How to Avoid Plagiarism in Writing

Plagiarism is a difficult concept for students to understand. Perhaps, you have a vague idea that to plagiarize is copying other people’s words.

However, the general idea is that plagiarism creates a false sense that you’re okay to take or change someone’s work. That is, plagiarism is the action of stealing an individual’s words, content, or phrases without giving proper credit.

Credit can be in the form of citation, quote with citation, paraphrase with in-line citation, and summary with citation. The toughest part for high school and college students is to understand the grade when teachers scrutinize a plagiarized essay or research paper.

So, take precautions when submitting your work and avoid plagiarism with some simple tips. 

Major Mistakes When Writing and Researching

Problems with plagiarism don’t just lie in copying someone’s work. Plagiarism occurs from multiple aspects when students feel stressed or lack understanding of assignments.

Regardless of how you interpret assignments or instructions, it would help if you had a clear and concise foundation of what not to do.

For instance, many students misinterpret essays for a collection of ideas without citation. You might often start a writing project without thinking about referencing correctly.

You just wanted to get the assignment done. However, take the necessary steps to plan and organize a research paper.

In that way, you ensure that you will not rush through the steps to properly cite a reference, place proper quotes, or paraphrase correctly. Another mistake most college students make is how to use a paraphrase.

While paraphrase and summaries may sound similar, they are very different. As you research for sources for your paper, paraphrasing is most likely a useful tool.

For example, you have substantial reading materials, and you need to grasp the meaning quickly. You don’t have time to write down or jot down every little detail.

You have to use critical thinking and reading strategies to analyze the text. So, paraphrasing helps you write ideas discussed by the author within a chapter book, text passage, or a scholarly article.

As a result, paraphrasing aids you to capture the author’s perspective while you write them in your own words.

On the other hand, summarizing is a brief account of the main ideas or concepts addressed by the author. Also, a summary provides a snapshot of the author’s point of view.

Whether you need a study plan to help you stay organized with your references and deadlines, consider essential tips to avoid plagiarism. 


Actionable Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

Most students don’t understand the severity of plagiarism. For instance, many universities have an honor code that you must abide by to continue to study and graduate.

When you don’t take the time to read those rules and codes thoroughly, you risk your education. Many colleges take plagiarism seriously, which could mean academic suspension or even expulsion.

So, why risk these drastic measures?

  • Take the time to dedicate a schedule to organize research planning.
  • If the assignment requires extensive research, then plan accordingly with many days or weeks in advance.
  • Set a time and day that you will gather sources, read thoroughly, and organize your notes.
  • If you save your work on your computer, designate folders with specific colors or terms.
  • Then, use graphic organizers to help you with different references.
  • You probably use plenty of Internet sources.
  • So, create tables or charts to keep track of your source, citation, quotes, and authors.
  • When you have these notes in one place that you can easily access, writing the research paper will take no time.

Another tip to avoid plagiarism is to understand the instructions of the assignment altogether.

  • Make sure you ask your teacher or professor for clarity before you start.
  • In that way, you don’t waste time as you write your paper.
  • More specifically, different professors may require different citation formats.
  • The American Psychology Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), or the Chicago Manual of Style are standard citation formats.
  • When you know which citation method to use, then you’ll efficiently know how to cite a source.

More importantly, avoid buying a term paper from other sources and passing it as your own work. An article ghostwritten is still plagiarism under the university’s policies. Save your time and money by spending effort on writing in your own words.

Actionable tips to avoid plagiarism need help from apps to monitor your progress. 

Powerful Tools to Keep You On Track

In a digital age, your personal device can help you keep track of your citations. Avoiding plagiarism is part of you as a human to decide not to copy and paste, as well as part technology, to keep you on track.

There are many tools to use to help you format citations and place quotes properly. Most likely, you use a word processing software to write those long research papers.

By using these apps or extensions, you can efficiently and securely cite as you write.

  • For instance, use the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) website to cross-check your citation, depending on the format you need to use.
  • The site also has plenty of information on how to organize a research paper.
  • If you need a more sophisticated help, consider the Mendeley Management Software Researcher.
  • The software helps you keep track of your citations as you collect them.
  • Many school libraries may carry this type of software.
  • Avoid plagiarism with the Grammarly browser extension or app.
  • This writing aid tool is one of the best ways to avoid copying other people’s work since it checks against dozens of Internet sources.
  • The best part of the Grammarly plagiarism feature is that it checks documents in seconds.
  • Grammarly also scans for spelling, tone, vocabulary, word count, and many other features.
  • You can also install the Grammarly extension in Google Docs so that you can write, proofread, and submit your work anywhere. 

Plagiarism is one of the most challenging aspects of college life. Many students lack organizational skills to handle multiple writing projects.

Then, stress and deadlines overwhelm them. However, use careful planning and tools to help you avoid plagiarism.