If you are a college student, you’ve probably heard your tutor warning you about plagiarism several times when they assign academic writing tests. If you go through your student handbook or course material, you’ll discover that it is an offense that’s taken seriously by most learning institutions. Why is plagiarism considered to be bad by education experts? Reading this article will help you understand why theft of intellectual property can jeopardize your final grades and education. Plus, we are going to share with you a few simple tips on how you can avoid it.
Plagiarism involves taking another person’s ideas, writing, or intellectual property and submitting them as your own. It can occur as a result of direct copying or paraphrasing closely. There are two types of plagiarism namely:
- Intentional – This is usually done on purpose. It occurs when you copy another person’s work and pass it as your own. College students have been known to do this for decades for a wide range of reasons. In most instances, it’s caused by procrastination because they haven’t understood the material and have to get good grades to move to the next level.
- Accidental – This type of plagiarism occurs when a student doesn’t know how to cite a source or they forget to add quotation marks or cite sources. You can avoid accidental plagiarism when you visit fixgerald.com and become well informed about the proper citation procedures. When you check this tool, you’ll get the help you need to get good grades.
Why is Plagiarism Bad?
There are a lot of reasons why plagiarism is considered a dishonest and morally wrong act. They include:
- It is theft – Most college students don’t think that plagiarism is such a bad act. However, it is a form of theft. Plagiarizing involves stealing another person’s intellectual property.
- It is equivalent to cheating – When you submit plagiarized material, you are submitting another person’s work. Tutors require you to write academic papers regularly to help you learn and grow. It’s also a great way to assess your progress. If you get good grades for submitting another person’s work, your tutor won’t know how to help you. When you submit another person’s work, you are not only cheating your tutor but also yourself.
- Unfair and fraudulent qualifications – When you earn a degree or certificate by plagiarizing, you should keep in mind that this qualification isn’t a clear representation of your knowledge and skills. In the end, this will not only lower the value of educational qualifications but it’s also a form of fraud.
Consequences of plagiarism
When you submit plagiarized work, the consequences may vary. In most cases, it results in exam cancellation. Remember, an academic essay carries a lot of marks. In most instances, it’s the determining factor between passing and failing. When getting low or no marks in your essay, it’s likely that you’ll get poor grades.
If the tutor notices severe cases of plagiarism in your essay, you might face disciplinary action that goes as far as a suspension or expulsion. When you understand the gravity of this act, you’ll do everything in your power to avoid it. Apart from destroying your student life, plagiarism can destroy your reputation in the professional world and lead to serious legal repercussions.
How to avoid plagiarism
Thanks to rapid technological advancement, you can easily avoid theft. Here are a few simple tips that will help you:
- Cite all your sources well
When you use ideas or wordings that are not your own, you should add all citations. Include the name of the source, publication date, name of the author, and any other relevant element depending on the writing style that you are using.
Paraphrasing involves writing another person’s idea using your words without altering the meaning. You should exercise caution when doing this because when done incorrectly, paraphrasing can become plagiarism. After paraphrasing, format your article to eliminate similar phrases or sources.
- Use a reputable plagiarism checker
When you are researching and writing, there will be a few phrases that will stick. Always use an online checker after writing your paper to spot and correct all issues. There are a lot of checkers that will scan and find plagiarized text for free. These tools can help you improve your work and get good grades.
- Use your ideas
Instead of using other people’s ideas, it’s always important to formulate your thoughts and ideas. Think of the points that you can come up with to make your piece original. Always avoid recycling your ideas because it’s also a form of plagiarism.
Theft of intellectual property has many consequences on your college life and career. Since it is an illegal act, the best way to protect yourself is by avoiding it. Most tutors say that it’s better to submit your paper late than a plagiarized paper. If you can’t do the work alone, you should consider seeking help from experts online. There are a lot of reputable online writing websites that will help you submit quality work on time at an affordable price.
Connie Elser is a qualified scholar and author. She is experienced in tutoring, training leaders, and advising researchers. She enjoys writing on different topics such as technology and higher education.