One of the challenges students face when writing assignments is gathering literature and have the whole paper accompanied with evidence that makes your paper strong. Gathering literature from previous research values and ideas and having to build on them with pertinent information is a very necessary step in assignment writing. All these steps must be followed with caution in order to avoid falling into the plagiarism trap. The act of stealing intellectual information is considered an unethical practice when there is no proper acknowledgement. Because the act is considered a serious intellectual and academic offense, engaging in such kind of theft could result in negative results. Currently, the issue of intellectual theft has been marked a grave problem in learning institutions and one of the reasons why degrees are withheld and students expelled.
It is therefore very vital for students have their understanding about plagiarism increased. Most institutions have developed a nuance culture that insists against plagiarism and also insist on the authentication of works submitted through citing the source of ideas and words. This form of validation has been adopted as a global academic conduct even in non-native English speaking countries. In as much as the internet has come to increase our access to information, it is very vital to ensure that students and researchers guard against plagiarism however accidental it could be. Below are the most effective ways to avoid intellectual theft;
- Clarify to students why plagiarism is unacceptable. Most students plagiarize because they are not able to grasp the full understanding of what is not appropriate when composing assignments. Professors have a role to make students understand what plagiarism is and why it is considered an academic offense. By taking students through the concept, instructors would increase their ability to home their skills in relation to being able to engage in critical thinking when composing ideas. It would be unfair to students to really work hard and have all their effort and time in a paper only for them to be told they have committed a crime they do not have an idea about.
- Have the grounds for plagiarism discussed. Apart from introducing the concept to students, professors should be sure to discuss the penalties and consequences that accompany the academic offense for those who will be found submitting not so original papers.
- Plagiarism’s real deal. Professional writers and students may claim to have a good understanding about what constitutes plagiarism. However, in real sense what they have as an understanding is not what should be captured about the essence of the academic offense. Most people do not know that the act of plagiarism could be possible by simple paraphrasing one’s ideas. In as much as you paraphrase the ideas from a source, it is still vital that you cite them and not just for the sake of having the sources there but to also avoid problems that come with theft of ideas. Professors should discuss the many ways that can land one into the trouble of plagiarizing because most have believe paraphrasing ideas is not theft because the act includes instances of copy and pasting. The real deal about plagiarism should be discussed in detail to students for them to understand other ways in which they can come into contact with the law.
- Have learners know what is expected of them. Another effective way to avoid theft of ideas is to have students know what is expected of them regarding how they respond to assignments. Professors should engage students in a discussion of how every paper is important and should be submitted as original for a good grade. Other than this, students should be told how it could be interesting to have your new ideas read out or feature in public and have the law protect your new development. This would help students strategize and plan before taking up an assignment and in this manner have them compete in coming up with new and original ideas. In addition to discussing the significance of coming up with original work, instructors should also discuss the many rules of writing where citing inside the text and composing a bibliography section as well as meeting the number of sources required places your work free from plagiarism cases.
- Use online plagiarism checkers. There are a variety of plagiarism detection tools that can also be used by learners. While it is best to have instructors use these tools, learners should also be asked to make use of these tools before submitting their papers. The use of plagiarism detection tools is a better strategy that helps students develop and maintain original developments and correct instances of copied words and ideas before submission.
Avoiding plagiarism is very easy and it is not only the duty of students to make sure they understand and avoid intellectual theft. Instructors also play a role in increasing the understanding of students about the concept. The strategies mentioned above can be used to maintain originality among students and are the best advice one can give to their peers.