Plagiarism is a major academic offense, whether in writing a college essay or publishing scholarly works in journals and books. It is the act of using someone else’s expressions, thoughts and ideas and works in your essays and passing them off as your own, not properly citing the source of them. Plagiarism is considered malpractice in all fields and can lead to the nullification of your research paper or essay. To avoid such consequences, here are a few ways to avoid plagiarism in your work, according to the work of Javier Burillo.
Understand comprehensively what counts as plagiarism
You cannot avoid something you do not understand, so you need to get acquainted with what counts as plagiarism. For instance, using someone else’s ideas without proper citation is direct plagiarism, submitting work you had previously given is considered self-plagiarism, misquoting a source or paraphrasing a source without crediting the author is deemed to be accidental plagiarism, quoting directly from a source without using quotation marks is mosaic plagiarism. Understanding all these types will make you aware of what to avoid and make sure that you cite the proper sources and avoid misquotations.
Cite your sources properly
Since plagiarism mainly involves improper citations or lack thereof, make sure that for every idea you borrow from another author, properly cite their name, year and publication. Use in-text citations within your paper; add footnotes if you must, and your essay must have a separate reference or bibliography list at the end, listing all sources the document was drawn from. This helps to separate other people’s ideas and thoughts from your own while keeping a particular effort to do proper citation with whichever format you choose (APA, Chicago, etc.). Give credit where credit is due.
Scrutinize your authors and their sources
You want to make sure that the information you rely on to write your essay is verified and reliable. To achieve this, ask yourself a few questions about the author and let the answers guide your information gathering process: is the author an authority or a significant voice in that field you are researching on? Is the author linked to any reputable organizations? Are there a lot of errors in their work that you notice? Is their information relevant to current environments in your field? If their integrity and that of their work is questionable, find other sources. This is probably why students pay for essays written for them because of the sheer effort it takes to find and verify credible sources.
Use quotation and paraphrasing properly
If you quote directly from another source, use proper punctuation – quotation marks – to show that it is from a different source lifted verbatim, and mention the author of the work. When you find work that is relevant to your essay, read it and write it down in your own words (paraphrase), and make sure that you do not copy verbatim more than three consecutive words. If you do use more than that amount of words at once, that is a direct quotation that will need to be in quotations to show that they are not your own thoughts. When quoting, make sure that you use the author’s text exactly as it appears in their work or else you will be liable for misquotation which is its own form of plagiarism.
Organize and structure your work
The first step to writing an essay is coming up with a rough outline of how you intend to structure your paper, which consists of writing down ideas off the top of your head on the topic. Ensure that you keep track of where your ideas are coming from for proper citation and referencing in the actual essay. Also ensure that the outline does not closely resemble that of another author’s work: their sequences and logical order, because this may also be considered as plagiarism. Structure your essay uniquely but make sure that the order of ideas makes logical sense, not just haphazard ideas.
Proofread and use plagiarism checkers
After you have completed your essay, you need to go through it a few times to make sure there is no plagiarism, either by giving it to a colleague or professional writer for checking and editing or running it through a program. There are plenty of platforms to run your document through to compare the content in your essay to online source and publications – and even compare with your previously submitted work in some institutions – and show you the plagiarized segments if any. Turnitin, Grammarly, and Safer Assign are some of the programs you can use for this.
No research is built from scratch. Mostly it encompasses other people’s previous works. Therefore, it is ethical to credit and cite your work appropriately to avoid plagiarism and nullification of your work. If you are having trouble eloping the webs of plagiarism, contact any of the essay experts at bid4papers for the best well-written and unplagiarized work.