According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: pla·gia·rism (n): the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person : the act of plagiarising something.
As a student, having to submit assignments, project reports or thesis reports periodically is nothing new. But the content submitted - is it yours and yours alone? Or have you knowingly or unknowingly copied the content from other sources?
Plagiarism is unethical, especially in the academic world. So what are the different types of plagiarism and how can you avoid it?
Plagiarism.org, is one of the references which gives a list of the different types of plagiarism and the way you can avoid making such mistakes.
Direct plagiarism: This is the most serious type of academic dishonesty and this must be avoided at all costs. Direct plagiarism happens when a person submits another person's work as his own - either parts of it or the entire thing, without quoting the source.
Replacing words: There are instances where a particular content is taken and the main words are replaced with befitting synonyms. This is a more subtle kind of plagiarism, but it is an offence nonetheless.
Multiple sources: It is also considered as plagiarism if you copy content from multiple sources and pass it off as your own.
Self-plagiarism: Submitting one's own earlier work in the form of a new assignment is also considered an offence in some instances, unless explicit permission is obtained for using the same material again.
Copying ideas: Plagiarism doesn't always have to be copied content. Copying ideas, without giving any credit to the person who came up with the idea, can also come under plagiarism.
Wrong credits: Citing incorrect sources/credits also contributes to plagiarism.
Hybrid content: Even if most of the report submitted is your own, and if there are one or two instances among that which has copied content, then the entire thing is considered to be plagiarised.
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Augmented content: This is when an individual's entire report would contain no original work. It would only contain work of other people. In this case, the sources may be cited, but this is also a type of plagiarism.
So how do we avoid plagiarism?
Cite all the sources from where you have got the information for the paper. Additionally, you can also make sure that the sources, author names and report names are accurate. Above all, provide your original work and do not copy.
Plagiarism is a serious offence. It has many consequences, depending on the organisation or person in question. In schools or colleges, plagiarism, when caught, can lead to receiving zero on the assignment, failing in the class and in more serious cases, it may even lead to suspension and expulsion. So try to avoid it at all cost.