Scholarly Writing and Plagiarism

Students spend a great deal of time, trying to improve their scholarly writing skills. They dream of developing a unique ability to write fluently, comprehensively, and in a manner that fascinates the reader. It goes without saying that everything we write as students should be interesting to our readers. Quality scholarly writing should be original and easy-to-understand. O’Conner (2003) is right: the reader is always at the very center of the writing process. As a result, the student assumes full responsibility for satisfying the audience’s thirst for interesting and fascinating information.

Writing and reading are closely connected. As future professionals, we must be ready to write in ways that enable the audience to make sense of our message. If the reader does not understand the writer, it is the writer’s fault (O’Conner, 2003). This is why contemporary students should use a variety of scholarly writing resources and support materials to improve their writing skills. Apart from being simple and comprehensive, scholarly writing should also be free of plagiarism. Universities and colleges develop complex policies to help students avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty in their works. One of the easiest ways to avoid plagiarism is through paraphrasing (Neville, 2010). Crediting the original source of information is also a must (Neville, 2010). At the same time, plagiarism detection systems, such as Turnitin and Grammarly, have already become a regular helpful resource used in scholarly writing.

I have some experience using Turnitin and Grammarly. Both systems are usable, functional, and extremely useful for students. I strongly believe that Turnitin is the most effective plagiarism detection system developed so far. It is extremely sensitive to minor and major plagiarism issues, and its bank of Internet and printed resources allows students to avoid plagiarism in the most challenging situations. Turnitin can detect plagiarism even in the most common phrases, thus motivating students to be more creative in their expressions and thoughts. As for Grammarly, it is not as sensitive to plagiarism as Turnitin. The system has proved to be a helpful resource in scholarly writing. Still, students should not forget that it is a software product that does not always reflect the complexity of language and the student’s thinking process so its grammar and plagiarism recommendations should not be followed blindly. Therefore, I would recommend using Grammarly by experienced learners with advanced oral and written language skills.

Turnitin and Grammarly alone cannot guarantee effective writing. The Internet provides a vast amount of scholarly writing resources to assist students in their writing endeavors. One such resource can be found at the Walden University website. In my view, it is one of the most reliable, comprehensive, and easy-to-use resources for students, who want to improve their scholarly writing skills. It includes a variety of recommendations covering a broad range of writing issues, such as plagiarism and bias (Walden University, 2013). It is a resource developed by an outstanding educational institution, and this fact lends greater credibility to the information and knowledge provided through it.

The link between readers and writers is extremely complex. Writers are expected to be professional, comprehensive, and reader-oriented, as they are delivering their message to the audience. Originality, honesty, comprehensibility, and brainstorming represent the very foundation of professional scholarly writing. It is a multifaceted process that encompasses numerous skills, talents, and external factors. On one hand, quality scholarly writing should not contain any signs of plagiarism. On the other hand, writers must be able to paraphrase and credit the original materials in ways that keep them simple and understandable to the reader. Students must be ready to invest their talents in writing. This is the only way they can produce a piece of information that can be understood without breaking a sweat (O'Conner, 2003).

 

16 October, 2018
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