Plagiarism is a serious offense that can lead to expulsion from college. This is because plagiarism is a fraudulent act wherein the offender tries to pass off another person’s ideas and words as his or her own. It is important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, to avoid the repercussions of the act and to maintain your academic honesty. Here are some tips on how to avoid plagiarism:
Know your enemy
The first step to avoiding plagiarism is to know what plagiarism is and why people do it. As mentioned above, plagiarism has to do with stealing one’s intellectual property. There are basically two types of plagiarism: intentional and unintentional. Intentional plagiarism is self-explanatory; many academicians see this as type as an unpardonable offense. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when citations are not done properly. Research well on plagiarism and you are already on your way to avoiding it.
Know the rules
Next, you have to understand the rules for citation, your assignment, and writing in general. Avoiding plagiarism, writing effectively, and making citations properly will all require you to know the rules. Begin with your assignment. Understand what your teacher is asking from you by asking questions, asking for guidelines, and taking notes of specific rules the teacher may have (especially those on format and citation). Next, do some research on how to make proper citations throughout your paper. Consider what sections need citations, when citations are needed, where to put them, and how to enter them properly.
Know why you should follow the rules
It is hard to follow the rules if you are not sure why they are there in the first place. Rules against plagiarism are not only meant to protect the author’s whose words and thoughts have aided academic and intellectual progress. The rules are also there to help you arrive at new knowledge, to help you express your own ideas and feelings, and to help you become a more effective writer. Challenge yourself to go beyond the confines of what has already been said and thought. Not only will you avoid plagiarism in doing so, but you may even become a quotable source yourself.
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