20:32 05 December 2017
If you’re unsure as to whether your written assignment contains plagiarism or want to double check student’s work, you can identify the percentage of copied text using an online plagiarism checker. Whilst you shouldn’t fear accidently committing plagiarism, here are 5 simple ways to ensure your work is plagiarism-free.
The best simple way to avoid plagiarism is to know what it is. Whilst many people believe they know what plagiarism consists of, few can pinpoint what it directly is. A great way to test your knowledge is to take one of the many plagiarism quizzes online, or read up about the topic. If in doubt, know that plagiarism consists of using someone else’s work without their consent and claiming it as your own.
The next best way to avoid plagiarism is to create an outline of your work. Whilst some people prefer to go with the flow of their writing, others significantly benefit from planning the title, subtitles and identifying the focus points of their work. Not only will creating an outline of your work help you write faster and more efficiently, but you won’t end up copying an entire piece of online content word for word, and you’ll almost always get the structure right the first time.
Just because the internet is home to page upon page of content, doesn’t mean that each piece of useful information you extract for your essay or work doesn’t need to be cited. In order to cite your sources correctly, avoid plagiarism at all costs and improve the strength of your work, we suggest listing the sites you used to get your information as you go along. When it comes to citing online sources, you must note down the websites author’s name, work title, the group responsible for the website, the date the website was last updated, date of posting and the URL, otherwise you may be subject to accident plagiarism.
Sometimes, in a hurry, we start “writing blind”. This means that you may start incorporating phrases or words into your work that belong to somebody else – without realising it! The ultimate way to avoid making this mistake is to leave your essay for 2-3 days before you compare it with your notes. This way, you can re-read your paper with a fresh mind and ensure it is plagiarism free.
When you’re in a rush it’s easy to go online and copy and paste snippets of useful information into your document to use as the base of your first draft. Whilst this may seem harmless, cutting and pasting is a dangerous game. It’s easy to mix up your writing with the information you have found online, and completely forget about it. Whilst, in some cases, cutting and pasting is unavoidable, if you do need to cut and paste we suggest putting the copied material in quotation marks and clearly identify the source where you found the information.
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