7 Myths About Plagiarism
Just like other issues, plagiarism has its myths and misconceptions. Many people have found themselves in serious trouble by ignoring the copyright law that clearly states the punishments about plagiarism. Sadly many people are conscious that these statements are not true but are still using them as excuses to plagiarism. Plagiarism is one of those topics that most people don’t like talking about, whether in classrooms or even at their workplaces. Here are some of the most frequent misconceptions and myths about plagiarism.
1. Things Absent in The Public Domain Cannot Be Plagiarized
There is this common similarity between plagiarism and copyright. Many people believe that it is acceptable to use words of an Author even without using attributions as long as the work is in the public domain or has exceeded a certain age. Simply, you can do all this without the fear of breaking the copyright law. But the truth, in this case, is that it doesn’t matter if the author of the source lived a thousand years ago or that the work is in the public domain. You need to provide attributions or else your work will still be plagiarized
2. Direct Quotes Only Have To Be Cited
Many lazy students who despise citing are the common victims here. They believe that only direct quotes should be cited. So they simply evade direct quotes by paraphrasing the entire work. But the reality is that words are simply means of communication, borrowing and sharing opinions and thoughts from one another. Citing and giving attributes are just guidelines that help other people find the exact location of your source. So even if you paraphrase the work without attribution to the source, the work is still plagiarized.
3. Accidental Plagiarism Is Not Serious
Paraphrasing is still detected as similarities. So even if you put too much effort in paraphrasing and ignoring them, it is still plagiarized. At times, the online plagiarism checkers can puzzle you by showing you cases of similarities that you have never come across hence didn’t try to copy from them. Maybe you lost your information sources just because you never kept track of them from the start of your research, and then you try to plead not guilty. You may have tried to evade plagiarism, but the truth about plagiarism is that it is an offense just like the others, and you can get punished seriously. Accidentally or not, the paper is still plagiarized.
4. The Internet Means Common Knowledge
Many students believe that since the Internet is free and open to everyone it is something of common knowledge, and it is not necessary to cite the information got from. Common knowledge has its principal definition and is that it is a collection of well-known information and realities that are well spread in a range of ordinary reference books and are also easily retrieved. Therefore, it is important to cite all internet information sources.
5. Self-plagiarism Is Not An Issue
Many students have made it a tradition of rewriting their work and submitting it. This is a type of academic plagiarism. Many people oppose this claiming that nothing has been taken from another person’s work. Copying your work and turning it in might land you in big trouble. Most writers take this advantage and reuse their work. This is the reason as to why many publications in conjunction with granting authorities have rules counter to reusing former work without clear attributions.
6. I Can Use Either In-text Citation or a Bibliography
Students think that it is alright if they choose to use either of the two methods. The reality is that a range of papers needs different types of both in-text citation and a bibliography. In-text citations help in showing where the borrowed material starts and ends. Bibliographies, on the other hand, will help your audience be able to locate that source for themselves.
7. Plagiarism Is Mostly Experienced In Non-English Speaking Nations
Well, the language barrier has slightly contributed to this. There is some reality in this myth. Researchers that try to print their work in English encounter a lot of problems making them vulnerable to plagiarism. They do this due to the lack of confidence. But the reality is that plagiarism is a global problem, to both English speaking countries and non- English speaking countries.
Plagiarism is punishable; it doesn’t matter where it is committed. It is, therefore, advisable to get the help of a professor. Make sure you clearly understand the myths and misconceptions about plagiarism and the punishments according to the copyright law. For editors, it is good to talk with writes about plagiarism and its effects on the original authors.