When learning English, you have to deal with essays, reviews, research, and other types of papers. Assigning them, your tutors won't estimate mere grammar and vocabulary but also check if you didn't copy those papers from others. Plagiarism is a core issue in academia, so that is why most educators choose a professional plagiarism checking solution to eliminate duplications.
If your level of English is yet far from expert, you are more likely to fall into plagiarism than native speakers. To avoid that, make sure you don't do these grammar mistakes while writing.
1. Word Rearrangements
For nonnatives, it's often difficult to find right words to express their thoughts in English. So, when you need to write an essay, you might wrongly change the word order in sentences. What does it look?
- You read a source text and find the idea to include into own work.
- Your vocabulary isn't rich enough to communicate this idea.
- You take lexical items from the source and rearrange them so sentences would look like yours.
First, such manipulation is grammatically incorrect: as you know, English has a direct order of the sentences; so, yours will sound weird to natives.And second, your tutor will detect it with the help of the aforementioned software and accuse you of plagiarism.
2. Sentence Structure
The same manipulation might happen to your sentence structures in English. Some learners change the order of similar parts of a sentence, mix compound sentences, or use wrong conjunctions in complex sentences. Such tricks break grammar rules and influence the readability of your writing. More than that, rearrangements of word combinations can change the overall meaning of your message.
Another pitfall happens when you shift from active to passive voice in sentences. Plagiarism checkers see this manipulation, and a tutor will most likely underrate you for it: this grammar construction doesn't provide any subject-object reference and, therefore, weakens your writing.
It's the most popular tactic among essay writers: you read a source and then repeat its ideas with own words. It's okay to use paraphrase if you know how to do it right; but when done wrong, it turns your work into a poor copy.
The most common mistakes you make while paraphrasing:
- You miss quotation marks when citing an author.
- You don't describe the idea but rewrite sentences representing it in the source.
- You quote without references.
This grammar mistake is a writing sin of many learners: when short in vocabulary, they can't express arguments found in references and so start looking for simpler word alternatives to use in essays. Or, they search for online thesauruses to fill that gap in knowledge. Or, they use specific software designed to replace words in sentences by closely related ones. In other words, those learners practice synonymization.
What's wrong with this method?
As a rule, nonnatives don't know all shades of meaning for every English word. When writing a word "ship" instead of "boat", for instance, you convey the different connotation to your message; so even as synonyms, these two words aren't interchangeable. It would be a grammatical mistake to use synonymization here.
Don't overuse this method because you risk turning your text into a bunch of unrelated words. Or, a tutor will accuse you of plagiarism: synonymization itself doesn't make your English writing original.
These are top grammar mistakes that can lead to plagiarism issues with your English writing. Technologies are on the rise, and many educators use professional plagiarism check tools to eliminate duplications from your academic papers. You can use them, too: scanning texts before submitting to a tutor, you will see language and formatting mistakes to revise. Detailed reports from a reputable plagiarism checker can help to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and overall writing style.