How to Avoid Plagiarism

How to Avoid Plagiarism
Academic writing involves building upon others people’s work, often multiple sources for information and evidence. But finding research materials and information is seldom a problem. The main challenge is integrating the information into your writing without falling into the plagiarism trap. To plagiarize simply means using another author’s work and ideas and misrepresenting them as your own without giving them the due credit.
Whether done deliberately or accidentally, plagiarism is a serious ethical offense in academics that can invite serious penalties including, paper retractions, tainted reputation, and dismissal from the university for students who are still in school. To avoid plagiarism, you must learn how to incorporate these sources into your paper correctly.
Below are four major tips that will help you create plagiarism-free papers
1. Paraphrase
To paraphrase means to put another author’s information into your own words. To do so, you must first read and understand the information and then use your own words without altering the original meaning.
2. Quote
Alternatively, you can also quote the information exactly as it appears. However, when quoting, you have to use quotation marks to show exactly where the quoted information starts and ends.
3. Cite and reference your sources properly
Citing applies to any type of information, ideas, or inspiration borrowed from another author. This is regardless of whether you have paraphrased or used quotation marks to weave in pieces of evidence from external sources. These sources must be cited within the text and in a separate references list that appears on a separate page at the end of your document. Additionally, the citation must follow the document formatting guidelines as required by the institution.
4. Use a plagiarism checker to confirm
However confident you are about your writing skills, you cannot disregard the importance of a plagiarism checker. While conducting your research on a particular topic, some phrases might reoccur such that you unconsciously forget to cite them. In such a case, a plagiarism checker will come in handy. There are many reliable plagiarism tools online, such as Turnitin, where you can put your paper to confirm credibility. These checkers can scan through your text and can detect even the most subtle plagiarism in seconds.
No one is immune to the plagiarism trap. Figuring how to avoid plagiarism is a continuous task that requires practice. The first step is to learn the different types of plagiarism and what constitutes and what does not constitute plagiarism. These, together with the above tips, will help you create plagiarism-free papers that uphold integrity and competence.
Adhikari, Soni. “Beyond culture: Helping international students avoid plagiarism.” Journal of International Students 8, no. 1 (2018): 375-388.
Awasthi, Shipra. “Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct: A Systematic Review.” DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology 39, no. 2 (2019).
Nimasari, Elok Putri. “How do Undergraduate Students avoid Plagiarism?.” Senior Editor: Paul Robertson 261 (2018).

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