How to Avoid Plagiarism

It’s easy to find information for most research papers, but it’s not always easy to add that information into your paper without falling into the plagiarism trap. There are easy ways to avoid plagiarism. Follow some simple steps while writing your research paper to ensure that your document will be free of plagiarism.

  • Be sure to submit your own and original work.
  • Indicate precisely and truthfully when you have used information provided by someone else, i.e. referencing must be done in harmony with a documented system.
  • Indicate whether you have used information from the Internet.
  • Never use someone else’s electronic storage media, graphics, audio, images or visuals as if it were your own.
  • Never allow other students to use or copy from your work and present it as their own.
  • Never copy directly without crediting the source.
  • Do not translate without crediting the source.
  • Do not paraphrase someone else’s work without crediting the source.
  • Do not piece together sections of the work of others into a new whole.
  • Do not resubmit your own or another’s previously graded work.
  • Do not commit complicity (unauthorized collaboration, presenting work as one’s own independent work, when it has been produced in whole or in part in conjunction with other people).
  • Ghost-writing – you should not make use of ghost writers or professional agencies in the production of your work, or submit material which has been written on your behalf.
  • it is important to recognize that paraphrased material must be credited.
  • Put quotation marks around direct quotes, the information that you have copied word-for-word from the source. You can also use a highlight color or some other code that identifies exact copy material.
  • It is better to copy your sources exact words than closely paraphrase or slightly alter the author’s words. It is difficult to safely use closely paraphrased material at a later time, when you are actually writing your paper. You run the risk of plagiarizing if you don’t remember which words were the author’s and which were yours.
  • Words that are an exact copy of the original should always be identified by quotation marks or, for longer quotes, set-off in an indented paragraph. The requirement to put quotation marks around material that has been exactly copied is the form of acknowledgement with which most people are familiar. However, while proper quotation will avoid plagiarism, it does not necessarily result in a good paper.
  • If you are not sure, assume that an idea is not common knowledge and cite the source. It is much easier to remove a citation than it is to hunt down a citation and try to add it later. Finally, when in doubt, check with your professor.
  • Any material you use in a paper from an online source, including information from the Web, should be acknowledged just as it would be if it came from a traditional print publication. Being in the electronic environment does not change the rules.