How to Avoid Plagiarsm When Writing a College Paper
Plagiarism is a college student’s worst nightmare. It can jeopardize a good grade, and even get them kicked out of school. It is easy to avoid plagiarism if you know what it is and learn how to apply these tips.
Some people do not realize that plagiarism is not just copying someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. Plagiarism still exists when a writer cites sources and gives credit to the writer. A writer is plagiarizing someone else’s work when using their exact wording even if the writer has cited sources. It is important to find your own words when writing a college paper and cite the source to give the statement credibility and cover yourself to avoid plagiarism, plus it is only right to give credit to the original author.
Plagiarism is also using another person’s pictures as your own.
To write a paper and avoid plagiarism first of all take notes. While writing down your notes make a rule to either write your notes in your own words or write them in the exact words of the original author. Then when it is time to write your own paper you know whether or not you need to change the wording to make it your own or if the wording has been changed already in your notes. It is actually easier sometimes to write the notes in the original authors exact words so that you know changes need to be made and don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve still used someone else’s exact wording.
Of when you are writing a college paper you will be using another authors ideas much of the time. It is impossible to avoid since it is a paper that includes data and content that can’t always be changed. This is when you paraphrase. Paraphrasing is using the original author’s ideas but putting the majority of the content in your own words. It is impossible to completely re-write a college paper and retain the necessary information that will present a good paper. By paraphrasing you make it your own but yet keep the data and content intact.
As you write your paper, cite your sources. It is important to provide a bibliography at the end of your paper and in-text citations throughout the paper to give credit to the original author. This is even essential when citing the Holy Bible or a dictionary.
Never, ever under any circumstance copy and paste text, this is willful plagiarism and will result in a failing grade, and in many colleges expulsion is a consequence of blatant plagiarism such as copy and paste.
In some instances a student has to use pictures in a project. It is important to give credit to the person taking the picture to avoid plagiarism.
Educating yourself about plagiarism, your college’s rules about plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarism will prevent serious consequences of using someone else’s work as your own.
Picture by Kim E. Miller