5 Tips to Avoid Plagiarism
by Nayab Imran
If you’re reading this, we hope you haven’t committed the act of plagiarism but are just wondering about what is plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarism. Or when to give credit in your essays for the information you have not written? Or are you wondering how to summarize a written material you have read without plagiarizing it?
Essays that students are asked to write in middle school generally deal with creative topics that do not require much research or citation and hence save their writers from being accused of plagiarizing the written material. unless and until middle school children try to copy from their class fellows and the teacher finds out, then there is definitely going to be trouble (for some of you readers who have done this in the past, yes I’m looking at you).
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It is only when you begin higher studies that you are required to conduct thorough research for your essays or research papers and this is where plagiarism can take place if one does not know how to summarize and paraphrase the research they have done.
Where once students and researchers had to pour over numerous books while hunched over in libraries, today with technology at the tips of our fingers, finding information about any subject has become extremely easy (so easy, it’s almost ridiculous). That being said, we’re nowhere stopping you from conducting your research in libraries and bringing back numerous books written on your chosen research topic, we’re just here to help you out.
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The really difficult part is how we use that information. Whether the assignment is school, college or university-based, any research ever made on the topic is just a click away. It is very tempting to just copy-paste whatever material you find so that you can be done with the work in half the time.
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However, let me ask you, where is the honor in that? Or the fun? Writing your own assignments and scoring good grades for them is among the most satisfying experiences one can have. That being said, there are times when students commit plagiarism unintentionally.
For those times, and to help students avoid committing plagiarism intentionally, we’re here to provide you all with a few tips on how to avoid plagiarism:
1. SUMMARIZE & PARAPHRASE
As you can guess from the heading, the first tip will guide you on how to summarize and paraphrase a material and avoid plagiarizing someone else’s written work. A summary is a shortened version of the original text that highlights the key points in YOUR own words. When summarizing a book, the length of the summary should be a page long, if summarizing a page then it should be a couple of paragraphs and if a paragraph then it should be a completed in a few lines.
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Similar to summarizing, paraphrasing is also another way to avoid plagiarism as it is roughly the same size as the original text but still written in your own words. A paraphrase of a page is a page long and henceforth.
2. CITE AND QUOTE WHEN NECESSARY
The second tip will help you understand how to avoid plagiarism and when you can cite certain material and how to do so. At times, there are some ideas or words of the main researcher that have a stronger impact in their own original wording. For these occasions, it is very important to properly quote a source and cite whenever we use research findings, statistics, figures, maps et cetera. We can use reference guides available online to help us in citing the sources. In this, we give due credit to the researchers and avoid committing plagiarism.
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3. CITING YOUR OWN WORK
What? Did you read that right? Yes, yes you did. It is possible to plagiarize your previously published work when you write on a similar topic as well. Many authors often use their previous research for various new but related topics but it is extremely important that you cite your own work as well as it has already been published.
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Amongst the most important tips on how to avoid plagiarism is to use referencing as a means of citing the works you have used in your essay/assignments/research papers. This is done by including a reference page or a works cited page (based on what referencing style your institution uses) and mentioning all the works that you have cited in your paper.
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The reference page includes the author’s name, the title of the text cited in your paper, the name of the publisher, the date of publishing and depending on the referencing style, the page or paragraph of the text that you have cited (if any text has been taken from an online source such as any website, then the paragraph of the text is included in the references instead of the page).
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5. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE B/W COMMON FACTS AND COPYRIGHT RESEARCH
The fourth tip that will help you avoid plagiarism is to know the basic difference between common facts and copyright research. The capitals of various countries are common knowledge to everyone. What their total population is based on research conducted by various surveys and the property of the survey owners. Hence, here acknowledging the survey you have used is essential to your paper.
Before you begin to cite your sources in order to avoid plagiarism, ask your instructor which referencing style is used by your institution. There are a number of reference styles in place for the different school of studies; mainly the APA referencing style, the MLA referencing style and the Harvard and Chicago referencing style are most commonly used. They provide guidance on how to cite various formats of text; books, newspaper or journal articles, website articles, figures or other related works.
Always remember to proofread your paper after writing it so as to make sure you have not made any mistakes or committed even a little bit of plagiarism. You can also use online websites that check plagiarism for you.
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And if you still think writing a completely original paper; free of plagiarism and copyright material is not your cup of tea, contact us for any help you may require. We have professional and capable writers, efficient in every subject. We also assure plagiarism-free and top-quality essays, research papers, and thesis, guaranteed to earn you that top spot. So hurry up and drop us a message lest the deadline seizes your GPA in a death grip.