To plagiarize is to steal; hence it’s regarded as literary theft, which qualifies as academic dishonesty punishable by an academic institution. But students don’t always mean to plagiarize, they may unintentionally use another’s words or ideas and pass them off as their own. In other cases, it’s also possible to self-plagiarize. To escape the terror you plagiarism, make use of these three easy tips:
1. Insert Quotations
Suppose you must include the words from the source as-is into your writing. The best way to do so while avoiding plagiarism is to include quotation marks. This quote must be followed by a citation of the source where it has been derived to let the reader know the quote’s origin.
2. Remember to Cite Your Sources Right
If the word or the idea is not your own, you mustn’t take credit for it as it compromises your integrity as a writer. Adding a citation is critical for research papers, which includes the name of the author or source, the date when the paper was published, and any other elements as per the style guide. Three of the major citation styles in use for academic writing include MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago Style Manual.
To paraphrase is to rewrite the information or idea preserved in a text in your own words. The idea is to avoid using similar words by formatting and rewording the content in your unique fashion. Paraphrasing doesn’t change or alter the meaning, which is why it’s easy for it to slip into plagiarism when done incorrectly. Remember to throw in a citation of the source before signing off.
It’s also important to recycle your own words if they were used previously to combat a phenomenon known as self-plagiarism. Try rewriting a summary of what you have read in your own words.
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