How to Avoid Plagiarism in Writing
When writing research papers, we rely on other people’s work, drawing information and ideas from their already established concepts and values. However, this must be done with the utmost caution to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s work, thoughts, or ideas deliberately or unconsciously without properly crediting the original authors such that the information and the ideas are misrepresented as your own. Whether planned or accidental, plagiarism is considered unethical and a serious academic offense. It can cause a writer to lose credibility or even result in the retraction of their research papers.
Therefore, evading the plagiarism trap is very paramount for a writer to maintain the integrity and good reputation. Luckily, writing plagiarism-free papers is actually quite easy.
Below are five major ways you can avoid plagiarism.
- 1. Cite your Sources – Citing is considered one of the best ways to evade plagiarism. Ensure to keep track of all the sources you use in your work. Whenever you allude an idea from another writer’s work, make sure you cite the source. Follow the citation guideline and adhere to the style and structure when citing.
- 2. Quoting – Inserting quotations is another simple way to avoid plagiarism. Inserting quotation marks around the text shows that the words are not your own. Direct quotes should be made precisely the way they appear in the reference work and the source cited for the audience to locate the source material.
- 3. Paraphrasing – Paraphrasing is rewriting another writer’s ideas and concepts and putting the information into your own words without altering the original meaning. Paraphrasing can be very daunting, and when done wrongly, it can easily become plagiarism. The secret to successful paraphrasing is to alter the words, the structure of the original sentence, and avoiding duplicate phrases from the source while still maintaining the original meaning of the idea.
- 4. Present your own Ideas – What do you have to say about the topic? Explore and identify a unique viewpoint and give your opinions regarding the subject.
- 5. Check your work for plagiarism
When paraphrasing, you might come across words that may be hard to rephrase, and you may be forced to stick with them. After completing your work, ensure to pass the paper through a plagiarism checker to detect plagiarism and rectify the issues for a plagiarism-free paper.
The above tips can be very useful in helping you evade plagiarism. But the most important thing is to learn how plagiarism works, which takes enthusiasm and a lot of practice to grasp.