What is Plagiarism

by Jennifer Burns - Date: 2007-04-13 - Word Count: 578 Share This!

Studying at the university or a college makes us continually work with information and use it in our academic paper writing. It can be found everywhere: in the Web, newspapers, magazines, on a TV and radio. We devote lots of time to searching it, analyzing and using. Especially when we deal with such important work as dissertation writing, we have to be careful with such thing as plagiarism.
So, what is plagiarism and how to avoid it in your academic writing? Plagiarism is using somebody's words or ideas without acknowledging the source of the information you have used. Responsible, honest writers pay tribute to others by clearly citing material that they have borrowed. Irresponsible or dishonest writers often forget or just don't want to cite their borrowings and thus become guilty of plagiarism.
There are two main types of plagiarism: intentional and unintentional plagiarism. The majority of student plagiarism is probably unintentional. This part can also be divided into ways of plagiarizing.
The most spread way of plagiarism that is met in student's college essay writing is using someone else's exact words without quotation marks. This is how most of us are trying to impress our readers with smart thoughts, isn't it. Even paraphrasing a source closely is a plagiarism, because you change words only but not the general meaning.
When you are not crediting direct or indirect influence on your work might also be a plagiarism. Let's say you are reading "Financial Times" every day and at the same time your are writing a financial report; in this situation you will unintentionally use memorized material from the newspaper. Yes, it is another way of plagiarizing.
But the most impudent and direct plagiarism is when you are buying a report or an essay online or using your friend's paper, and coping an entire paper instead of even trying to do something on your own.
Now let's talk about how can we avoid plagiarism. You can easily avoid it by giving credit to sources of any material borrowed, summarized or paraphrased. The most common method is to identify the source in the text, putting the author's last name and the publication year in parenthesis, with the page number of the cited material (Taylor, 1998, p. 144). The author's last name links the reader to a list of sources at the end of the paper where the full publishing information is given. For example, "O'Keefe, Mark. "Definition of 'Rich' Is Elusive." Detroit Free Press 12 Jan. 2003".
Other methods are placing footnotes and endnotes. They are used to refer your paper's reader to the exact pages of the works listed in the References section. The main difference between Footnotes and Endnotes is that Footnotes are placed numerically at the bottom of every page where direct references are made, while Endnotes are placed numerically at the end of the essay on a separate page entitled Endnotes or Notes.
Here are some more writing tips of how to avoid plagiarism. Don't hesitate to spend enough time for research and your paper writing. Make it a habit to put parenthetical citations for every phrase that you use and that is borrowed from any source of information, include full bibliographic citations at the end of your work. Think about where you can get help on your paper writing or writing tips. You can go to the library or consult your university counselor. But the best tip is being confident in your efforts. Good luck.

Related Tags: dissertation writing, plagiarism, academic writing, academic paper writing, ways of plagiarizing, types of plagiarism, avoid plagiarism, unintentional plagiarism

Jennifer Burns is the head of customer care center at Custom-Writing.org, term papers writing. Having completed a number of academic assignments himself, Jennifer uses her knowledge to provide individualized customer support to students, who order report paper writing and custom essay papers

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