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Notes on Avoiding Plagiarism in Academic Writing


Many students head into their writing tasks with little understanding of plagiarism. Such students are careless in using outside information and often find themselves in a fix due to their blatant use of outside sources. This act of plagiarism both unintentional or intentional leads to penalties that range from mark deduction to cancellation and in some cases, expulsion. As a student and an essay writer, you should know how to avoid plagiarism and use outside information correctly.


Avoiding Plagiarism - YouTube


What is plagiarism?


Once a paper or work is published it becomes the intellectual property of the person who has published it. Using this information in your writing without the required reference to the work or the author is committing academic theft. Even if you use work, owned and written by you, in new writing, you will still need to reference your previous work; Not mentioning your own work leads to self-plagiarism.


Plagiarism is not only copying a text word-to-word— in fact, many who knowingly steal information, use various other ways. Plagiarism can be the use of another's work, its ideas, wording, and methods, without acknowledging the author.


Keep a record of references when making notes


When going through the researched sources for your essay, you tend to make notes about the parts of information that you will come of use in your essay. This usually is the supporting information in the form of quotes, evidence, and examples. If you are managing the references on your own, then make sure to have a system of recording the references with the specific text. This way you won’t mix up the information and the references and end up committing unintentional plagiarism.


Paraphrase the work instead of rephrasing it


It is not enough just to change the arrangement of the words when you are set out to write my essay. This can also lead to penalties through plagiarism. Paraphrasing, when done right, presents the idea and the message with a context and different wordings. The paraphrased text, moreover, adds new ideas to the text, expanding on the information borrowed.


Paraphrasing allows the reader to know the main points of the source while allowing you to demonstrate your graph of the subject matter.


Quote sources appropriately


The quotation in your writing should be according to the rules specified by the formatting style. Make sure that you provide in-text citations with the quotes, and know when to use them within the writing and when to use block quotes. 


Don’t over quote


Despite properly referencing and citing the source information, if you quote excessively in your writing then you are in the danger of plagiarism. The writing should be your own words and overusing the direct quotes fills your writing with borrowed text.


Brainstorm before beginning your research


Writers often come up with ideas and arguments that they think are novel, only to find out that they are not. To be sure, research into the idea and make sure of its originality before presenting it as you won. Usually, when you research ahead of the brainstorming process you tend to mix up the researched ideas with your ideas, something that leads to unintentional plagiarism. Many writers, therefore, make sure that they come up with their own ideas before diving into the research. 


Get acquainted with the plagiarism policy of your university/school


Each school, university, or the individual department has its own plagiarism policies and rules. This includes the percentage of plagiarism that is deemed acceptable, the severity of punishments for both unintentional and intentional plagiarism.


 


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