What Is Self-Plagiarism and How Not to Plagiarize Myself

Posted by on October 28, 2017

Why You Might Need Professional Help Understanding What Is Self-Plagiarism

When writing any form of academic paper that calls for extra information to be added from an external source, you open yourself up to being accused of plagiarism if it isn’t done correctly, especially if attempting to paraphrase what another writer has said. This is probably the biggest area where any plagiarism concerns are raised and even with the best tips for paraphrasing to guide you, mistakes are often still made. There are many types of plagiarizing that are categorized into levels of seriousness with perhaps the most uncommon and questioned one being what is self-plagiarism? The most straightforward answer is self-plagiarism occurs when you attempt to re-use your own previous work without properly citing it or giving any indication that you have used it before.
Within the guidelines and ethics of plagiarism as supplied by the postgraduate research service, University of Glasgow, answering the question of ‘is it plagiarism if I quote myself’? falls into the same category as directly quoting any other material, yes you may do it as long as you ensure that you cite the source correctly and use no more than a few paragraphs.

Understanding Data Fragmentation and the Potential Consequences It May Have

Another term used for self-plagiarism, data fragmentation occurs when you attempt to reuse parts of previous works without citing them correctly. It goes a bit further than that, however, just because you wrote something earlier, it does not necessarily make the material yours to do with as you wish. If it was published by a scientific journal, for example, traditional copyright laws will be in effect which may result in legal actions being taken or hamper any new material being published. Think long and hard before you choose to reuse information and if you find yourself asking ‘did I plagiarize my paper?’ don’t take any chances and cut back on what you have used and ensured it is cited in the correct context to avoid plagiarism issues.

Professional Tips for How Not to Plagiarize ‘Myself’

Now we have covered what is self-plagiarism and established that it is possible, it’s time to focus on ways in which it can be avoided altogether. By accepting the fact that the answer to the question of can I plagiarize my own work is yes, we can then show you ways in which to successfully navigate around this problem. Our experts have once again been busy and have compiled a list of tips that will successfully help you to get past any concerns:

  • We’ve already established that the answer to the question of ‘can I plagiarize myself’? is possible but by making sure that any information used is correctly cited, doesn’t encompass more than 10% of your new project and is completely reworded if paraphrased will put you in the clear.
  • Instead of simply quoting or paraphrasing from old articles, go back to your notes and focus on ways which you can expand on that information and bring it up to date.
  • Make use of one of the many tools that are available across the internet that removes all concerns of plagiarism when attempting to paraphrase. Our non plagiarism generator, for example, has been adapted to make use of a much wider vocabulary than other than simply swap out some words for their synonyms, providing a better sentence structure while also ensuring the content is completely reworded.
  • Don’t try and hide the fact of any similarity with older work you may have carried out. Permission may be given if the work is similar to anything you presented on a different subject but it must still be cited.
  • Make sure that any reference to other materials including your own is clearly shown and in the correct style. By this, we mean the appropriate format used in the particular subject area which governs the layout of the paper and how your sources need to be cited. A selection of these includes CMS, APA, Turabian, etc.

For any further information or help with what is self-plagiarism and way in which to combat it, just get in touch with our experts!