How to check if a word or phrase Is plagiarised

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How to check if a word or phrase Is plagiarised

Many students constantly find themselves worried that they have accidentally used the words of another person. If you have felt the same way, that is understandably since doing so is highly unethical, and can damage your reputation. Such action known as plagiarism "is an act of fraud" and should not be taken lightly(1). Therefore, it is important that you understand what plagiarism is, learn how to detect it in your work and how to avoid this act which is in itself, a serious academic offence. Although we are explaining this with students in view, the principle also applies to writers, and teachers who mark students scripts. Put simply, plagiarism is a deliberate or mistakenly copying someone's work or ideas without permission and claiming it as yours with no recognition given to the rightful owner.

A student who engages in this

A student who engages in this practice, will have a failed grade and may be asked to leave the school with no hope of coming back. Above all, you will be "creating problems for your future career" as Lorenzo Shabe rightly said(1). The act of copying comes in different forms other than just taking someone's work as your own. As explained by PennState College of the Liberal Arts, writing "someone's ideas in your own" and "allowing your friends to give you too much rhetorical help" without acknowledging them(3) means you have plagiarized. This is not to say you can't ask for help during studies. When it comes to your assignments, you have to do it alone.

One online platform said that

One online platform said that "failing to put a quotation" in the words of others and giving "incorrect information about the source of a quotation" are all considered unethical practices. A student preparing thesis or other essays will no doubt, wants to present a plagiarism-free essay free. How you can avoid this is given by the Oxford University(4) in its platform that provides guidance for students in academic matters. The site said that the best way to avoid copying from other sources is to "learn and employ the principles of good academic practice" right from the start of your secular education. This involves developing "academic skills" on writing such as learning to write "in your words" rather than copying exactly what is written.

The online platform emphasized the need

The online platform emphasized the need to "give due acknowledgment to the author" of the work you used whether two or three words. This can be done by using quotation marks and referencing fully the source. To cite, write the author name, and the title of the work. Never forget to write the date of the publication if it is a journal or a book, and the exact page of the source material. Whereby you couldn't find the source material, let it be known in your work than to "include anything in your references or bibliography" that you have not actually checked. No need to re-cite a quoted text that you will be using repeatedly.

How To Check If A Word Or Phrase Is Plagiarized

Remember, words that are commonly known or is generally spoken should not be cited. Using your words in your current essay without citing amounts to self-plagiarism and should be avoided. Robbie Hyman, a professional communications and public affairs writer warned against "republishing another author's articles in its entirety into your website" or essays even if you reference thereafter. This is because lifting the entire words of an author into your own though quoted and referenced, does not add quality to your writings. You are indirectly telling the reader that you are not unique, creative, and that you have not completed your learning process. Many schools do recommend to their students the use of software that detect copied text in writings.

But, Turnitin, though a popular plagiarism checker, acknowledges that "no software(5) will ever be able to accurately determine" plagiarized words. The site went further to explain that software checkers only scan "to identify content similarity matches" not "intent" which is actually what educators consider when looking for plagiarized words. While recognizing the importance of a software in improving your work, it will be helpful if you as a student check manually whether a word or phrase is plagiarized before using the software. This will help you to stay within the level your teacher recommends which normally falls within the ranges of 15%-20%. To start the manual check, examine carefully the way you write and compare it with your assignment essay. For example, you normally write with simple English, and then you notice your essay is becoming more difficult to read, you tend to use British English while writing, then, American English suddenly show up or the referencing style changes from what it was, say Modern Language Association to something else like, American Psychological Association.

If that is the case in your essay, it is a warning sign that your work is plagiarized. As indicated by TeachThought Staff, if your "font type, size, color and style" change from one sentence or paragraph(6) to another, then something is wrong. If you use "outdated information" or information that "does not really fit" the assignment, you have plagiarized. You should also watch out for "missing reference" which "can either be footnotes or endnotes" that are not there. If you "notice that some terms are way above the level of the class you are teaching, this could mean that the student copied" from another source, said Alexander Peterman, a private tutor in Florida. Another thing to do is to ask yourself whether you can defend the assignment when a question is thrown to you by your teacher.

In addition, you may choose to Google search a given phrase from your writings and see if several authors have written something about them. The internet has made it easy to copy and paste an idea belonging to others. By keeping every piece of your writing free from plagiarism, you spare yourself the heartache that results from falling into this trap. You prove that you uphold the standard of your school, and more especially, you reap future benefits of having developed a lucid and quality writing skills.

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