For today’s blog, I want to talk about plagiarism. As a writer myself, plagiarism isn’t taken likely in no job industry that involves writing and in school. For those of you that don’t know what plagiarism is, it’s when you take someone else work and use it as your own.
Let me tell you a story about a time I plagiarized in high school. We were learning about the Greek gods. I hated that topic and that lesson. I couldn’t get into it at all. We had to do a final essay on the Greek gods. Everything we learned along with research we had to apply it in essay form. I forgot which Greek god I chose. I want to say it was Artemis. I wanted to choose a different one, but my friend already chose it so, I couldn’t. Long story short, I sat at home and copy and pasted a website about Artemis onto a word document, printed it out, then turned it in. When I got my grade back, I got an F. Then, the teacher did a whole lesson on plagiarizing. I didn’t do it again. I was that student that got an A on everything so, an F was really upsetting for me and I learned my lesson. In college, they have a computer system that catches plagiarizers.
Writing is my passion so, I avoid it as much as I can, but there are people who have a tough time writing essays or writing anything for that matter and end up plagiarizing even when it wasn’t their intentions.
I am going to give you some helpful tips to avoid it so you can be successful with any type of writing that you’re doing.
1. Paraphrase: This is my favorite thing to do when writing essays or anything formal. I like to reword things so that it doesn’t sound like the original material. The rule of thumb is, if you’re using more than two words together in single sentence, then you need to do some more rewording or you could use quotations instead. A good trick is to read whatever you want to use in your writing, then write down what you remember in your own words.
2. Quoting: This has to be done correctly, if you don’t want it to be considered plagiarism. You must use quotation marks and the quote has to copied word for word. You can also use block quotes for longer passages.
3. Cite: make sure you cite your work properly. If you do it wrong, it could be considered plagiarizing. Just follow guidelines from APA, MLA, and Chicago style. Each individual format tells you have you should properly cite something. Make sure you cite quotes and paraphrased material.
4. Referencing: Always include a reference page or works cited page to avoid plagiarism. When doing this make sure you are using APA, MLA, or Chicago style format.
(if I would have done this, then I wouldn’t have gotten an F in high school for copying and pasting. I was fourteen by the way and a freshman.)