How to Avoid Plagiarism - Steps to a Plagiarism Free Paper
If you are a student, then it is essential to avoid plagiarism in your work. Otherwise, you will have to face the consequences of copying others’ words or work.
Plagiarism means using someone else’s words or ideas without crediting them properly. Usually, plagiarism involves deliberately stealing someone’s work or ideas, but sometimes it happens accidentally.
To learn more about this crucial concept, here is a complete guide on how to avoid plagiarism.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is using others' ideas and thoughts in your own work without giving credit to the original author. Sometimes it involves deliberately stealing others’ ideas, but often, it happens accidentally.
In academic writing, you build your paper upon others’ work and use various sources to gather relevant information and evidence. It is important to correctly incorporate all the sources used in your paper to avoid plagiarism.
Consider a serious academic offense; plagiarism can result in negative consequences such as loss of credibility, reputation, and paper retractions. Plagiarism is one of the main reasons for the retractions of research papers.
Thus, students and researchers need to increase their understanding of plagiarism. In addition, they should learn different ways to guard themselves against plagiarism.
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
The process of avoiding plagiarism is not as daunting or hard to do. You only need a basic understanding of what it means. And then, you'll be able to make your academic assignment free from this violation.
Follow these steps to make your writing free of plagiarism.
Paraphrasing is all about rewriting the original ideas into your own words without changing the actual meaning. While paraphrasing, one can easily slip into plagiarism if it is not done correctly.
The key to perfect rephrasing is avoiding the same words and phrases from the original information. Remember, while paraphrasing, you will have to cite the original source and author properly.
If you want to copy-paste the text into your paper, add quotation marks around the text. It is important to cite the source so that the reader knows from where the sentence(s) is taken.
3. Cite Your Sources
Plagiarism can be avoided by citing the source effectively. Follow the formatting guidelines such as MLA, APA, Chicago, used by the institution. In-text citations usually entail the author’s name, publication date, page number, and similar information.
The proper use of citations involves:
- Maintaining records of the sources that you have used in your paper.
- Use multiple references for the literature survey. For example, it would be better to refer to individual papers rather than referencing a review.
- No need to cite common knowledge.
4. Present Your own Idea
Instead of copying and pasting other people's ideas and work, explore what you want to say about the subject. Think about the unique perspective or point that is entirely your own and can contribute to the writing. If you include the source ideas to frame your own points, you will have to cite the source to avoid plagiarism.
5. Use Plagiarism Checker
Some words or phrases might stick to your mind that you accidentally include in your writing during the research process. Run your paper on a plagiarism checking tool and catch plagiarism before submitting your work to clear the doubt.
Types of Plagiarism
The following are the most common types of plagiarism.
Let's have a look at each in detail one by one.
- Global Plagiarism
- Verbatim Plagiarism
- Paraphrasing Plagiarism
- Self Plagiarism
- Incorrect Citation
It means taking someone else’s work and passing all of it on as your own. Keep in mind that you are plagiarizing if you copy text from the internet and pass it on with your name. This is one of the most serious types of plagiarism and can result in severe consequences.
Verbatim plagiarism occurs when you copy the source text and paste it into your own document without making any changes. If the sentence structure and most of the words are the same as in the source, then it is verbatim plagiarism.
Paraphrasing is all about rewriting the text in your words without changing the actual meaning. Paraphrasing the original source information without proper citation is a very common type of plagiarism. As long as you cite sources, paraphrasing is not plagiarism.
Reusing your own original work that you have previously submitted is called self-plagiarism. It is not appreciated if you present the previous works that you have already gotten credit for.
The most important factor in avoiding plagiarism is to cite the sources properly. You have to format all the sources used in your work correctly. If you include the source information in the wrong place, it will be considered plagiarizing.
Most of the style guides require proper in-text citation, bibliography, and a reference list to list down the references. An incorrect citation can constitute plagiarism.
Is Plagiarism Illegal?
Plagiarism is illegal and a serious academic offense. That is why an essay, presentation, book review, book report, or any other kind of research paper must be unique.
Every student needs to understand the consequences of plagiarism and take it seriously. You may get an F grade for your paper or even be dismissed from your institution if you get caught.
In your fight against plagiarism, educate yourself on different types of plagiarism so that you can identify it in your work. Moreover, you must also use the above steps during and after the writing process.
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