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Ethics in Writing in the Academic Field Essay

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Updated: Feb 18th, 2021

Describe the strategies for accurately commenting on the works of others, paraphrasing and citing sources

Key among the major aspects of writing in the academic sphere is the use of other peoples’ opinions as well as ideas. This is an important aspect for a writer to understand as it helps people show their vast knowledge on a subject. This has however to be done without plagiarism. Plagiarism refers to the practice of using and failing to acknowledge the words or ideas of another person (Anderson, 2008).

In legal terminology, plagiarism is an offense that involves the theft of intellectual property. Intellectual property is indeed about funds and also the freedom to build up ideas into works as well as products for society’s benefit. To promote innovativeness through discovery as well as creativity, the law offers the originator a given time frame to have control over the content in addition to the disbursement of any products that may emanate from their idea.

This practice is widely unaccepted mostly in learning institutions and even religious settings. The level of this intellectual dishonesty has been catapulted by the growth in technology more precisely the increased use of the internet in many academic angles (Young, 2001). One can avoid plagiarism by giving credit whenever one uses:

  1. another individual’s idea theory or opinion,
  2. facts in form of diagrams or drawings,
  3. quotations of words by others.

Individuals can however use other people’s work in their publications or other media by doing the following.

One of the measures that can be applied in avoiding plagiarism is to enclose in quotation marks all that originates from the original text directly when writing (Govier, 2009). One can also ensure that he/she changes and rearranges the word of another person to look different and original. This can be achieved through the conceptualization of the idea(s) expressed by the author then one can write these ideas in different combinations of words to convey a similar meaning. This is what is known as paraphrasing. Another criterion is by checking the paraphrased words against the original ones to ensure that the paraphrased words are not by coincidence similar to the original ones used and also to be accurate.

Advice from academicians stipulates that the rule of thumb in avoiding plagiarism is by citing whenever the idea is borrowed. Citation usually is in-text, where one lists either the name of the publication or the name of the author as well as the year or date of publication. An example could appear like; Newton (1967) asserts that… By the application of the above methods, the writer can cushion him/herself from the liability of plagiarism.

Describe and identify the basic factors involved in plagiarism

Plagiarism has its foothold in the western civilizations where this idea was coined. A person may ask under what circumstances a piece of text can be doomed as stained with plagiarism. The answer to this question is that there is a set rule of thumb that beyond which there can be ascertained of plagiarism occurrence.

Even so, there are different variations in the degree of plagiarism; one may have used a whole paper or a section of it, could have used a few paragraphs or even sentences (Carroll, 2002). Duplication of statements by a person without having to give credit to the originator of such a phrase or statement is in itself plagiarism. Some factors are looked into in the evaluation of potential plagiarism, these could be: the amount or quantity used, application of quotation marks incase of the copied text, coherent placement of credit notices, or incorrect paraphrasing. Factors that are involved in plagiarism involve:

  • First is the unaccredited verbatim or the duplication of the entire paper or the copying of a percentage greater than fifty of the entire paper. This could be when a large section of the original paper is copied without acknowledgment.
  • Second is the unaccredited verbatim, duplication of large parts of the paper, between 20% and 50% within a paper. This could arise for instance when a section of the original paper is copied from another paper without the proper quotations and referencing. This also includes the use of different works by the same person in the writer’s work without acknowledgment.
  • Thirdly, is unaccredited verbatim, copying of separate elements; graphs, sentences, etc that constitute up to 20% of the entire paper. Here, portions of a different author are used without proper referencing techniques being applied.

Unaccredited improper paraphrasing occurs when only a few words have been altered or where the word order has been altered, and no credit has been given to that effect.

The last of these factors of plagiarism is, credited verbatim which refers to the copying of a big part of the paper without proper delineation.


Anderson, J. (2008). Plagiarism, copyright violation and other thefts of intellectual property: an annotated bibliography with a lengthy introduction. McFarland.

Carroll, J. (2002). A Handbook for Deterring Plagiarism in Higher Education, Oxford: The Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development.

Govier, T. (2009). A Practical Study of Argument. Belmont: Cengage Learning.

Yong, J. (2001). Malay/Indonesian speakers. In M. Swan and B. Smith (Ed) Learner English: A teacher’s guide to interference and other problems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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