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Learn About Plagiarism in Research and Tips Avoid It

Academic Plagiarism

20 Sep 2022

The purpose of this guide is to explain plagiarism in research writing and explore the methods of avoiding it.

Plagiarism in Research

What is Plagiarism in Research Writing?

Plagiarism in research writing does not really differ from plagiarism in the other spheres of academic work or literary creations. It still deals with the theft of intellectual property and the claims that someone’s work is your own creation. When it comes to research papers, many students tend to copy valuable information without referencing it properly. Although it makes a good fit for their work and supports their main thesis, they fail to paraphrase or reference the actual idea. While it is not always intentional, failing to quote properly will result in academic misconduct and even failing the college course.

When you are dealing with plagiarism in research writing, some students tend to copy small paragraphs and use the ideas as direct quotes. While this method can seem acceptable, it still brings up the similarity rate as good research has to represent a synthesis of information and not the collection of quotes taken from online sources or a list of books. The same thing can be said about paraphrasing when it is done in a wrong way by leaving it almost the same as it has been in the original source. Do not forget that the plagiarism checkers may not detect the actual practice but the college professor can easily recognize the source and degrade your work.

Learning what is plagiarism in research, all comes down to how you perceive your research work and the right balance of what you decide to include by stating your opinion. Unfortunately, plagiarism in research has always been there and numerous students have admitted to doing it. According to statistical information, more than 39% of undergraduate learners have admitted to cheating during the exams, which is about 71,300 people in the sample group. When it comes to the writing assignments, we have about 62% in the same group, which makes the situation even worse. The other research shows that about 25% of the research papers that have been presented to the academic community contained serious traces of plagiarism. Without a doubt, every case of plagiarism must be researched through the situation’s take and knowledge of the student and the type of plagiarism. Since it can be self-plagiarism or incorrect referencing, it is not as severe as the entire work that has been copied. Nevertheless, when any type of plagiarism is detected in research, it leads to serious consequences that can ruin a person’s academic career or even end up in criminal persecution.

How Does It Affect Research?

Numerous students keep asking about an acceptable plagiarism rate as they go through the various checkers from Grammarly to TurnItIn, which is often used by colleges and universities worldwide. The common acceptable plagiarism rate is anything below 15%. Anything that is higher than 25% is considered a high level of similarity and will not be accepted by most institutions. When you are dealing with plagiarism in research, the college professors and the academic community will look into every plagiarism report as there may be false alerts or specific cases when you have to review or rephrase something for publishing purposes.

A far more important part is the way how plagiarism affects the final outcome and the person behind it. If you ask an average student about the reasons for plagiarizing something, no person will ever admit to actually doing it unless it is discussed among close friends or someone is complaining about not being able to understand what has been asked. The majority of severe plagiarism cases are always encountered during tests or multiple answer exams, yet when it comes to research writing, every student has sufficient time to think about and evaluate the situation. When something has been copied or stolen from another source, it is not only a display of dishonesty and low morals but also a serious danger for the institution, especially when it deals with the medical or engineering disciplines as the specialist who has copied the paper does not really know or understand the subject. It is a far greater problem when it comes to plagiarism in research writing. 

Can You Prove Them Wrong?

Absolutely! The only problem is that your reputation will be affected in any case and the academic community will have a negative aftertaste just like many famous scientists in our history who have been able to prove that they didn’t steal. Even Martin Luther King Jr. has been accused of plagiarism in the past, yet these claims are still debated even though there was no clear or direct evidence. If you know that you are right and did not plagiarize, stand your ground and do your best to prove it. It might take time and your college professor might provide you with a chance to rewrite the paper, yet not many colleges follow this practice, especially if direct copying has been spotted. A much safer method is to check your paper before you submit it with a helpful tool by FixGerald of which we shall talk in a short while. 

Why Should We Avoid Plagiarism in Research?

The answer to this question is obvious, yet not many students know about the dull consequences that can appear in their lives once plagiarism has been detected by the AI-based tool or the college professor. Although you are not breaking the law technically, it is only valid until you submit a paper for publishing in an academic journal where the legal side of things instantly comes into the equation.

Let’s review the most common consequences that make it clear why plagiarism in research writing has to be avoided:

  • Getting low grades. Depending on the severity of plagiarism, you will always end up with a lower mark even if you have forgotten to provide the year of publication in your in-text citation or failed to include relevant information according to the specified writing style. This technical aspect is always challenging for college learners as they rarely take enough time to check things twice. The worst is that such a failure is also considered plagiarism and leads to lower grades.
  • Failing your course. Another unpleasant outcome of plagiarism is failing your course, which will be reflected in your academic credentials and the educational transfer papers. It can seriously ruin your chances of getting accepted anywhere as every college will look into your academic background.
  • Academic suspension risks and probation period. Your studies may become suspended. It is especially relevant for universities with strict rules. As a result, you will be put on a probation period like a criminal type and will have to write several research papers and essays to determine your skills and academic integrity.
  • Expulsion from the course. It is the worst consequence of plagiarism that can happen to a student, which is why you should do your best to avoid it at all costs or fight for your rights if you have been accused for no reason, which is typical for the research communities worldwide.
  • The moral constituent. This consequence is not often mentioned, yet there is a moral aspect of things and it should be the most important since it is exactly what should motivate a person to avoid plagiarism. The pressure of being accused and caught is far worse than getting on a probation period or receiving a lower grade as it shows that you are dishonest and have an immoral personality.
  • Being blacklisted for research publishing. When plagiarism has been detected in a paper that has been meant for publishing, you may become blacklisted by the academic journal and the relevant scientific community as a person who does not follow the practices of a unique writing. You may be asked to rewrite the paper or make an appeal for a revision in certain cases, so make sure that you know your rights. 

The Best Methods On How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research

There are many ways how to avoid plagiarism in research writing, yet it all should start from your personal take on things and understanding that incorrect citations also belong to plagiarism. Here are the most helpful plagiarism avoidance methods:

  1. FixGerald’s Free Plagiarism Checker. This tool is absolutely free and will be your best assistance when it comes to checking your research paper free of charge. There is no need to register or click through ads as you can copy and paste your text as much or as often as you need. Fixgerald plagiarism checker will provide you with a detailed similarity report, so you can edit things right away and check it all again.
  2. Correct Paraphrasing. The trick here is to provide the meaning behind the idea by doing it in your own words without turning to a direct quote. Learning how to prevent plagiarism in writing, you must use this technique more and check things with the free tool to determine the similarities. Then just edit things further until it looks (and sounds) just right!
  3. A Mixture of Personal Opinion and Quotes. Another way to avoid plagiarism as you write is to provide a healthy balance of your thoughts and quotes. It is a safe way to provide a lower similarity in the end and make your research sound unique and confident as it provides your considerations.
  4. Checking Every Quote! Yes, this is paramount for your success as it will help you to ensure that your in-text citing is all documented and referenced on the Works Cited or References page.

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