Plagiarism: How to avoid


Rooted from the Latin’ word plagium meaning ‘kidnapping’, plagiarism is an act which has gripped the world like an epidemic fever. Starting from stealing ideas, to stealing works, to stealing designs, this malpractice is rife across all industries, countries and disciplines through which genuine work, authentic talent and original ideas are getting murdered.  Earlier, people were under the misconception that plagiarism is and limited to only stealing of words. But today with more and more theft of original work happening, stealing of ideas are just equally offensive.  This is what today’s youth and the people in education industry needs to understand. If caught, the reputation earned in the whole span of lifetime, can be stripped in one single shot – as what happened with the Hungarian president who had to quit after he was stripped of his doctoral degree owing to plagiarism, or the amount of humiliation the interim provost of University of Illinois at Chicago had to face.
So it is quite imperative that being an educationist or a student it is well explained and understands as to how much or how less can some ideas or words be used as a guideline and what is the limit beyond which a copy will be considered plagiarized. If caution is not exercised, a plagiarizer will lose his job, his reputation, life’s earning, honour and everything else, vis-à-vis facing a trial in the court. But the best part is, one can plagiarize their own works. Even writing and duplicating their own work in different publications are considered to be offensive and plagiarized and with excellent software prevalent everywhere these days to check the authenticity of a work – plagiarism can be caught in no time.  Universities like Harvard, Oxford, and several top ranked ones have thrown hundreds of their students out of their respective courses as penalization for resorting to plagiarism. So it is advisable that one should understand the lack of merit and credit a plagiarism has and the amount of goodness a genuine writing or idea possesses.
So how can one actually avoid plagiarism and how much of plagiarism is accepted? Honestly speaking – zero. However some universities using similarity matching software do take a similarity index upto 10% as acceptable. Anything beyond that is heavily rejected and a caution has to be exercised here since there is no limit or reference used as a benchmark of percentage of plagiarism. Caution thus should be heavily practiced and few things would have to be followed while submitting a paper, work , thesis or any idea. Citing references while writing a paper, avoiding usage of two similar words from the say row, rephrasing a sentence in someone’s own words, using of original quotes to mention that the text is taken from someone and running a work through plagiarism checkers are some best ways to avoid being a victim of plagiarism. Rather than having someone else’s work always in the front, the best way to deal with the impulse of a copy is to read the reference passage thoroughly, close that work, have the idea and guidelines in mind and writing it on your own.
End of the day it is very important to understand that there is no replacement of an original work.  It shows a person’s true potential, through understanding and honest approach to a particular subject , and till date a non-plagiarized, original idea or work is highly revered. All someone needs to do is work hard, commit himself to the cause, research thoroughly, understand how beautiful a new work is and hash out anything that screams plagiarism in the text.
About the Author
Vikas is a dedicated individual with strong problem solving and negotiating skills, a good network of contacts in the higher education industry, enriched experience of recruitment counseling and marketing. He has completed his engineering from The Technological Institute of Textile and Sciences, Bhiwani followed by PhD from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh in 2006. During his studies at UK he was also employed by the university as a Part time Research technician and acted as Warden in Halls of residence. He also headed role of International student society at Heriot Watt. After finishing his studies he joined Gateway Abroad Ltd as a Director. He is responsible for developing the Indian market which include opening up offices of Gateway Abroad, Supervising staff and existing agents, attending Education fairs and conduction spot interviews, Conducting seminars.

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