Plagiarism is a word that scares students and disappoints professors. It is a case when you are intentionally or carelessly use someone else’s words or studies without giving them credit. It is important to understand that it is not always intentional; many cases are connected to improper citations or just the lack of time. It means that even if you do not want intentionally include information from outside sources without giving references, you are still not safe from plagiarism.
Learn all the pro tips on how to avoid plagiarism with this ultimate guide.
First of All: Types of Plagiarism
It is important to understand what this issue concerns not to let it slip into your research paper or essay. Basically, it is the use of someone’s work without attribution, but there are different types of plagiarism:
- 1.Direct plagiarism. It is exactly what it sounds like – when someone deliberately takes another person’s work and pretends that these are his own ideas and words.
- 2.Accidental/unintentional plagiarism. These are quite common cases that happen to the majority of students. This type includes misquoting, forgetting to refer to an author, paraphrasing without acknowledging the source. It is quite easy to fall to this trap as sometimes we just forget or do not know which words we are citing. However, this type of plagiarism usually happens accidentally, it is still a serious flaw and can lead to severe consequences.
- 3.Mosaic plagiarism. Those are the cases when you quote someone without quotation marks and referral. Even if you change a word or two in the quote, it still doesn’t count as paraphrasing, so be very careful about it.
- 4.Self-plagiarism. It means using your own previous work in the new one without proper permission to do so. For example, if you use citation from your paper in your new thesis statement, it can also be seen as plagiarism.
These are four major types of plagiarism you should know about. Now let’s talk about the ways to avoid plagiarism and create a completely authentic original paper
Smart Ways to Avoid Plagiarism: Follow These Easy Steps
Learn all about the requirements used by your educational institution when it comes to citation. There are different formats, like MLA or APA and they have different rules when it comes to in text quoting.
Here are some other tips on how to avoid plagiarism:
- Use proper ways for quoting and paraphrasing in your paper
There are many rules when it comes to in text citation. Check the rules that apply to citation format you use to be sure that you don’t forget about quotation marks and proper referral to sources. Any information that is not common knowledge or your personal ideas/theory must come from some source. Be sure you know your sources and admit them in the right way.
2. Create a List of References/Bibliography
It is one of the most effective ways to avoid plagiarism – a creation of proper works cited list at the end of your paper. All the sources you’ve referred to or mentioned should be given there in the right order.
3. Choose your sources wisely
Even the best research paper can be compromised by plagiarism. To eliminate such risk, always check the sources you use for clarity and relevancy. Gather information on the author, academic institution they work for, the relevancy of the given data. Be sure that you quote their word and not their quotes of other sources. Learn that you can quote only original first-hand sources and not someone else’s paraphrase in text citation.
4. Use plagiarism checking software.
If you want to be confident in your research paper, it is a great idea to use some software that checks that plagiarism level in your text. Usually, there are many online tools, like Turnitin that compares your text with other online sources to check the similarities. Turnitin gives a comprehensive report on plagiarism in your paper. It is a great tool that helps avoid plagiarism and eliminate any mistakes or careless flaws in this regard.
5. Always proofread your paper
Online tools like Turnitin are great, but there is no better proofreader than you. Practice activity of reading and editing your own texts to make sure nothing is missing. For instance, if you see some stated fact that is not common knowledge, ask yourself – where did it come from? Is there a reference to a source? This way you can eliminate careless plagiarism for your papers. Do not just put information like, “It has been proven that a vegan diet is healthier for human liver” as it is not common knowledge, there should be some sort of research for that.
There are many ways to avoid plagiarism, follow this guide to make sure that your paper is completely unique. Plagiarism is a serious matter that is considered one of the worst things that can be done in an academic world. Even if you are sure that you do not use direct plagiarism, always make sure that you haven’t let something slip unintentionally.