Students are often caught for plagiarism when they use content from various sources in their assignments and projects. It is seen on most occasions that in case of students, they are mostly not aware of the plagiarism rules. Many of the students only find out about plagiarism when they have already made the mistake of submitting an assignment with a lot of copied content from various sources to their teachers. To make things even worse, they can’t get away with this because many of the schools, colleges and universities have now bought applications for checking plagiarism in the assignments of students.
Students are often confused on what content they must cite in their papers and assignments and what information does not need any citation. Well, the rule of the thumb says whenever you copy content from another author or any source that owns the information and its rights, you must cite the content. However, there are times when the idea of plagiarism might get very blurry and this is where most of the students and even experts have different opinions. The most controversial of all is the self-plagiarism, which is not accepted by most of the people as plagiarism but isn’t acceptable by law.
Self-plagiarism limits the students from using their own material (material that they have written on their own without inserting any other source’s work into it) in their future assignments. Therefore, if a student has written some work on the animals and submitted it to the teacher, he will not be using any material from this assignment in his future assignments. Even if he cites his own content in his subsequent assignments, it is the will of his instructor to accept or reject such work. Mostly, the work using your own previous material will not be accepted.
What content students must cite to avoid plagiarism includes every word picked from an online or offline source. If they are using a quotation from a famous person, they must cite the source where the content was first found. Even if they are paraphrasing the quotation of another author or speaker for further explanation of an idea, they must cite the content. The idea of providing reference to the work isn’t limited within the same medium: if you are writing something on a paper in black and white and you have picked an idea from an internet video, you must cite that too.
If you are a student and are not sure what content needs citation, just know that when you pick content from outside your mind, you must cite it. It could be the notes of your brother when he was in the grade you are in now or it could even be a handout of a company that you have picked the content from. However, when you are talking about common knowledge, you don’t need citation but you must have a common knowledge of common knowledge to not cite it. If you mention the color of the sky as blue in your paper, please don’t cite it.