Plagiarism is not only unethical but it can also be harmful in the business world, especially for businesses that deal with content creation. This is why before presenting their work writers should always check for plagiarism to avoid problems and guarantee the quality and originality of their work.
Plagiarism, defined as passing off the work of another person as your own without properly attributing the source, is not only frowned upon in every field, whether you are writing creatively, academically, or professionally. But, more importantly, it can also be illegal in certain circumstances.
Copying someone else’s original work without permission and without giving credit is considered theft and can result in legal action for infringement, a bad reputation, failing grades in academic courses, and other negative outcomes.
1. Make Sure Employees Always Check for Plagiarism
The ability to use a plagiarism checker to ensure that your writing doesn’t contain any instances of unintentional (or intentional) copying is just one of the many benefits that modern technology has brought us. These tools function by comparing your work to a large database of texts of similar online content or digitized printed content.
Unfortunately, it’s still impossible to prove with absolute certainty that the text or parts of it weren’t plagiarized but, with these tools, you can get quite close. When compared to human eyes and even search engines, their precision is astounding. They can uncover incorrectly quoted phrases or paraphrased text that is too close to the original. Plagiarism tools will also highlight parts of your text that are similar to something in the database, and even provide a percentage match.
2. Hire Writers With Great Skills
It can be said that all writing is a form of rewriting given that nothing is truly original and everything has already been said. Whether they are writing a document, an article, a story, or a research paper, authors will often use texts by other authors as sources, which in some cases is even expected to support their claims. When they reference the original author and their work, they should accurately quote or paraphrase and acknowledge the source.
3. Set Clear Anti-Plagiarism Rules
If your company is dealing with a lot of writers, you must have clear policies on plagiarism. Call a meeting and have everyone there define and describe plagiarism. Then, put together documents that clearly outline what is expected of employees and what is not. Create a brief and easy-to-follow document that outlines the rules for referencing properly and explains why it’s so important, when it’s needed, and how to do it. You should also make it crystal clear that any report that does not adhere to the aforementioned standards will be treated as plagiarized.
4. Help Your Employees Improve Their Writing Skills
To make sure the rules are clear to them, you can provide your employees with anti-plagiarism workshops. You should also provide regular writing workshops or seminars, where they can learn new techniques and improve their writing skills. Using such educational methods, you can help ensure that all of your writers are on the same page. It can also help you provide ongoing accurate feedback, as well as ensure improvement without making your employees feel as if they were being sent back to school, or as if their skills are not appreciated.
Offering continuous education to employees is also a great motivational tool. Most employees understand that they can always learn new things, and will appreciate the ability to advance in their profession. This will also help you improve employee satisfaction and reduce your turnover rate.
5. Reward Your Employees
It’s important to thank everyone who has been forthcoming with their thoughts on the company’s policies on plagiarism and to encourage them to voice any concerns they may have. Nevertheless, rules are rules, and you should make sure that employees who follow them and provide quality writing are rewarded.
You should also incentivize your staff as a whole when they all meet your standards for correct citation. Also, if they break the rules there should be some consequences, which they should find out about while learning about your company’s rules. Finally, feeling appreciated and rewarded is a great way to inspire your employees to do better and love their job.
To avoid plagiarism and its consequences, make sure you establish clear rules, if it’s up to you, or understand the company’s policy. Finally, explain it to your team and make sure that they understand them perfectly. Don’t forget that as the project manager, you should be a leader in terms of responsibility and accountability, and lead by example. If you feel like the employees don’t understand the rules, or don’t know how to properly paraphrase or cite, you can also hold seminars.