Plagiarism is the process of copying the words and even ideas of someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. So it is more likely the same as cheating, or worse, stealing. Whether it is from a published book or an article on the Internet, it is still considered as plagiarism. And it could only bring you to a terrible situation. If you’re a student, you can either be suspended or expelled from school. So why take the risk? But there are also times when you don’t intend to copy but are already plagiarizing. So to avoid the risk, here are ways to avoid plagiarism.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
- Using a synonym for someone else’s word as a substitute is a big NO. You are also not allowed to copy the sentence structure of other writers. So instead, write it using your own words based on what you have understood. And it is referred to as paraphrasing.
- If there is really a need to use the exact phrase or sentence from others, just use quotation marks. But if you have to omit certain words, you can put an apostrophe (‘) in between. And if you need to incorporate certain words, just enclose it in brackets.
- You can also mention the author from whom you have borrowed the words, or just provide the link or site of your references, or just simply cite the sources after your article.
- If you are meeting a deadline, start doing your work as early as possible so you will have enough time to do the research and the writing. In this way, you will not be tempted to plagiarize. And if you really don’t have any intention to copy, you will have time to recheck your work. Failure to manage your time is the main reason why you are prone to plagiarism, whether intentionally or not.
- There is also a lot of plagiarism checkers available on the Internet. You can purchase one or just avail free online tools. Thus, you will be more confident that you haven’t plagiarized anything.
- Professors should also keep their students from plagiarizing by not allowing last-minute changes of their topics. They should also teach students how to cite sources and paraphrase in a proper way. Requiring students to submit copies of their research notes is also a good start to stop plagiarism.
Procrastination is said to be the main cause of plagiarism. So when you are tasked to do something, do it right away so you don’t rush into things. And do it not just because you are not allowed to do so or you are afraid of being caught by your professor. Instead, do it because you know that it is the right thing to do. Whether you are aware or not, take the ways to avoid plagiarism seriously.