What is plagiarism? It seems like everyone knows it, but not everyone tries to avoid it. Practically plagiarism is cheating. We can also consider it to be stealing because when we plagiarize the paper, we use someone else’s ideas or thoughts and write them down as our own. As a result we steal these ideas and thoughts from the original author. That is why it is very important to avoid plagiarism while writing a term paper. If someone will find out that paper is plagiarized, you will get in trouble. It is very easy to avoid plagiarism in the writing; you just need to know few basic concepts.
First of all, it is important to remember that you need to cite all the information that you searched or founded in the book, newspaper article, Web-source or in any other source. The information may include citations, statistics, diagrams, and some facts.
Another thing that you need to remember is to cite used sources correctly. It happens a lot that person gets accused of plagiarism, because he/she didn’t cite the paper correctly. In order to avoid such situations you need to remember basic citation rules and few citation styles, like MLA, APA etc. It is not very difficult, because basic rules of citation styles are available in student’s handbooks, in books and on Internet.
When you quote someone’s words, put phrases like: “according to”, or “Jones says”, at the beginning of the sentence. In this way you will make it clear that following words belong to the person that you refer to. At the end of the quote don’t forget to put parenthetical citation of the source where you took this quote from. It is also important to remember that the quote which you insert in the text should be put in the citation marks.
A lot of people consider that the paraphrased information they took from another source is not considered to be plagiarism. But this opinion is a big mistake which can cause problems. When you paraphrase someone else’s words, you do not use your own ides, you still use the information that was already given to you. That is why paraphrasing is also considered to be a plagiarism. In order to avoid it, put a parenthetical citation for the information that you paraphrased. Make sure that you put citation reference at the very end of the phrase you used, because after you paraphrased the quote you may forget where it ends. Paraphrased information after the reference will be considered plagiarism.
If you write a big paragraph which contains few quotes from the same source cite each quote separately, don’t just put one reference at the end of the paragraph.
After you will cite all the sources in the text of your paper, list these references at the end of the paper on the reference page. Usually sources on the reference page are listed in alphabetical order. Reference page should be formed according to the requirements of the particular citation style that you use.
If you want to avoid plagiarism while writing your paper, make sure to follow all of the basic rules and concepts of referencing which were given above. This is the way for you to protect yourself from unnecessary problems and stress.