Can you plagiarize yourself without knowing? We’d say that you cannot because one always knows when they are about to do this. Although concept of self-plagiarism is very controversial, and there is still no agreement regarding it in academic world as it rarely occurs unconsciously. It demands to make some compromise with one’s own ethical principles. It may even make one violate some college rules because many of the US colleges and universities have already included self-plagiarism or multiple submissions into their academic honesty policies. You may think something like the following before plagiarize yourself: “Why can’t I reuse this idea (or information, or paper) again? After all, this is mine!” The words “after all” will signify the controversy, as people who think this way omit a small demand to all academic papers: content should be original. To know exactly what plagiarizing yourself is, when it occurs, how it affects study, and how to avoid it, we suggest keep reading.
Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism Controversy
Can you plagiarize your own work? There is still no agreement on concept of self-plagiarism and severity of this conduct as attitude to this practice is a matter of interpretation. One usually defines plagiarism as act of stealing. People plagiarize their essays when they steal ideas of others without giving credit to original sources. Indeed, we think of plagiarism as of repeating someone else’s thoughts without citing author. But we also think that paper is plagiarized when it is not original. Concept of originality suggests that ideas should be new. Ideas, which have already been published, are not new. Usually, people tend to interpret plagiarism as an act of stealing from some third party. But what if we sacrifice originality by re-submitting our own previously published material? This practice may be considered plagiarism, particularly when students do not inform their teachers about reusing content.
Let’s define self-plagiarism and find out when it occurs. Is it possible to plagiarize yourself by reflecting on knowledge accumulated during studying years? Applying knowledge one has gained to easily address tasks that used to be too challenging for you in the past is whole point of education. Still, when using some material or content that has already been delivered in assignments without notifying teacher about this or without citing previous work, may definitely be considered as an instance of academic dishonesty as you plagiarize yourself. Self-plagiarism has different forms. University and college students plagiarize themselves by re-submitting essays written for other courses some time ago or by borrowing parts of previously written papers. The more advanced one’s academic status becomes, the more serious instances of self-plagiarism turn to be. At some point, even editing and paraphrasing one’s own material, which is already protected by copyright, without adding citation is a subject to disciplinary action.
“Can I Plagiarize Myself?” - “You’d Better Not!”
Can you plagiarize yourself in college? Technically, you always have a permission of author when reusing your own work, but increasing numbers of professors of the US colleges and universities perceive this action as dishonest and unethical. Of source, there are many of those who still approve students’ right to reuse their own papers for multiple courses, as long as works meet all requirements of specific tasks. We strongly encourage to clarify this aspect with professor before reusing previously submitted essay.
Keep in mind though that the latest edition of American Psychological Association (APA) publication manual highlights a position against self-plagiarism. This allows predicting that more teachers will gradually become less tolerant of self-plagiarism in the nearest future, and academic institutions will increasingly recognize it as a form of academic misconduct in their policies. If college or university uses Turnitin technology and if self-plagiarism or multiple submissions are already mentioned in academic dishonesty policies, then you should avoid plagiarizing yourself, as it results in serious disciplinary actions. Publication of previously submitted material will be considered and treated as plagiarism under such circumstances.
Outcomes will depend on the context in each case. If you use some previously written but unpublished material, you’ll probably avoid any penalties. But if you need to publish some number of articles to address requirements of the course, and instead of writing original articles, you use some materials, then negative consequences will follow, putting academic career under threat. From the point of view of ethics, such treatment is sound, because students are expected to accumulate knowledge and use it to produce original, which basically means completely new, works in each next course. Education aims at developing students, and each new work should reflect academic progress.
How to Cite Your Own Work?
Rules applied to self-plagiarism become stricter, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid using your own ideas at all costs. There are tasks in which students have to use their previous works to produce new ones. For instance, you may need to acknowledge your earlier ideas as a basis of new more advanced conclusions. There may be instances when students need to use one or several paragraphs from their previous works to explain background of the new concepts and ideas. In such cases, students should avoid self-plagiarism by citing information they borrowed from already published papers. It is important to note that even paraphrased or edited content should be properly cited and referenced. Students should follow general guidelines applied to sources when citing their own previous papers. This means that you should follow guidelines of your documentation style, be it MLA, APA, Harvard, or any other format.
Smart Tips to Help Avoid Self-Plagiarism Accusations
Here are some brief tips that’ll keep you protected from self-plagiarism claim:
- Do not reuse previously submitted papers without asking your teacher for permission.
Your teacher may be one of those who supports students’ right to reuse their own works for multiple courses. But don’t take risk and just ask beforehand, when you still have time to write a completely original essay. It is always better to compose a new paper instead of reusing the old one, because the ability to write original assignments testifies your academic progress. If you want your professor to acknowledge your progress but have no time for writing, EduBirdie is here for you and it is really good at writing essays.
- Even if your teacher allows re-submission or partial usage of previous paper, acknowledge somewhere in writing that the paper is cumulative in nature.
Despite the teacher’s consent, your college or university use Turnitin or some other plagiarism detection software. You may avoid disciplinary action, but you should acknowledge somewhere in the text that the use of prior work has been required to produce new knowledge. This is especially relevant in case of such sciences as accounting, the rules and principles of which improve and change frequently. EduBirdie provides accounting assignments help, ensuring that there will be no reasons for self-plagiarism claims.
- Cite your previously published material.
Even though you are the author, refer to previous paper as to a content created by a third party. Respect the efforts put to accomplishing previous work and cite it just the way you would cite any other source. If there are still doubts on how to do this correctly, always rely on EduBirdie for English homework help.
- Do not publish an edited or paraphrased version of the previously published material as a new essay.
By submitting edited or paraphrased previously published work, you’ll violate not only policies regarding self-plagiarism but also copyright laws. Plagiarism covers both words and ideas, and by repeating the same ideas even in different words, you can end up with copyright infringement accusations. Ensure that paper won’t bring such outcomes by referring to plagiarism checker for students.
- Ask for help if you cannot decide whether your work contains self-plagiarism or not.
Although in many cases you plagiarize yourself deliberately, trying to knock out two or more assignments with only one paper, sometimes self-plagiarism is unintentional. For instance, one may include some ideas into the essay without recalling that these same ideas have already been presented in the other paper written some time ago. To avoid such occurrences, check the paper for plagiarism.
Getting Rid of Self-Plagiarism with EduBirdie
Now, you know what self-plagiarism is, how it occurs, and how it affects study. Although self-plagiarism accusation can harm academic career significantly, we’ve provided tips you may use to efficiently avoid this kind of academic misconduct.
If you still have doubts on how to avoid plagiarizing yourself or if you have no time to write an original paper, the help from EduBirdie writers is just one click away. EduBirdie cares for its clients; therefore, the ordering process is really simple. It takes only a few steps to make an order, and within the specified deadline, you’ll receive a completely original paper, written by a professional writer, who knows exactly what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.