10 easy ways to avoid plagiarism

Fighting Academic Plagiarism in Romania
3 kwietnia 2018
How to avoid plagiarism, how to detect plagiarism, what are the examples of plagiarism and what does it mean „plagiarism of the master’s thesis” – all these questions keep coming back to us, the authors of the most popular anti-plagiarism system in Poland, Romania and Ukraine, like a boomerang. Therefore, thanks to our 16 years of experience in supporting the verification of the originality of texts and relying on the regular cooperation with several hundred of universities in over a dozen countries, many public institution and business clients, we would like to present below 10 short tips that will help you not to worry about the result of the anti-plagiarism check.

 

1. Find out what plagiarism is

There is no one common, international and explicit definition of plagiarism. Every country could have its own definition. Some even don’t have one definition of plagiarism in their copyright law. If you are subject to the law of a specific country, you should get to know what are the rules there.

Remember the result of the analysis in an anti-plagiarism program must still be interpreted by a competent person (eg. a master’s thesis supervisor)

 

2. Learn the rules for citing sources

When preparing a thesis on a specific University, it is good to check if this University has its own patterns for quotes and bibliographical descriptions. Following them is the easiest way to avoid mistakes. The situations may look similarly when creating documents in some publishing houses or public institutions.

If we do not use the ready-made scheme, the correctly made footnote usually contains at least the name and surname of the author (or authors) of the cited publication, the title, location in a given publication (number of a magazine, page etc.) and a place and year of publication. If there are more than three authors it is also worth to mention the name and surname of the editor. In the case of online sources, you also have to provide the date of access and, if possible, the direct link (eg. https://plagiat.pl/en/blog/2018/04/12/10-easy-ways-to-avoid-plagiarism/).

Footnotes in one document should look the same way.

 

3. Remember that „source: Internet” is a mistake, and memes and pictures also have their authors

Yes, sources from the Internet should also be marked and cited. Writing that the source is „Internet” or „Wikipedia” is synonymous with no source. When quoting a fragment from a someone’s work available online, don’t forget to mention the date of access and direct link to this work. Basically, when quoting memes, drawing, photographs, illustrations, graphs or other graphic objects, there is the necessity to give not only the author of this object (eg. painter or photographer) and its title, but also all the information allowing to identify the first place of publication of this graphic object.

 

4. Should you have any doubts if something should be marked, mark it and give the source of the quote

It is better to mark too many sources than not enough. Everything that has been taken from anywhere must be appropriately marked.

 

5. Do not leave anything for the last moment

The temptation to ‘forget’ about the marking the source of a specific fragment often appears when the author is running out of time to prepare good analysis, conceptual work or… writing. A procrastination has its advocates, but to avoid future problems, it’s better to start working sooner than later.

 

6. Unfinished papers are also protected by copyright

It’s easy. If you plan to cite a piece of the scientific dissertation that is not finished, or you have the access to the book that has not been published yet, you also have to mark these borrowed fragments.

 

7. Do not plagiarize yourself

The excerpting of your own work, which has already been published somewhere else, also needs to be marked and quoted. For example, if any data, sentences or charts were firstly included in your bachelor’s thesis, when writing a master’s thesis and putting these fragment, you must indicate that they originally came from your BA thesis.

 

8. The argument: „Previous classes were also copying ” is not an argument

The fact that someone turned a blind eye to plagiarism, does not mean that violation of the copyright does not occur. Everything referenced in your work (not created by yourself) must be marked accordingly. Even if the borrowing comes from someone who does not mind using his work, it should be marked that the given fragment has a different author.

 

9. Do not change the word order and do not change them to synonyms. This is also a plagiarism.

What’s more, if you  check work with such fragments, for example in our program to detect plagiarism www.plagiat.pl, it will be disclosed.

 

10. You are not sure whether you have committed plagiarism? Check your work at plagiat.pl

You can check any document of any volume. Documents uploaded by individual users are not added to any comparative database of texts and are not used for further verifications.