6 Critical Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Papers

6 Critical Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Papers

Plagiarism is the greatest academic crime a student can commit, when writing a research paper, thesis, dissertation or an essay. In my academic experience, I have experienced may student being subjected to suspensions, discontinuations and other critical punishment due plagiarism. Though it is easy to find research information online, it is not easy for most students to add the information in to their papers without falling in to the plagiarism trap.

6 ways to avoid plagiarism

  1. Paraphrase – You have found good information online regarding the paper you are writing, read it, understand and put it in your own words. Make sure you have not copied verbatim more than three words in a row from online.
  2. Cite – whenever you use someone’s information, you should acknowledge by citing. However, you should follow the document formatting guidelines (APA, MLA, HARVARD, CHICAGO, etc) recommended by your institution. Citing is among the best way of avoiding plagiarism.
  3. Quoting – it involves quoting exactly what the source says. Quoting should be accurate, to avoid misquoting. While ‘block quotes’ are most preferred, you should consider the specific quoting format required by your institution.
  4. Citing Quotes – This is quite different from citing a paraphrased material. Citing quotes involves adding a page number or a paragraph number in case of a web content.
  5. Citing Your Own Material – If you are using materials from your class or research paper, you must cite yourself. It involves treating the text as if it was written by someone else when quoting it.
  6. Referencing – Referencing is a perfect way of avoiding plagiarism. It involves adding a reference page or work cite page at the end of the document. It presents all the materials consulted, and should follow all the specified formatting guidelines.

If you would like some personal guidance on avoiding plagiarism, you may contact me.

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