When writing professional and academic papers, students must know what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the harsh impact it has when a student submits a plagiarized paper. During the writing process, you can get tempted to use someone’s work because of several reasons. For instance, maybe the topic is a bit complex, and you don’t seem to get incredible resources to use. Again, some students always procrastinate and end up having limited time, therefore using someone’s work to submit as their work. No matter the circumstances, always try to do research and create your original work.
If you have been trying to get professional tips to avoid plagiarism, then keep reading, as this document will highlight more concepts concerning the whole plagiarism issue.
Define similarity: what is plagiarism?
Simply put, plagiarism means stealing words or ideas from one source without crediting or referencing it. To steal in this concept means when you use another person’s ideas and wordings without acknowledging their efforts. The result is a similar document, one original and the other a copy of the original. Even when you use quotes or famous contexts, you must reference them appropriately. Otherwise, you will be plagiarizing your work which has severe consequences.
How to avoid plagiarism and its importance in your paper
Before you start any writing project, especially for academic purposes, understand first plagiarism and the best measures you should take to provide a clean and original job. Maybe you are wondering why you should avoid plagiarism.
Well, plagiarized work can destroy your credibility as a student, even for future career advancements. Besides, while in school, you can get expelled from the institute as a result of producing plagiarized work. This means you will have wasted other years of studying and many other resources. Why would you risk it?
How to not plagiarize a research paper
1. Know how much plagiarism is acceptable
In some instances, there are some words that are necessary, and you cannot edit them at all costs. In this case, plagiarism might be detected in your paper. However, you need to note the extent it can go. For academic purposes, the score should not exceed 5%; otherwise, anything above 5% will be regarded as a plagiarized document. The reason for this allowance is because some software for checking plagiarism work by checking similarity index, which might not necessarily translate to plagiarized work.
2. Know how to avoid self plagiarism
Sometimes, you can assume using work you previously used in another paper or published is okay to use in another paper. Well, as much as you researched and created the content, you cannot use the work or some sections of the work you produced before as original work. This is known as self-plagiarism, and it is forbidden in learning institutions.
3. Always credit the original sources of the quotes
In academic papers, it is a common idea to use quotes from other people. However, this isn’t your original quote, and you should credit the author or publisher of such quotes. So, before you quote, use your words first, then the quote using the quotation marks, and finalize the quote by crediting the author.
4. Always cite all your sources correctly
When determining what percentage is considered plagiarism, you will have to use several sources in your paper. Although the similarity index might match to some extent, you can avoid all the plagiarism issues by including footnotes or in-text citations when paraphrasing or quoting another person’s work.
Note: To cite correctly, ensure all the citations match well with the bibliography or reference list at the end of your paper.
Apart from enabling you to avoid plagiarism, correct citation helps the reader locate the source should they want to read any further.
The common citation styles include Chicago, MLA, and APA. The professor will always specify the required style for every paper.
If you have always had trouble with plagiarism and understanding what percent of plagiarism is allowed, you can always use the above tips and do some research about plagiarism before submitting your paper.
Plagiarism is common in all learning institutions, and should you tolerate it; it can cost you all your academic efforts. If possible, check your work with different plagiarism software checkers before sending your work for submission.