A single act of plagiarism can destroy your academic career, yet it can be surprisingly easy to accidentally use someone else’s ideas in your work without giving them credit. While this is most likely to happen when you are new to research-based writing, even advanced students are at risk for making this mistake if they are rushing to meet a deadline or forget to use a plagiarism checker online. Fortunately, protecting your academic reputation is as simple as using these strategies for avoiding plagiarism in your writings.
Use Caution with Quotes
The first and the most important advice for avoiding plagiarism is related to quotations. The right quote can add credibility to your thesis; however, it is critical to use them correctly in your paper. Quotation marks should be used anytime you use two or more of someone else’s words together. It is also important to ensure that you do not misquote a reputable source. Avoid block quotes of more than 40 words, and make sure to cite your source directly in your essay.
Paraphrase Your Research Findings
The second main thing you need to do for avoiding plagiarism is paraphrasing. Writing new information down word-for-word in your research notes is another easy way to fall prey to plagiarism allegations. It is far too easy to glance at your notes and mistake someone else’s thoughts as yours. As you conduct your research, put everything down in your own words while making sure to stay factual. When you send your work through a plagiarism checker online, you can be confident that every word is your own.
The third advice for avoiding plagiarism – proper citation. Every institution has specific documentation guidelines that are required to give proper credit to a source. For most educational essays, you may be using MLA, APA or Chicago, which all have manuals that can explain the correct format to use in your essay. Typical citations include the author’s name, location of the information and date of publication so that others can easily locate a source.
A single act of plagiarism can destroy your academic career, yet it can be surprisingly easy to accidentally use someone else’s ideas in your work without giving them credit.
Avoid plagiarism of yourself. Yes, if you use any information of your own that has been previously turned into another class or published, then you will need to include a proper citation. It may seem strange that you could copy your personal writing, but in the academic and professional world, this still constitutes plagiarism. Of course, it is almost impossible to keep up with everything you ever wrote so be sure to use a plagiarism checker online to scan for any instances of your work that may be too close to your previous assignments.
Include a Reference Page
In addition to running your work through a plagiarism checker online, include a works cited or reference page at the end of your essay. When doing so, follow the guidelines set forth by your institution and be very specific with your details. An author’s name, title, publication date and other relevant information should be listed in the correct format so that anyone who checks your sources can see that you have not plagiarized.
Accidental plagiarism has ruined academic and professional careers, but most instances are easily avoided by combining a little common sense with new technology that includes using a plagiarism checker online. Once your work has passed with a green light, you can submit your essay with confidence and know that it reflects your best work. Hope our tips will help you to be successful in avoiding plagiarism.