How To Avoid Plagiarism

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Students can avoid plagiarism with the right preparation – Teachers can play a big role in this

Plagiarism is the unethical and illegal act of duplicating content from sources already published online or submitted for publication. Plagiarism isn’t only copying text but also ideas, thoughts, findings, and other kinds of intellectual material.

A person usually starts committing plagiarism in their student life, because of a lack of awareness. This lack of awareness leads them to use duplicate content even in their professional lives, which has ethical and legal consequences.

In this article, we will tell you how students can avoid plagiarism with the right preparations and the roles that teachers can play in it. 

How can teachers help students prevent plagiarism?

Writing tasks that include assignments, essays and research papers are challenging for students of all ages, especially if they have to submit them on a short deadline. What contributes and tempts students to commit plagiarism is the resources that they have free access to because of the internet. Students can easily avoid plagiarism if they get help and guidance from their teachers. 

Clearly define what plagiarism is

Every teacher across the globe has to define and inform their students about plagiarism and its consequences. There is no need to sugarcoat anything regarding its consequences; one has to make sure that the students are well aware of all the ugly effects of plagiarizing content from other people. The consequences of plagiarism shouldn’t only be defined. Rather a teacher also has to explain what kind of content constitutes plagiarism. 

plagiarism

Give students’ proper plagiarism training 

Today, many universities provide formal training to students that can help them understand what kind of writing can result in plagiarism. In the training process, teachers can tell students about the different types of plagiarism in today’s digital world. Teachers can also take different tests from students in the training program and check whether they have understood what not to do! At the end of the session, teachers can present certificates to students who have performed well in training.

Tell them about online plagiarism checker and its usage

Plagiarism checker is a software that can be used to detect plagiarism. Teachers can also use a free plagiarism checker to scan the work submitted by their students and teach students to use these utilities to check and authenticate the originality of their work before submitting it. Today, there are dozens of free and paid plagiarism checker tools for students and teachers that can scan content for duplication and generate downloadable results that would tell about the percentage and exactly matched links. Today the use of online plagiarism tools has become important for the academic community, so we would recommend teachers to encourage the use of these tools.

Teach them the technique to paraphrase content 

Sometimes plagiarism is just unavoidable especially when you are working on assignments that are based on facts and figures. In cases like these the best way to avoid plagiarism is by using the paraphrasing technique. Teachers can teach students how to rephrase content or simply introduce them to online paraphrasing tools. Paraphrasing tools can help students automatically rewrite duplicate content. By using a paraphrasing tool students can avoid plagiarism!

Show students famous examples of plagiarism

The best way to make students aware of plagiarism is by showing them examples of text that constitutes plagiarism. Giving strong and popular examples of academic plagiarism can promote learning and can also help students understand how to avoid it in the first place. We would suggest that teachers religiously show students examples of accidental plagiarism because it is becoming very common. 

How to Avoid Plagiarism in 5 Easy Steps

Tell students about the school policy on plagiarism 

Generally, students plagiarize only when they don’t know the policy of their school on plagiarism. They will surely plagiarize content if they think that the school would ignore and not check it. This is why it is the duty of every teacher in the school to clearly explain the school’s zero tolerance policy related to plagiarism. 

All of these tips can help students prepare well for creating academic work without plagiarizing content. Most importantly, we would recommend you always encourage the use of online plagiarism checker tools because these tools can play an important role in stopping cases of accidental plagiarism. Also the use of paraphrasing tools is important so that students learn how to rephrase content in the right way all by themselves!


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Kate Staples is a career coach from Canada. She specializes in personal development, leadership, and mentoring students, recent graduates, and career changers to create a new career path and define their work skills, values and preferences. She is a blogger, speaker, and long-distance runner.

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