You might have heard of the word ‘Plagiarism’ and wondered what it meant. Today we will be looking at Plagiarism – to find out what it is and how & why we need to avoid it.
What is Plagiarism and why do I need to avoid it?
One of the reasons that the web has boomed recently has been because of the giant mountains of information that can be found on the internet, you only need to take one look at Wikipedia to realise how wide the web is! As a result of this big freedom of information, many people assume that one can copy freely, which is not the case as most of the things you find online are protected by copyright laws. Those that are not copyrighted are called: ‘public domain’.
Plagiarism means to take someone else’s work and pass it on as your own, so for example: I want to create a new article on my blog, but instead of writing – I copy somebody else’s work and publish it on the blog without reference to the original source – that is Plagiarism, which in effect is stealing, although many people try to tone it down.
Particularly in the world of academic learning, if you plagiarise on an exam or another such assignment, it will jeopardise your whole career – you will be thrown out of the school or university as they call it cheating. The rules however are not very clear, for example students can quote what other people have said or use images/media objects, with full references, without seeking permission from the owner, and that is deemed OK, but they must be very careful as too many quotes and not enough original content will probably fail the assignment.
Outside the academic world, people who copy other people’s articles, images, videos and other media objects can be sued by the copyright holder.
How do I avoid it?
The best way to avoid plagiarism and its reparations is to assume that all content that you find, is copyrighted and cannot be used without the publisher’s permission – that way you may be pleasantly surprised!
Another way of making sure that content is original and bares no resemblance to other content is to use plagiarism checkers which work by entering chunks of text (or images) into different search engines, to see if any other websites hold similar content.
Some of the best free plagiarism checkers are:
- Plagiarisma.net – As a guest you get a number of trials, requires you to register for free for more ‘go’s’ and more options.
- Article checker – Advanced plagiarism checker that specifically checks for blog articles
Thought of any other ways to protect yourself from plagiarism? Need any help? reply back here or find us in the forums!