Students purposefully cheat on their assignments but also accidentally plagiarise other people’s work. Carrying out these activities can get these students into academic trouble. Therefore, it is extremely important for university students in particular to understand what plagiarism is, and how to avoid it.
In many universities, first year students usually only tend to get a brief explanation of what plagiarism is. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly read the course guidebook. If there is not enough information about plagiarism in it, then ask your tutor, or do some research yourself.
The academic community considers plagiarism to be cheating and even though there are many types of plagiarism. All these types of plagiarism tend to be treated the same. The consequences of plagiarism can range from mild to the extreme, depending upon how an academic institution deals with it.
When at university, it is important for you to take notes. This will allow you to make sure that each and every note is correctly referenced with the right source. For many students this comes down to being organised. Not organising your notes could confuse you and mistake your own ideas with somebody else’s ideas. As such, it is important to take a systematic and methodical approach when doing any research. This is where many students make crucial mistakes – which can then cost them later down the line.
Therefore, if you want to avoid any surprises when you receive your feedback for your work, then there are a number of things that you can do.
Steps to Avoid Plagiarism
To begin with, organise your notes well. You should also make sure you take full references for any sources as you go along. When you have written your actual paper, you can check it with a plagiarism checker like Viper. Nevertheless, this only provides a check against any digital information. This does not mean that your paper is clear of any plagiarism if your paper has no digital similarities. Your tutor might recognise an idea or a passage from a book, or other source, that they are familiar with, and this too could get you into trouble.
This is why the note-taking process is so important. This is also why you should get organised with a system that you are familiar with. In addition, if you work in a study group, you must also make sure not to share too many ideas. This could lead to others subconsciously thinking they own such ideas and would lead to plagiarism. Furthermore, it is important not to use somebody else’s work or sections of it. Your tutor could recognise that your style of writing has changed dramatically. Recognising this could then lead to a more thorough investigation of your past and present work.
Examples of the Consequences of Plagiarism.
People with university degrees often go on to work with many social responsibilities. So it is very important that these people do not falsely gain such qualifications.
If a nurse fakes her qualifications, then this could put the lives of patients at risk. It is important that universities take plagiarism seriously, as a discovery of undetected plagiarism further down the line could seriously damage the reputation of a university. You must not only consider what plagiarism can affect your academic life, but also for your career and life beyond academia.
In the United Kingdom, The Times newspaper revealed that around 0.7% of UK students are accused of cheating. This statistic amounts to around 17,000 students per year out of just over 2.4 million. Motives for such plagiarism can simply be laziness, a lack of confidence, or of course it can be done accidentally. However, if you truly want to avoid plagiarism, then understanding what it is is key. Without having a thorough understanding of plagiarism, then you might just commit it without really realising it.
Therefore, if you are a fresher at university, or even a more senior student, it is always a good idea to periodically review your course handbook for information about plagiarism, just as a reminder, and to have an omnipresent awareness of these rules and regulations when carrying out your research. If you do intend on following the rules, then knowledge is key, along with having the necessary tools to be able to detect any instances of plagiarism in your own work.
Using Plagiarism Detection Tools like Viper
It is a really good investment to sign up to some plagiarism detection software like Viper. This services will provide you with an added layer of security, and can put your mind at ease. However, bear in mind that digital content is now extensive, and includes all online content, as well as any in-house records of past essays kept by a university. As such, if this happens, then it might be prudent to just tweak your work, so that it is a little more unique. But how common is plagiarism?
Finally, you must ask yourself: do you really want to destroy everything that you have worked for to get to this point in your academic life, for just a moment of laziness? Probably not I would say. For more information on how to avoid plagiarism simply visit the following link: