In order to properly understand the answer to this question, there is a lot of stuff that we first have to clear up. Depending on how familiar you are with plagiarism and academic writing, you might be unaware of a lot of things that we are going to be mentioning in this post.
So, to begin with, let’s start with the basics. Let’s look at what plagiarism actually is, some of its types and why you need to detect it before the final submission.
What is Plagiarism?
Let’s begin with the most basic concept i.e. what plagiarism actually is.
In the context of written material, plagiarism can be defined as the act of taking and using someone else’s content, without taking the proper measures for accrediting them. When someone indulges in this act, we term it as committing plagiarism. And when unethically copied content is found in a piece of text, we refer to it as the presence of plagiarism. Plagiarism is both: a verb and a noun.
Depending on the method using which the content is copied, plagiarism is divided into various types. For your edification, some of those are mentioned hereunder:
- Direct Plagiarism: Direct plagiarism can be understood to be the most blatant type of plagiarism. Although there is no benefit in perpetrating this type of plagiarism nowadays (due to the fact that it can be easily detected), it could still be resorted to by unscrupulous students and content creators.
In direct plagiarism, a whole section of text is taken from the original source and used as is. In other words, there’s hardly any furtiveness and secrecy in this type of plagiarism. It’s just blatant…and direct, hence the nomenclature.
- Mosaic or Patchwork Plagiarism: The name of this type of plagiarism is quite descriptive of what it is, but let’s elaborate on it all the same.
Mosaic or patchwork plagiarism is that which is done a little more surreptitiously than direct plagiarism. In this type of plagiarism, a whole swath of content is not copied. Rather, bits and pieces of it are taken and used intermittently within some original content. This can be difficult to spot, but it is detectable all the same if you use a good plagiarism checker.
There are some other types as well, but we do want to get started with discussing the actual topic so let’s move on.
Why Plagiarism Check is Important Before Thesis Submission?
The reason why a plagiarism check is necessary before thesis submission is that it lets you find any sort of duplication in your work. If there happens to be any plagiarism in your content, which you do not remove before the submission, there are a lot of consequences that you can face.
To put it more clearly, we can say that a plagiarism check is necessary before thesis submission as it can help you avoid the consequences of duplication. As for what those consequences are, that is what we’re going to be looking at now.
1. Plagiarism Hurts Trust and Credence
When someone commits plagiarism in their thesis, it hurts their trust and credence. Even though there are different types of penalties that can be meted out to a plagiarist, one of the ‘irreparable’ harms that plagiarism inflicts is the damage to the person’s reliability.
We say ‘irreparable’ because these types of acts can remain embedded in the minds of people. Even if the plagiarist is penalized and amends are made, the tarnish on their reputation is near unerasable.
And while this is something undesirable in all fields of life, it can be particularly damaging in an academic setting, which is mainly the area in which a thesis is written.
2. Plagiarism Draws Penalties
Plagiarism is not something merely frowned upon or disliked. Depending on the institution that a person belongs to, there can be mild to severe consequences that they may have to face.
For example, if a person unintentionally commits some plagiarism in their thesis – and that particular percentage of plagiarism happens to be over the tolerated limit – then they can face suspension or expulsion from their institute. In places where the penalty may not be this severe, the plagiarist could face getting a lower grade.
3. Plagiarism Can Get Your Thesis Rejected
Of course, one of the biggest consequences of committing plagiarism in a thesis is the risk of having it rejected.
Coming up with a thesis is not a mean feat. There is a lot of work that you have to do. You have to do a lot of research, find authoritative studies, and then spend hours compiling the information in your own words.
And if all that effort goes to waste just because of the presence of some accidental plagiarism, it can be a big loss.
But, if you happen to check plagiarism in the thesis, and then take the steps required to remove it, then you can save yourself from this sort of outcome. A unique thesis will not be as likely to get rejected…at least not on the basis of unoriginality.
How Can You Reliably Check Plagiarism in Your Thesis?
Nowadays, the only method by which plagiarism can be checked is using a plagiarism-checking tool. We say ‘only’ because there’s really nothing you can do on a manual level. There are so many sources, so many documents and so much literature available on the internet that your content can match.
That is why we have to use an automated tool.
But, even when it comes to using an automated tool, you have to be a little careful. There are many plagiarism checkers available online, and not all of them are reliable. Some of them can fail to recognize big blocks of text as plagiarism while some can go to the other extreme and start pointing out just about any other as ‘plagiarized’.
So, a good tool is one that strikes a good balance. It should not be as insensitive as to let whole plagiarized sentences go by without catching them, nor should it be so jumpy as to just label every other phrase as plagiarized.
And that brings this post to a close.
In a nutshell, if we wanted to answer the question, we can say that checking for plagiarism in your thesis before submitting it is important since it can help you ensure that it (the thesis) is completely unique.
There are various types of consequences that you can face if you end up submitting a thesis with plagiarism in it. We discussed some of those above as well.