Using someone else’s idea or work without their permission or even not acknowledging them in your paper is regarded as plagiarism. In some cases, it even involves stealing someone’s work deliberately; however, in other instances, it happens accidentally through forgetfulness and carelessness. When writing academic papers, you build on the work of other authors and make use of several sources of evidence and information. For avoiding plagiarism, you can incorporate accurate resources into your text. You should keep the following pointers in your mind while editing your paper, so plagiarism can be prevented.
1. Keep Track Of Your Sources
While researching for your paper and taking notes, you should record the source of each piece of information that you’ve gathered. One way that you’re likely to commit plagiarism is by forgetting the source from where you took the idea and they unintentionally present it as their own idea. However, when plagiarism is detected, they can be fined or can face other severe consequences. You can easily prevent this risk by compiling a list of citations and keeping your notes organized. You should ensure that every source that you’ve consulted is referenced. While editing your essay, you can ensure that the sources referenced are accurate.
This means that you can take inspiration and ideas from other sources and explain it in your own words. Although the meaning of the source remains the same you inform your readers in your wordings. However, you need to be careful that paraphrasing can occur if you haven’t plagiarized correctly. To successfully paraphrase your work and avoid plagiarism, you need to format as well as originally reword your writing. For this, you should avoid using too many similar phrases and words from the source. Additionally, the key to paraphrasing is to do this without changing the main idea presented in the source.
3. Cite the Original Source
Every time you either paraphrase or even quote, you should include a footnote citation or an in-text citation through which you’ll give credit to the original author. This referencing style also includes page number as well as the publication year. In addition to this, it is also important that each in-text citation is mentioned in the bibliography or reference list at the end of your paper. These sources explain exactly where you’ve extracted the information. As a result of this, the chances of plagiarism reduces as you’ve acknowledged the work of the real author.
4. Use Plagiarism Checker
Most universities use a plagiarism checker for detecting plagiarism in student’s papers. This software scans your document and compares it with other publications present in its database. The parts that you’ve copied from other websites or publications are highlighted. So, you can also use a plagiarism checker by yourself before handing over your assignment to your professor. In this way, you can detect plagiarized content and edit it. Furthermore, the parts that you’ve forgotten to cite or haven’t included quotation marks can be amended.
5. Ensure Inclusion of Quotations
If you’re including exact words from a source into your paper, then you need to add quotation marks around the text for denoting that those words aren’t yours. After adding quotation marks you also need to add an in-text citation to inform your readers of the original author of these words. This is one of the most simple yet obvious ways through which you can prevent plagiarism in your paper. While you’re editing your essay, you can ensure that quotations are relevant to your essay and the cited source is accurate.
6. Quote Your Own Work
Self-plagiarism is often confusing for students and they use their idea from previous assignments or papers, which results in plagiarism. You can’t reuse your ideas in other papers, just because you think you’ve written it. Moreover, most students even use the same paper for different classes. Well, you can’t even reuse some parts of your papers. However, you can reference your own work and develop upon your past findings, and this is often encouraged by professors.
7. Proofread Your Paper
Although this seems obvious, most students overlook this part. You should go back to your paper to check your work for grammar and spelling mistakes along with checking for quotes or citations that you must’ve used. You can recheck your paper after you’re finished editing your paper. In addition to this, you can also remove yourself from the paper for a day or two, so when you come back, you have a new perceptive.
8. Try to Be Original
Your purpose should be to add new value with your creative ideas and thoughts. This is considered to be the essence of any assignment. Your teacher wants to see your input and opinion about a specific topic. So, rather than copying or even paraphrasing the entire idea from other sources, you can try to give your two cents about the topic.
9. Ensure Images Are Also Cited
You might not know this, but copying images and pictures and adding them to your assignment is also considered to be plagiarized. Images and even videos are also copyrighted. So if you’re planning to include images in your paper, make sure that you cite them properly.
10. Provide a Reference List and Bibliography
For preparing an academic paper, you have to provide a reference list or even a bibliography at the end of the paper. This list provides all the resources that you’ve used in your paper and the articles that you’ve visited to complete your research work. Although a bibliography and a reference list are different because a bibliography includes all the sources used by you while preparing the paper. Whereas, a reference list is consists of all the sources that are cited in the paper.
Plagiarizing your paper can land you in some serious trouble! For avoiding plagiarism, you need to follow the steps mentioned above. The best time for detecting plagiarism and ensuring all the resources you’ve used are included in the reference list is when you are editing your paper. If you think that you can’t manage this on your own, then we’d suggest that you hire a professional proofreading essay writing service to help you with your paper and removing plagiarism from your paper.