How to Avoid Plagiarism
To successfully avoid plagiarism, students must first understand the meaning of plagiarism. One cannot possibly avoid plagiarism if he or she does not what is meant by the terminology. It is difficult to avoid something unless one is conversant with its meaning or impact. Plagiarism has been defined as the reckless or intentional representation of someone else’s words or thoughts as one’s ideas without proper attribution (VanNest; Pecorari 11). This definition insinuates that plagiarism does not always have to be intentional; it can occur due to carelessness. In view of this, one of the ways of avoiding plagiarism is to take time to study and familiarize oneself with the different types of plagiarism.
Secondly, students must ensure that all sources quoted and used in the text are cited appropriately. Students must understand that there are different styles of formatting papers, and that each format has its own rules that must be adhered to. Moreover, the definition of plagiarism clearly forbids the use of other people’s ideas without acknowledging and attributing this to the original authors. The four common types of plagiarism outlined by VanNest underscore the value of citing sources properly when writing an essay.
Thirdly, it is important for students to scrutinize all sources before settling on the ones to be used in writing the final essay. With the invention of the Internet, information about almost everything on earth is readily available. However, not all internet sources are considered to be credible when it comes to academic research. In most institutions, tutors require students to rely on peer-reviewed resources when writing their research papers. Unless a source is by an authoritative author who is affiliated with a reputable organization (VanNest), there are high chances that the content found in this source is copied from another author, and this can lead to plagiarism.
The three points discussed above are just some of the several strategies that are proposed to be effective in as far as avoiding plagiarism is concerned. Nonetheless, the three have been selected because of the weight they carry. For instance, the significance of understanding the meaning of plagiarism lies in the fact that besides there being different types of plagiarism, the penalty imposed upon students who are found guilty of the offence can be severe. To be on the safe side, therefore, it is necessary for all students to be well aware of what constitutes plagiarism. Similarly, having said that plagiarism is not always intentional but can occur when a student fails to properly cite or references sources, it is very important that students learn and practice proper citation and referencing of sources. Lastly, the aspect of scrutinizing all sources is included as one of the strategies of avoiding plagiarism because of the huge variety of material and information found on the internet.
In conclusion, this essay about ways of avoiding plagiarism is a very helpful piece of work that serves several purposes. For example, a tutor who reads this essay will feel encouraged that his/her students understands what plagiarism is, and is aware of the things to avoid when writing a research paper. Secondly, this essay may be of help to the tutor when offering basic lessons to new students. This is because the essay is written in a simple language that can be understood by new students.
Pecorari, Diane. Teaching to Avoid Plagiarism: How to Promote Good Source Use. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill Education, Open University Press, 2013. Print.
VanNest, Allison. 5 most effective methods for avoiding plagiarism. 2015. Web.