When someone utilizes the language, ideas or work of some third person without giving it any credit, it is not just unethical but also termed as plagiarized content. Plagiarism can be of many types including words, ideas as well as sentence structures. The source does not matter- you could either take it out of an email, a website, an academic paper or a book, but it should be avoided at all costs. If you wish to use the ideas or words from a source, you must remember to mention and document the original source. This is the only way that you can avoid plagiarism, especially when you are writing an academic paper.
Most Common Causes of Plagiarism
There are many reasons why students opt for plagiarism or think that copying others work and not sourcing it appropriately is acceptable. Few of these reasons include:
- Fear of risk or failure when creating their own paper
- Poor time management and efforts, leading to plagiarism
- Disregarding the consequences of cheating, assignment or course itself as unimportant
- Topic is so generalized that students justify their plagiarism with canned responses
- Not enough knowledge of integrating other ideas and sourcing documents appropriately
- Basic human errors and mistakes when integrating other ideas as their own
- The multicultural background of students does not raise proper awareness of plagiarism
Few Effective Ways to Avoid Plagiarism
Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to not only create an authentic but also an original paper.Here are a few ways with which you can avoid plagiarism in your academic papers.
Use the Magic of Paraphrasing
You find the information from the internet that is perfect for your academic paper. But how do you incorporate it in your paper without making it look as if you just stole someone else’s idea? You use the magic of paraphrasing. Read the entire information and then voice it and frame it in your own words.
Also, keep in mind not to copy more than two rows of words verbatim from the source you are writing information from. In addition, even if you do use more than two words at the same time, use quotation marks.
Use the Quotations As They Are
Every time you use a quotation, make sure to keep it as it is. No one likes to be misquoted, and using longer quotations with more than fifty words is not wise. Although proper quotations can take time, however their result of inclusion within the paper is quite useful. Use the art of quotations correctly for avoiding all sorts of allegations of plagiarism.
Use the Power of Citations
Citation is the best way to avoid plagiarism. If you are using a content that was written by someone else, all you need to do is cite the source according to the format defined by your educational institution. There are many different forms of citation guidelines including Chicago, Harvard, MLA, APA etc. Each citation describes the details of the author and publication details for the source you took the information from.
If you are citing a quote, then add the page number or paragraph number as well. If you are citing some of the material that you used in a previous research paper or assignment, mention the page or paragraph numbers too. When you use your own work without citing yourself, you lead to self-plagiarism.
Use References At All Costs
Of course, it is almost necessary that you include all the references to your paper that you took help from. The references must also follow the guidelines defined by your educational institution and should include the source, title, date of publication and names of authors.