Clear – Summer, sun, sunshine invites you to spend relaxing hours with friends at the lake instead of busy days in the library. Anyone would like to ease the effort around the bachelor thesis a bit and take over one or the other idea of foreign scientific work. Whether Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg or Annette Schavan – even high-ranking German politicians have copied in their dissertations with others. Nevertheless, it is not a good idea to adopt foreign texts without making them known. Because plagiarism is punished severely: If you convict the deception, that does not just mean that you have failed in your bachelor thesis. In most cases, the universities punish the deception attempt with a compulsory ex-matriculation. Plagiarism ultimately only harms you!
But not every student intends to plagiarize in his bachelor thesis. There are more and more students who feel insecure and really afraid to unconsciously produce plagiarism. The lecturer, the examination office, the classmates or the media: Everywhere you are warned against plagiarizing and urgently pointed to the consequences. Especially those who write their bachelor thesis in biology or a bachelor thesis in chemistry often write their first scientific paper with the bachelor thesis and are therefore particularly unsettled. But when do I actually plagiarize? What rules must be observed when writing the bachelor thesis in order to be on the safe side? This article will provide you with important information and tips about plagiarism.
(We can only recommend our partners at Scribbr warmly for the plagiarism check)
When do I produce my own bachelor thesis and when is it a plagiarism?
According to the definition, plagiarism is a scientific work in which one or more passages have been taken literally or analogously, without making a citation of it. This is known to most students as plagiarism, but the term includes even more points. It is also forbidden to quote your own term papers without indicating them as the source or translating texts in foreign languages and using the translation without reference in the bachelor thesis. Even working as a ghostwriter is considered plagiarism. Of course it is not only important but necessary to rely on sources in your bachelor thesis, because the bachelor thesis is a scientific work. The texts and insights of other scientists should serve as a support and starting point for new, own considerations. However, it is enormously important that you not only identify each adopted passage, but also any foreign thoughts as such. With precisely formulated sentences and innovative findings, one tends quickly to adopt them easily. But intellectual property must be identified as such. And that also applies to foreign language texts. By translating a text, you do not turn the thoughts outlined in the text into your own thoughts; the insights of the other author remain. In addition, it is crucial not only to identify the passages taken as such, but also to observe the required citation rules. Most chairs prefer a certain style of citation that you should use as much as possible. The best way to inform yourself is with your lecturer or on the homepage of your institute. A wrong citation not only leads to a deduction of points in the assessment of your bachelor thesis, but can also help in the worst case to produce a plagiarism.
A difficult point with regard to plagiarism is the use of so-called “general knowledge” in the bachelor thesis. After all, there is certain knowledge in every area of expertise that you can name in your bachelor thesis without identifying it with a reference to the source. However, where this common knowledge begins is sometimes contentious. In general, one can say that in addition to your own thoughts and your gained knowledge, general phrases and statements, as well as sound knowledge in your field of expertise are general knowledge and need not be identified.
How does my supervisor check my bachelor thesis for plagiarism?
On the one hand, your supervisor usually knows the literature of his field very precisely. If he reads your bachelor thesis, he will already notice catchy research posts. In addition, the inherited text passages stand out by your style of your own text and are therefore easily recognizable as plagiarism. Thus, there is a high probability that one of your two supervisors identify adopted passages. In addition, all universities have so-called plagiarism software, with which they again systematically examine your bachelor thesis for plagiarism. The text is word group by phrase analyzed and compared with content from the Internet. If suspicious spots are found, these are marked by the software. The appropriate source for the plagiarized text passage is also indicated by the software. But to be on the safe side, you can even do a software based plagiarism check of the bachelor thesis. This is offered by various providers on the Internet.
We can only warmly recommend our partners at Scribbr for plagiarism testing.
Which sources are suitable for quoting for your bachelor thesis and how you lend your work individuality you will learn in part 2 of the article!