You may hear much about plagiarism from upper-level students or instructors. It is a serious issue that all students must avoid if they do not want to waste their time and effort in a plagiarized essay. 

However, among any casual case, some students find that even if they copy their previous work into the current research, it is still considered plagiarism. People call it “self-plagiarism,” and your essay will not be accepted if it happens. 

Why do people count self-plagiarism, and how can you avoid it?. You can find all these things in this article, so let’s scroll down and get your answer now. 

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Why Does Self-Plagiarizing Happen? 

It sounds ridiculous, right? Even if you copy your essay, put more words on it to make it like an advanced version, but the professors (if knowing it) will not accept your paper.

The scientists record the research as an achievement. It means every time you successfully do research and make a paper, you are recording your effort and contribution to science. 

However, it will be different if you only put more words on what you have completed. Although the two versions are different, you are cheating on science to get a fake achievement. 

Even from your previous paper, I want to say that the actual research is a correct upgraded version. It needs to show the value of researching and the practical applications. So, if you only put more words on your old paper and think it can provide an academic meaning to science, you may be wrong. 

About ethics, self-plagiarizing has the same meaning as plagiarizing others’ work. It is unethical, but it shows that you are great but too lazy to do your work from some viewpoints. Instead of copying others’ work, you copy yours and try to fake it. 

Self-plagiarism is inhibited as it only causes you to get in trouble with your essay. Especially if you do that, you lose the appreciation from your professors. 

Samples Of Self-Plagiarism

Is it hard to imagine what self-plagiarism is? If so, check some samples below. Once I do my homework of writing an essay, I figure out many examples of this issue. 

Using The Coursework, Homework, or Research Paper, Submitted Before

If you have done a research paper in a class of environment and used a piece of your work in an article of Society class, it is still counted as self-plagiarism. Any coursework, homework, research paper, essay, or project which you have completed before are inhibited to use in your current essay. Of course, if you wish to utilize it, you can only mention a small portion of it.

For example, I once tried to do my homework with my previous research, but the professor showed me how to avoid it. I had used my explanation of the environment (the last paper) in my current writing on the education environment without any citation. 

Reuse The Same Statistical Data, Information, And Facts Without Clarifying Its Usage

There are two kinds of data that you can classify to use in your writing: the other’s data and your data. What is the difference?

The others’ data, of course, you need to cite with a correct source if you do not want to be plagiarism. On the other hand, your data is what you paid effort to analyze and establish the numbers or statistics. So it is likely the other data, as if you want to use it, you need to cite the correct source.

Although it is good to take advantage of what you have found before, professors often advise students to find a new one. The publishing time of each research is quite different as the statistical data faces the risk of being out of date. Also, even if it saves time, using the previous information is not considered; the effort you pay is less than the previous research. 

Using The Presentations Details From What You Have Written Before

After writing a research paper, you need to present it to your professors. It raises an issue as some students use the details of the last presentations for a report. However, the real problem is using it without referencing the previous version. 

You can do it if you have a good citation, however, do not use a lot of information from the last presentations because the professors will not appreciate it. 

Using The Ideas From Bachelor Thesis Or Any Projects Without Citing Them 

When it comes to master’s thesis, some students often forget that they always base their bachelor thesis to do the advanced one. Thus, their mistake is not to cite what they have done before, causing self-plagiarism. 

Even the ideas of the master thesis are upgraded and advanced, but you need to point out what basis you use for upgrading them. In science, it means that without the origin, you cannot develop anything. 

Only Paraphrasing Sentences

Some students find a way to cope with the essay by only paraphrasing all the sentences of their previous paper.

I once did it when I was in my second year. I thought that I could do my work with only paraphrasing sentences from what I had done before; then, I could have a new essay to submit. 

Yet, everything is not what I expect. The idea of an essay always includes some essential keywords that I cannot replace. When I submit the paraphrased essay, the teacher only needs to check data on college sources and figure out my cheat. 

For example, how can I change the old environment topic without using the “environment” keyword?

The current essay provides the same value as the old one, creating no new matter. It means I did nothing for science and society, and even though it looks like I tried to do my work, the real thing is that I waste my time on it.

What Are The Troubles You Can Get If You Self-Plagiarize Your Essay?

You intentionally or unintentionally self-plagiarize your essay, but you still take responsibility for what you write. It means the council or your professor will never accept a self-plagiarized paper if they figure it out. 

The worst result is losing many people’s high appreciation and beliefs. Of course, if the research paper is your final stage of completing your master’s degree, you will fail on it. 

You have to do it again and show yourself your serious attitude. Some people will be discouraged because they have to re-do the essay to risk self-plagiarism. 

Besides that, one of the long-term problems is that you lose to reach your target, and every plan is delayed because of self-plagiarism, causing the failure. 

Some reports show that the students may face the risk of expulsion if the situation is more serious.

How To Avoid Self-Plagiarism

There are various ways to avoid self-plagiarism to help you get your assignment done with the best result. Here I will share with you some primary tips to do that.

Avoid Using Your Old Materials

The best way to avoid self-plagiarism is by not using your old materials. During writing your essay, something will encourage you to use them because of the availability. So, it is necessary to overcome this feeling and try to write a paper independently. 

Remembering The Citation

If you know that you cannot get rid of using the old materials, you can try to remember to cite them every time you use them. If you use the citation, it is not counted as self-plagiarism. However, as mentioned above, it is not a good idea to use many old materials in your new research paper. 

To avoid using the old materials without citation, you can take a note in the easy-to-see place, reminding you every time you look at it. And when it reminds you, do not hesitate to check all your essays once to figure out the place needed a citation. 

Ask Professors For The Guidance

Even if you want to do your essay independently, asking your professors for correct guidance is necessary to avoid self-plagiarism. You should be honest with the professors and show all the research papers. Then, when you present your outline, the professor can advise you on the part you should pay attention to to avoid this issue. 

Asking professors for advice is one of the most accessible solutions to help you get your homework done with the best result.

Re-work Your Idea

Do not use the same idea as you can easily self-plagiarize your essay. The more similarities between your thoughts, the more risks of self-plagiarism you have. 

Even if you use a master thesis with the basis of your bachelor’s idea, the issue needs to be at a higher level. For example, suppose you write about “how the government manages the money distribution by their policies.” In that case, the upgraded version that I suggest is to write “The role of the government in income management and distribution to guarantee equality.” 

In the advanced topic, you can easily pick some data you have used before for convenience.

Using A Plagiarism Tool

If your previous study has been published, you can use this tool to collect data and compare your article to what you’ve already written. As a result, it will be easy to solve self-plagiarism. 

Yet, it is not a good tool if your research paper is not published. You should also not depend much on this tool because the better ways are above, which come from your perspective and others’ help. 

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