Avoiding Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of intentionally, unintentionally or carelessly making use of the ideas of other people’s work and presenting it as your own by adopting it into your work without their consent and acknowledgment. This also includes any information gathered from web pages, books, articles, interviews, songs, TV shows and even pieces of artwork. The use of another person’s thoughts, ideas or words and failing to attribute it to the original author counts to cheating under the rules and regulations of examinations and is punishable by suspension or being awarded a fail grade or mark in the course.

While it is important to use a bibliography in providing the list of sources, the failure to appropriately cite, acknowledge and quote the works of others in an in-text citation is considered plagiarism. Presenting work that contains too many borrowed ideas that it constitutes most of the work amounts to plagiarism irrespective of if credit is given or not.

How to avoid plagiarism

For the most part, plagiarism can be avoided with much ease. The first step  is ensuring that there is no misrepresentation that is out to purport that you own the ideas presented when you do not. It is, therefore, important to give credit to authors from whom ideas are borrowed from. In other words, to avoid plagiarism, make use of internal citations to point out the source of information.

Secondly, paraphrasing is the use of one’s own words for the purposes of expressing the thoughts or ideas borrowed from other authors. Paraphrasing is yet another effective means of submitting material that free from plagiarism.

In order to avoid presenting plagiarized submissions, it is strongly recommended that quotation marks are properly used for verbatim material together with the cited  information source. Equally important is ensuring that the sources of visual representations such as tables, graphs, and charts are available. Above all, take the time to proofread and eliminate errors

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