If you’re a student, chances are you’ve heard the term “plagiarism” before. But what is plag report? And how can you avoid it in your work?
Plagiarism is the similarity with someone else’s ideas or words without giving credit. It can be as simple as copying and pasting a sentence from a website into your paper without quotation marks or attribution. Or it can be more complicated, like paraphrasing someone else’s work so well that nobody would know it wasn’t your thinking. The truth is plagiarism is everywhere – even in the work you do as a student and even in work your teachers do as teachers. But there are ways to avoid plagiarizing and ways to fix plagiarized work if you accidentally cross that line.
Things You Should Not Do
Let’s start with some examples of what not to do:
- Don’t copy words from a dictionary or another source. Don’t copy phrases word-for-word from another source without quotation marks and proper attribution. Don’t copy an entire paragraph from your textbook or notes without changing a few words here and there.
- Don’t just take someone else’s graphs, charts or tables and add them to your work without adding some explanation in the text. And don’t make up your graphs, charts or tables that look like they were copied from somewhere else.
- Don’t copy a sentence from another paper you found online and paste it into your paper without changing it. And don’t copy and paste multiple sentences from the same source in your paper; that’s just lazy!
Things You Should Do
Now let’s look at some examples of what you should do:
- Do use quotation marks around a phrase or sentence that someone else wrote. Give credit for graphs, charts and tables by adding an attribution in parentheses after the citation. Don’t plagiarize by copying someone’s words without quotation marks or proper attribution!
- Do paraphrase the ideas of others in your own words. This is called “extended” or “direct” attribution. It’s a good way to ensure you give credit where it’s due without accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s work.
- Do cite the sources of graphs, charts and tables that aren’t yours. And don’t just copy them into your paper – explain how they support your points!
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
Now that we’ve talked about what not to do and what to do, let’s talk about how to avoid plagiarism and fix it if you accidentally cross that line.
There are two main ways to avoid plagiarism: Using quotation marks around a phrase or sentence that someone else wrote and making sure you give proper attribution for graphs, charts and tables in the text of your paper. It’s important to use quotation marks around any words that aren’t yours – even if they’re just one or two words!
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