Despite all the perks, being a writer comes with its own set of challenges that often make writing very difficult. Whether you are a blogger, journalist, academic writer, or student, there are certain difficulties every writer faces that can hinder their writing performance. One particular difficulty writers of all niches encounter in their writing careers is plagiarism.

In general, plagiarism is often defined as intellectual theft which involves copying someone’s work, either deliberately or accidentally. That’s why it is important that all writers try to be as authentic as possible when producing new work in order to avoid the adverse consequences and repercussions which come along with plagiarism.

While using a plagiarism checker is the best way to ensure a writing piece is unique, there are other ways writers can avoid plagiarizing. In this post, we highlight the consequences of plagiarism and effective ways to avoid it. 

What is considered plagiarism?

Plagiarism can come in many forms, with the most common ones being complete plagiarism, paraphrasing plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and accidental plagiarism. 

For example, complete plagiarism is the type of plagiarism that occurs when a writer submits someone else’s work in their own name. What they do is they request somebody to write a paper for them and then hand that paper in with their name on it. A great example of this would be submitting the same research paper for an English class someone else did before you. 

Paraphrasing plagiarism is another common type of plagiarism that happens when a writer copies another writer’s work and changes a few words or phrases to make it their own. This is most often the case with students who sometimes don’t even realize that it is a form of plagiarism. 

How to avoid plagiarism

In general, there are three effective ways to avoid plagiarism and these are direct quotation, paraphrasing, and using an online plagiarism checker tool. 

For example, a plagiarism checker tool is often the most preferred choice among writers. These tools work by uploading a paper on a website and scanning the piece for matches between the writer’s text and existing texts online. The website will weed out any instances of citing against its database, give you an accurate percentage of how much of your work is copied as well as suggestions on how to make it more authentic. 

Another way to avoid plagiarism is to use direct quotation which involves using the words of the original author and putting indicators in your piece, such as “according to” or “in (Author)’s view”, to inform your readers that you have integrated their ideas into your work. 

Paraphrasing is probably the most challenging way to avoid plagiarism as it involves keeping the original meaning of the source but writing it in your own words. This takes lots of creativity and can easily lead to plagiarism as you may still cite the author’s words and ideas in your text.

Why do people plagiarize?

When it comes to understanding why people plagiarize, there are many reasons for it. Some of the most common ones among writers of all niches include:

  • Lack of knowledge;
  • Improper referencing and citations;
  • Procrastination and poor time management;
  • Disinterest in the assignment;
  • Not understanding what constitutes plagiarism;
  • Lack of creativity and productivity;
  • Lack of awareness of the writing rules.

For instance, high school or college students are the ones who engage in plagiarism the most. Whether it is due to their lack of knowledge on a particular topic, their disinterest in the assignment, or the desire to finish a writing piece faster, copying someone else’s work often seems the best solution for them, without realizing the repercussions they can face afterward.

Adverse consequences of plagiarism

No matter if you copied someone else’s work deliberately or accidentally, the consequences of plagiarism can be quite severe. Some harmful repercussions writers can suffer from plagiarizing include a destroyed reputation as a writer, losing your research funding or your job, and even facing legal consequences for copyright infringement.

For example, the legal repercussions are the most serious consequences of plagiarism which may lead to fines, penalties, and even imprisonment. It is because of this reason that all writers should be aware of copyright laws and know how to properly avoid plagiarism to prevent running into legal problems.

Final thoughts

No matter what type of writer you are, it is important that you understand plagiarism and the many ways you can avoid it. Not only will doing so help you avoid the adverse consequences of plagiarizing, but it will also help you maintain a good reputation as a writer and make you more authentic and unique in the academic world.