It is very important for students to write using their own words because this makes a positive contribution to the scholarly world. It would be very difficult to make any advances in the society if no scholars wrote any original work. Whenever someone writes something using new words, this approach broadens the topic and introduces new nuances to the addressed subject. Consequently, the person who reads these words later can interpret a certain topic differently, thereby introducing new research angles. When a topic is explained using original and specific words, the audience has an opportunity to connect with the writer on a higher level.
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The same benefits can be passed on to the writer who has a chance of understanding a topic better if he/she explains it using his/her own words. When students fail to use their own words and/or neglect to give credit to the original writers, this is known as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a ‘capital’ offence in most institutions and it can lead to expulsion or other forms of disciplinary actions towards the students who practice it.
Plagiarism is manifested through various practices in the course of academic writing exercises. Complete plagiarism occurs when a scholar presents an article, passage, or any other paper that belongs to another writer. In instances of complete plagiarism, there is no paraphrasing or any professional acknowledgement that is involved. Complete plagiarism also involves using unpublished works that have been written by other students.
Near-complete plagiarism occurs when full portions of another person’s work have been used in a student’s paper. For instance, a student can tweak another person’s work by adding an introduction and a conclusion to the copied work. This form of plagiarism is also not tolerated in academic circles. Patchwork plagiarism is a very common form of plagiarism and it involves students lifting written passages from several authors and combining them to make a complete paper.
Lazy plagiarism covers instances where the students’ words coincide with those of another writer. Lazy plagiarism often results from poor study habits but instructors cannot be able to distinguish it from other forms of intentional plagiarism. The last form of plagiarism is self-plagiarism and it involves instances where a student uses a paper that is intended for one course to satisfy the needs of another lesson.
Writing original content is primarily beneficial to students because it enables them to score good grades and avoid conflicts with school administrations. There are several methods that the students can use to avoid plagiarism. For instance, a student should be able to keep track of all the materials that he/she uses during his/her preliminary research. All academic papers start at the research stage, and the students should keep track of this period to enable them to cite all their sources accordingly.
During the writing stage, a student should avoid imitating essay formats by other writers. Consequently, the students should adopt a stance of originality from the onset. The student should also maintain a clear demarcation between quotes and original materials. Most instances of plagiarism occur when a student cannot decide whether to quote or paraphrase original material. All students should be familiar with the process of referencing and citing works from other writers. This practice is critical especially for all information that is sourced from online sources. The entire process of avoiding plagiarism is harnessed through the editing process.
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