How to Avoid Accusations of Plagiarism in Medical College

27.06.2018

 

What can hurt a college student more than accusations of plagiarism?
 
Writing an essay or a thesis, you hardly think that a single mistake can cost you years in college and thousands of investments in education. Once accused, you lose reputation and get expulsion; your career ends before it has begun; and even if innocent, you still have to prove your work authenticity, which is stressful, time- and energy-consuming, and, after all, unfair.
 
Big chances are your college uses high-tech plagiarism check tools to detect duplications in academic writings. Even accidental plagiarism is not a problem for them to spot, so make sure you do everything you can to evade the issue, secure yourself, and avoid accusations of cheating.
 
Make Sure You Know What Plagiarism Is
 
It matters because some students don't even understand they plagiarize. Such biased understanding leads to poor rewriting, wrong citing/referencing, using synonymization instead of a source idea's proper paraphrasing, and other kinds of failures.
 
Plagiarism is more than copypasting sentences or passages from a source to your writing piece. It covers a far wider definition of taking work or ideas from others and representing them as own. Even if rewriting a paragraph, you still plagiarize because you steal an idea without crediting its author.
 
Wrong citing and referencing leave you open to accusations too. So, as they say, know your enemy: most colleges provide comprehensive guidance on plagiarism, so make sure to learn and remember about them before you start writing an assignment.
 
Take Notes While Researching
 
Gone are the days when all sources students used for citing were print books, magazines, and newspapers. Those were difficult to miss and forget to include to the list of references: an author, title, and number of pages were obligatory to mention in writing assignments. Also, students had to mark a page where they dug up information while researching. Otherwise, they could forget the source and spend hours on going back through their books, trying to find it.
 
The process isn't so complicated in the digital age, though it's still significant to meticulously record sources and references during the research phase of your essay writing. So, once you've found a quote -- write it down at once, together with a source. It will save time while writing and help you evade the plagiarism issues. Remember that one wrong citation might cost you high grades and reputation.
 
Use Own Ideas, Not Just Words
 
Lack of time, writing skills, and topic knowledge may tempt you to take several passages from different sources, rewrite them with own words, and represent that work as your original statements. To hide plagiarism in writings, students use manipulations such as word rearrangements, changes in sentence structure, poor paraphrasing, hidden symbols, synonymization, and more. Sometimes they even pay for essays to get original work and avoid plagiarism this way.
 
A human reader may miss it. But most educators use tools to find plagiarism in student writings, and it's not the problem for those technologies to disclose your text manipulations.
 
To avoid accusations of plagiarism in your college writings, make sure to use own ideas and statements in your works. To be sure: words, sentences, and paragraphs structure should be your original, as well.
 
Run Your Work Through a Plagiarism Checking Software
 
It will be a good idea to check your essay for plagiarism before passing it to a professor. Most tools to help with that are available online, providing us with detailed reports on problematic passages to revise. Running your work through such software will help to avoid accidental plagiarism and organize citations and references right.
 
Sophisticated plagiarism check tools find duplications, wrong quotations, poor paraphrasing, and more. You will see the sources for flagged matches and will have a chance to edit them to evade problems. Also, big chances are your professors use the same tools to check assignments; so, you'll see your work as viewed by teachers to fix mistakes before they notice them.
 
Beware Common Knowledge
 
Common knowledge is information to use in essays without citation. It's general facts and statements we know and assume every intelligent person, a reader of our writing, to know as well.
 
However, there is no fact or stuff with a single definition, which creates a gray area between common and specific knowledge. What one professor would see as common -- another may call plagiarism, due to the lack of a citation.
 
If you're unsure, provide a citation. It will help to avoid accusations and save your college writings from copyright infringements.

Article last time updated on 27.06.2018.

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