It has become very easy to find information nowadays on the internet and that is why most research papers submitted by students have similar words to those they find online. At the same time, because information is easily available and accessible, it is not always that easy for students to avoid falling on the trap of information theft. Adding to the ways of combating plagiarism in the previous article, this article lists a number of ways to avoid intellectual theft. If you follow the simple steps below while composing your research paper, you can be sure that your final document will be free from issues to do with theft.
- Taking notes of the ideas that you have borrowed. Before you begin writing, make sure you are holding a piece of paper where the borrowed ideas are listed. In simple terms, in order to avoid plagiarism, read the article and write down the ideas you will be borrowing before beginning the writing process. At the same time, before you can note these ideas, it is important to also know the other details of the sources used in that particular source. For example, when you are using an internet link or a page on a website, the author of this information should have also borrowed from a variety of references. In order to do this properly, you can use the technique of different color pens to show you which idea is whose and how to reference them. While highlighted the ideas in different color pens, you could also note whether the source is a book, a journal, a website or a newspaper article. This is also helpful to have you write down not only the ideas borrowed from other authors but also help you to apply these ideas in order. While noting the ideas, you can also note the page number in which the information is borrowed from and by incorporating this into your research could be a sure way to avoid plagiarism. While you do this, you should constantly remind yourself that a bibliography section is also needed and therefore at the end of your note taking you can include bibliography information such as the URL of your sources.
- Cite all possible references. It is not unusual to find students living up to the expectation of their instructors to only borrow from great and professional ideas from experts in order to form exceptional arguments. Are you one the students who believes that only professional references should be used? Then be sure to incorporate sources from students or your own work that you might have probably completed in the previous semester. One common form of plagiarism is called self-plagiarism. This happens when an individual uses his own ideas to compose a new paper and fails to acknowledge himself as the original composer of those ideas. With this kind plagiarism it means that any work that one has previously done could be used a source. You do not have to be a professional to cite your source but assignments that you have presented in another course or work that you have done before can be used as a possible reference. In the event you get confused on which ideas you could borrow and which ones you cannot, you can quote from your previous development as a way to give credit to yourself as the author. It would be wise to cite all possible sources where your new ideas have been borrowed from. Citing your development can save you a great deal from plagiarism. You can choose to cite your own source as a way to stay relevant in your work and be confident that you are doing something familiar and unique that differentiates you from your peers.
- Quoting. Another important technique used to avoid plagiarism is the use of quotes. When quoting a source, you can choose to use the quote exactly as it appears on the original document. Choosing to use the quote as it is could be a way to avoid misquoting the author and give credit to the author while the quote does not really match that which he said. Most learning institutions have designed quote restrictions in a way that one can only use block quotes or not use more than 40 quotes in a development. Whichever way you choose to quote, whether using direct words or paraphrasing the quote and writing it in your own words, you can be sure that your final development will be free from plagiarism accusations. The process of quoting takes a lot of time especially when you choose to paraphrase the quote but you can be sure that your effort will pay off in the end. All you need to do is make sure that the quoting is properly done to avoid allegations of plagiarism. Remember, no one wants to be misquoted, so if you choose to rewrite the quote, ensure that you maintain the idea of the author then give your acknowledgement. In the end, edit your paper very well, re-read the quotes before submitting it to your professor.
The above mentioned steps are very essential when you need to stay away from plagiarism allegations.