources as well as feedback on this type of work.
- Ask students to provide you with photocopies of all the sources they used in a paper.
- Offer some practice exercises and games that cover paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting sources. Here are some of them:
- Give students a short simple text to read, for instance, an article about Brooke Daniells for girls and the one about Tesla cars for boys. Show several examples of writing based on that text, some of which demonstrate plagiarism, while others don’t. Ask students whether they think each text represents plagiarism or don’t. Then tell the right answer and explain why it’s correct. This way, they learn to identify plagiarism.
- Choose a 1-2 paragraph section of a text and give it to students so they can read the abstract a few times until they understand it. Ask them to turn the paper over and think for a minute about what the section said. After that, let them turn to classmates and explain what they’ve learned from the text in their own words. Next, ask to write a few sentences summarizing the information without resorting to the original source. Then, check the original source to make sure the summary is correct and they give credit to the source for this information with the help of words like according to, in his article, ... says…, and so on. This way, students can learn to disconnect from the original text when composing their own works.
All in all, it is essential for both teachers and parents to stress the importance of students doing their own work. Moreover, it’s their responsibility to teach young people exactly what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. Hopefully, the recommendations given above can help with that.
Emma Rundle is an academic writer and editor at a popular online magazine. One of the most important values for Emma is integrity. She believes that any kind of writing work must be original and helpful for the readers.
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