According to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill defines plagiarism as “deliberate or reckless representation of another’s words, thoughts, or ideas as one’s own without attribution”. Plagiarism is considered as an illegal act done knowingly. So whether you have the correct information at hand or not, it is best to do your research and give credit where it is due.

While doing a research paper, it is easy to come across a plethora of information, but it is not always easy to use it. This is because of the penalties associated with plagiarism. In simple terms, copying someone else’s work. There are a few ways to avoid plagiarism and the negative effects that come with it. The idea is to create work that does not steal peoples’ ideas and write the best essay you possibly can.

Plagiarism can arise, accidentally or in other forms. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to know about the forms of plagiarism before you commit any.

Direct plagiarism

– Taking another person’s ideas word for word without giving proper citation.


– Submitting your own previous work as part of a current assignment without permission.

Mosaic plagiarism

– Quoting another’s work without quotation marks. This can also refer to replacing words in another’s work with synonyms while maintaining the same overall structure and meaning.

Accidental plagiarism

– Forgetting to cite sources, misquoting sources, or paraphrasing sources without giving credit where credit is due.

Before you even begin your work, you need to create a thorough outline, to identify sources and ideas. Whatever ideas come from you, note them down and highlight those that come from other sources. This will save you time when you are going through your work to make citations and references. Once it is clear what comes from who, proceed and write your paper. The organization is important, so color code your work. Use bookmarks and numbering systems to keep track of your research work.

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Writing your best original works requires effort. One way of doing this is by paraphrasing. Take the text that you have and read and make it your own. Do not write more than two words exactly the same. If you do, putting them in quotes is required to avoid plagiarism. Citing is also another way to avoid plagiarism. This refers to following the format and guidelines provided by the educational institute that has recommended the research document. This includes styles like APA, Chicago, and MLA among others. They differ depending on the institute’s preference. When making citations, double check your bibliography to make sure it is in the right order. While some programs will automatically generate a bibliography for you, having the correct input is your job.

Referencing is the third method of avoiding plagiarism. This includes putting the reference page or the page of the works cited at the end of your research or essay paper.

Quotations are also important. When making a quote be sure to quote the author or source exactly as it is written. Always make sure that your sources are authoritative figures or are affiliated with an authoritative body. Also, be careful not to write blindly. Even if you have knowledge on the topic, knowing where your ideas and other works come together is important to the state.

If you are using work that you have written before, cite your own material. There is something called self-plagiarism which is prohibited. Therefore, make sure that when using yourself as a quote, to follow the steps as if you were quoting another source. Perhaps you have written a similar essay or written on a similar topic from a different class.