Almost the first thing all students are taught is that plagiarizing is bad and wrong. Indeed, plagiarism is considered as the worst sin in academic institutions. In fact, professors hate plagiarizers more than lazybones and bullies. Plagiarizers are considered even worse than those who kick kittens and puppies. The latter are just evil, but the former are evil and sly. And for professors, sly is even worse than immoral since it has to do with ‘outsmarting’.
Why Professors Hate Plagiarizers?
Nothing can make a professor as mad as students who are trying to seem smarter than he/she is. It is even worse if such students actually succeed in outsmarting their professors at first, and then it becomes apparent. It questions their professionalism, IQ level, and self esteem. And what can be worse? Plagiarism is considered as an attempt of outsmarting; that is why it is treated with such hatred. It is better not to hand in your paper at all than to hand in a plagiarized one. It is better to run the professor’s favorite pet over than to send him/her a plagiarized paper and get caught!
Thus, there are only two ways – either do not plagiarize at all or do it as good and professionally as possible. If you are brave enough to embark on such an adventure, keep reading to actually succeed in it.
How to Fight Plagiarism Detection Software?
Plagiarism detection programs use special algorithms to check a given text for originality by comparing it to other texts available. They look for identical sections of text and strings of words that match. Of course, all of that is much more complicated than seems at the first glance. Yet, it is not a secret that some plagiarism detectors have loopholes. Below, you can find a list of some tips that will be useful in your battle with plagiarism detection programs:
- Reformatting. If you copied the passage of information from somewhere, the first thing you need to do is to reformat it. You have to make it Unformatted at first and then format it appropriately.
- Using Cyrillic letters. Substitution of Latin letters with matching Cyrillic ones (for example vowels e, o, a) is an old trick. It is true that some programs can already detect that, but not all. So, it is still a viable option. You can use a Find-and-Replace function for that purpose.
- Changing and coloring of spaces. One more useful trick is to change all spaces in your text to some foreign character and then hide it by coloring it in white. This can be also easily done with the help of Find-and-Replace function.
- Rearranging of character codes. This trick successfully works for PDF files. You have to rearrange codes of characters to break the link between the text itself and its representation when printed; characters should no longer correspond to the alphabet.
- Drawing letters. Some students use special programs to actually draw some letters so that they represent letters only visually. However, it is rather time consuming.
- Rewriting. The programs look only for matches in words; they cannot look for matches in ideas. So, if you carefully rephrase, rewrite, and redraft the text, it will go as your original creation. Note that the word ‘carefully’ is important in this sentence. Do not just substitute every fourth word with a synonym; actually rewrite the text or substitute each word with a synonym (your text still have to make sense after that, so rewriting sounds better anyway).
- Translating. You can find some resource written only in a foreign language and then translate it to English with automated translation programs. Just don’t forget to proofread it after that. At times, such programs produce some rare nonsense and you shouldn’t forget that human beings – namely your professors – will also read it.
How Do Professors Spot Plagiarism?
So, you can try to outsmart the anti-plagiarism software, as it was discussed above, but you still need to make professors believe that your paper is original.
Don’t tell anyone that you have ever plagiarized, especially if you have got over with it. Especially do not brag about it in front of anyone even remotely associated with your institution of learning. We know how hard it is to overcome the temptation to let the world know that you did something of which most students can only dream – got your A grade for a completely plagiarized paper and came out dry. That’s like a superpower, indeed. You never know who might appear to be a friend of your friend’s friend. Even if a shade of slight suspicion will be casted on you, you might get lots of unwanted troubles: all your papers will be triple checked manually, etc.
Don’t just blindly Copy-Paste. Even if you followed all the other tech tricks used to outsmart plagiarism detecting software, don’t forget to actually read your paper and rewrite some parts. When students just copy some parts of text and then paste them in the so called ‘right places’, they usually forget that the text might flow logically, but the style of writing might suspiciously differ throughout the paper. You have to make it look and sound as it was written by one person only.
Don’t make your papers ‘too good to be true’. Yes, there is always room for perfection and professors love seeing that their students improve their writing skills under their professional guidance, but not overnight! If all your previous papers were so-so and now, out of the blue, you present an almost flawless masterpiece, it will surely attract too much attention and raise too many questions. That is why try to make sure that all your papers are more or less of the same level.
Don’t forget that your professor knows more on the subject than you do. Students often ignore the fact that, since this person teaches you this subject, he/she has been studying/researching it for years and is probably more qualified in it than you are. What is more, your professor has read so many different students’ papers and other literature that he/she might already know by heart who said what and whose ideas you are trying to present as your own. So, add enough in-text citations and do go an extra mile and use the text you can find on some further pages in Google (not just copy from the first-second page you see when you type the topic in Google search engine).
Now you know how it is possible to plagiarize without getting caught. However, unfortunately, plagiarism detection programs get instantly improved and professors do learn from students a lot. So even if you follow all the above mentioned tips and tricks, there are no guarantees. Though it is highly unlikely, your paper might be found plagiarized anyway. So, it’s you call! Good luck!