Plagiarism refers to the activity of stealing or copying someone else’s work without properly giving them credit.
Sometimes plagiarism occurs deliberately, but most of the time, it is accidental and unintentional. The last thing you want is for your hard work to go down the drain because of a misunderstanding, carelessness, or forgetfulness.
Plagiarism and cheating are forms of academic misconduct and can result in penalties. If another student accuses you of cheating and stealing their work, you could face suspension, which will reflect on your report card. Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take to be proactive. Click here to learn more about your rights if you have been accused.
Tips to avoid plagiarism and cheating accusations in school
- Talk to your professor.
Sometimes you may misunderstand the task assigned by your professor and seek help from your classmates. While most of the time, this is a harmless step, sometimes, this can lead to trouble. When you have a doubt, it is recommended to talk to your professor instead of your friends. It will give you better clarity about the task.
- Keep track of your sources.
It is not uncommon for students to study articles and essays online to get ideas and inspiration. However, it is also common for students to forget where the idea came from and include it in their assignments without giving proper credit. This can be easily prevented by listing all the websites or books you borrowed ideas from.
You could differentiate your thoughts from the others by labeling them or underlining them with different colored pens. Additionally, ensure you include quotation marks when copying and pasting whole sentences.
- Proofread carefully.
One of the best strategies to avoid plagiarism accusations in school is proofreading. Even if you have not copied anything from the internet, there is a chance your ideas may already be on the internet. Accidental plagiarism happens all the time. Proofread your assignment properly, include citations and quotation marks wherever needed and check your reference list.
- Do not share your work with others.
No matter how close you may be to your classmates, do not share your homework with them. It is suggested not to even allow them to copy your content and then rephrase it because they would still be stealing your ideas. If your friends need help, you can guide them or teach the subject to them until they get it. Not only will your friend be punished, but you may be charged with academic dishonesty as well.