Plagiarism is an academic offense, and it means utilizing someone else’s work without giving them credit. It may mean stealing another author’s work, and sometimes it happens accidentally, but once caught, the punishment is the same.
When writing an academic paper, you may need to use various sources to get your evidence and information. To avoid facing plagiarism cases, you need to cite the sources of information in your work. Follow these steps to keep your paper free from plagiarism.
- Track the sources as you do your research
- Quote or paraphrase resources
- Ensure that you give the original author credit in the in-text citation and the list of references.
- Run your text through a plagiarism checker before you submit it.
Here are some of the steps but you need to take to avoid plagiarism.
Track your sources
In conducting research and note-taking, ensure that you record the various sources that you retrieve information. More students will plagiarize the content simply because they forget where they got an idea from, and they present it as their own unintentionally.
To avoid this pitfall, ensure that you organize your notes and have a list of citations as you continue writing. Write down all the books, articles, videos, and websites to include the information in your paper.
Paraphrase and quote
As you write your paper and would like to share a thought or idea from a different source, ensure that you eat a quote or paraphrase the original text.
Quoting entails copying the text word by word. You must introduce the copied text in your own words with quotation marks and connect it to the author.
Paraphrasing means utilizing your own words to explain to the reader a piece of information from a source. It gives you a platform to expand the most meaningful knowledge from a given passage. You will avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing by ensuring that a text is not similar to the original.
Quoting vs. paraphrasing
Paraphrasing is a better choice than quoting, especially if you’re writing longer passages. It will show the reader that you have understood what the original text means. Ensure that you build on the sources whenever you quote or paraphrase by adding your thoughts, ideas, or arguments.
Cite the source
Whenever you paraphrase or quote, ensure that you include an in-text citation that gives credit to the original author. Most in-text citations include a page number and the publication year.
Ensure that in every in-text citation, you include them and in the reference list too. It will carry the information of where you retrieve the data from, allowing your readers to pinpoint the source if they want to do their research.
Utilize plagiarism checker
The universities tend to utilize to check for plagiarism in papers handed in by the students. The technology scans the document and Compares it to millions of publications online, and checks and highlights the passages they find similar.
You can check for a plagiarism checker online and run your paper in there before you submit it. It will identify, but so are you forgotten to the site or paraphrase a text that almost resembles the original one. You can then follow the above steps to fix areas that you have plagiarized.
As earlier said, plagiarism is an academic crime and may even lead you to face expulsion from the institution. Therefore, you should ensure that whatever include in your paper is your original work, and if you have sourced it from other writers, you should give them credit by citing and putting them in the reference list. That may help you avoid all the problems that you may run-in with your lecturers or institution.