Jason Monk

JM

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  • Posted 11 Days ago
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4 Steps to Avoiding Plagiarism at College

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Thanks to the internet it’s never been easier to find information for research papers and essays, however, it can be trickier to add that information to your work without falling into the trap of plagiarism. Plagiarism is when somebody uses another’s work without giving them due credit; in other words, copying somebody else’s work and passing it off as your own. At college, plagiarism can have dire consequences; in the best-case scenario, you will need to re-write the assignment - in the worst-case, you may be expelled from your program. So, how can you be sure that you avoid plagiarism when completing college assignments? Read on for our top tips.

Tip #1. Paraphrase

You’ve found the perfect piece of information to include in your essay or research paper. But, how do you get it down on paper without copying it word for word? The answer is simple – paraphrase. Before you write down the information, read it thoroughly and make sure that you understand it well enough to re-write it in your own words.

Tip #2. Quote

What if you can’t paraphrase? If information is so important that you don’t want to take away any value from it by rewording it, then you can insert it directly into your paper. However, you should be careful – since you are quoting somebody word for word, you need to ensure that your readers are fully aware of this. How to do this? Simply use quotation marks and make sure that you give credit to the original author in the body of your work and the bibliography.

Tip #3. Add References

Whether you paraphrase or add a direct quote into your work, it’s important to include a reference which shows the reader where you have obtained the information from. The style of referencing that you use will depend on several factors, such as the type of program that you are studying for and the college that you attend. In general, the most popular referencing styles are either Harvard or APA. If you are struggling with referencing, you can find a range of handy reference generator tools online that you can use to make sure that you don’t lose marks for this.

Tip #4. Use Plagiarism Checking Software

If you want total peace of mind before you finally submit your assignment, then you can use the Plagiarism Check tool to make sure that you haven’t accidentally copied somebody else’s work. Remember that if you have used quotation marks for direct quotes and referenced correctly, some similarities will be fine. Simply copy and paste your work into the tool’s textbox and it will highlight plagiarized sentences along with the source links. It will also show you the total plagiarism percentage. Your college or school may also provide you with a program that you can use to check the similarity of your work before you submit it. However, bear in mind that your college will also check your work against that of other students; if your whole class is writing the same assignment then some similarities are to be expected and can usually be allowed for.

Don’t let plagiarism ruin your education!

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