Are you writing an academic paper, and you want to make sure it’s original? There is always a chance that you will unintentionally plagiarize someone else’s work. Even though you might not mean to plagiarize, and you might not even be aware that you are doing it, there is a way to avoid it.

What are some of the forms of plagiarism?

  • Unintentional Plagiarism

Did you know that even if you don’t intend to plagiarize, it can still happen? The fact is that many students don’t know how to write an academic paper. They have no idea what the guidelines are and how they should complete assignments. Even if you follow citation guidelines, it is easy to fall into the trap of unintentional plagiarism. For example, you might be reading a book you have used as a source, and you might take notes. If this is the case, make sure to put quotation marks around any of the phrases you are taking from your book. Also, ensure to keep track of how many quotes or phrases are included in your paper!

  • Intentional Plagiarism

It often occurs when students hand in assignments that they have copied word for word from other sources. This type of plagiarism is extremely easy for professors to detect. Several websites provide a detailed description of the punishment that it will bring if you are caught plagiarizing. If you do not want to be caught doing this, be sure that you have all the necessary citations in your paper.

How can one Avoid Plagiarism?

One of the best ways to avoid plagiarism is to leave plenty of time when completing your work. If you don’t leave yourself enough time, you might rush through and accidentally use someone else’s work without even realizing it. Another way to avoid plagiarizing is if you know that you will be given many writing assignments in the future, invest in a good citation software program that will help format your papers correctly. There are plenty of free programs available. It is vital to make sure that your paper shows proper citations throughout the paper.

Be excellent at paraphrasing

In case you have limited time to write an article or any other paper, the best way out would be to paraphrase any decent and informative content available on the internet. This way, you will be able to:

  1. To avoid any issue of copyright infringement since you are not copying any portion of a paper that belongs to someone else.
  2. To maintain your writing skills which may be impaired due to bad habits such as copying and pasting content from online sources
  3. To save a lot of time since you will not be required to write a paper from scratch.
  4. To avoid any plagiarism issues as well.

Another way is writing an original paper based on your own ideas, even if they were discovered from other sources. In this case, you do not have to worry about plagiarism since you are not copying any portion of a paper that belongs to someone else. On the other hand, if you are the one who discovered some ideas, how can anyone else plagiarize them? However, the main disadvantage of this is that your knowledge will be limited compared to a student who uses original sources.

Cite your sources

  • Don’t just copy words from another source. If you refer to some work, include a citation that specifically points out the original source.
  • Be careful when using other people’s work because they may have copyright issues. Never forget to cite your sources, possibly using the Works Cited or Bibliography, and then give proper headings in your paper for all of them. You must make sure you cite your sources properly so that it is easy for the reader to find them again if they need a fact-checked.

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