What is Academic Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

What is Academic Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

It is normal, when writing an academic paper, to use ideas from other authors to compose your text. At the university, students are expected to know how to articulate their ideas and reflections from other authors in the field. That is, it is not wrong to use other people’s ideas. But it is wrong to plagiarize. Plagiarism is considered a crime, as it is a violation of copyright. But what is the limit? Where does one start and end the other?

What is Academic Plagiarism and How to Avoid It

Plagiarism happens when someone rewrites phrases, quotes or concepts from other authors, whether from books or the internet, without giving due credit. It is very important that the use of any reference is made explicit in the work itself. 

Unfortunately, plagiarism is a common practice in the academic world. But, many times, we do not understand what is considered plagiarism, in practice. 

How to avoid academic plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to mention the author from whom the ideas used originate as soon as an idea is used or to use free paraphrasing tool. Generally, in all citations made there should be the following information about the original concept: name of the author (commonly identified by last name), year of publication of the edition used and the page number where the idea used is found. Check out two possible types of quotes, you can understand below.

Direct Quote

When you want to faithfully transcribe a passage, that is, “copy and paste” a quote, you must use the direct quote. There are two very simple forms, but both must be indicated by quotation marks and with the information mentioned above about the work.

Indirect Quotation

If you decide to paraphrase the author instead of using exactly the same words used by him or her, you should use the indirect quote. That way, you can use your own words to explain what was said by the author. In this situation, mentioning the book page is optional.