Essay writing is not an easy task because there are times when writers find it hard to cite sources properly and if they think they have done it properly, they could have feel challenged later due to some uncertainties. One uncertainty that arises from citing sources is hidden in the fact that one becomes confused on which ideas are his and which ones are borrowed and this might refer to others a miss. This is a very common case especially when writers tend to share similar ideas with the author of the sources they have borrowed from.
Does one have to reference and cite the source when he has modified or paraphrased the wordings from the source?
This question is also very common among writers especially those who do not know much about referencing. This happens because learners are sometimes ignorant of what they need to do when they have similar cases of citation problems and because they do not find genuine help, they come into contact with the law as a result of plagiarism. In order to avoid such instances, you can keep reading the rest of the article to find out the recommended guidelines for combating plagiarism.
Tips: Combating Plagiarism in 2019
- Seek clarification from professors. When instructors give you assignments, they know best what kind of citations should be used for that particular paper they have assigned to you. And because students have different courses and assignments to complete, they should not assume that one style of citation can be used on another development. Because of the factor of different courses, students should seek proper consultation and clarification from their instructors. Other than clarifying with citation style should be used, professors could also help in teaching you how to lay and organize your paper’s ideas. Professors also have the required knowledge need for proper citation of sources when you consult with them. With consultation, professors might be willing to even show you how to approach your paper. With this kind of guidance, you can be sure to avoid even the slightest forms of intellectual theft.
- Have your thoughts organized. Sometimes you cannot avoid using the ideas of others for add onto your argument. Basically, researching deals with a lot of idea borrowing but even when you borrow ideas, you have to remember that your own thoughts must be organized to avoid using the other person’s idea. With this said, after reading a different source, you now know which ideas you will incorporate in your work and the ones you will leave out. Once you are sure of what you will be doing, note down your own ideas in an organized manner. This is necessary to show you how the different sets of ideas in your paper can be organized and built using another research. All writers must have knowledge of this in order to understand the uniqueness of their ideas and be able to tell when they are plagiarizing.
- You can choose to cite your own material. One kind of plagiarism that exists today is self-plagiarism. Self plagiarism happens when a writer uses his ideas from a previous paper but assumes that since the work is his, there is no need to cite. This is not true. In as much as the material is yours, you still have to cite regardless of whether you are a student or a professional writer. If the material you presented in your previous class can still be used to build your new ideas, you must remember to cite yourself. Your previous text should be treated the same way as though someone else write it. You might think the idea of citing yourself sounds odd but it is very necessary when you need to avoid any instance of plagiarism.
- Read and understand. Like mentioned before, one cannot always avoid using another person’s idea to develop their ideas. If you must use another person’s source, another way to avoid plagiarism is by reading the source before you start writing. Reading the material makes you have a greater understanding of what the author is saying and the understanding you have gotten is what you should use to make your composition. One mistake students make it to open a word document on their computer and write as they read and this could be reason why most of them are found guilty of intellectual theft because of poor understanding.
- 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.
- Paraphrase correctly. One effective way in which you can communicate the ideas of other in your research paper is by paraphrasing. In simple terms, paraphrasing is the modification of sentences, words and phrases by another person into your own words after complete understanding. When paraphrasing, one should remember that the sentence structure should be altered but the main idea of the author retained. At the same time, when you rewrite in your own words, you are not allowed to own the concept because the wordings are yours. Proper citation and acknowledgement of the author is still needed so that you do not get caught with issues of plagiarism. In paraphrasing, one rewrites another person’s idea in a way to avoid using direct quotes from the original author but for a larger percentage of students rewriting is used to hide the fact that they have incorporated another person’s idea into their own. Students find it stigmatizing to have other people know that they have used the ideas of others to support their own.
What such students do not know is that it would be very helpful to openly admit to using another person’s idea to form a strong argument because attributing that these ideas are not yours is one way to stay away from allegations of plagiarism. Using the work of others to form a strong argument is also a way to tell your readers that you can develop your own view and an argument that stands out from the crowd. Paraphrasing and attributing your work to the real author also makes your readers more convinced that the views and points you have developed are professional because you have relied on experts. Rewriting another person’s words as submitting it as you developed is bad especially when you cite your sources correctly and have the authors of these sources mentioned. At the same time, rewritten statements are significant to have your final development more clear and coherent.
- Assess all references. The internet has been blamed as the leading cause to having students submit plagiarized work but the same internet in conjunction with information technology and other internet advances have found the web to be a correction of the same. On the internet, there is data that is reliable and that which is not credible. It is very important to find out the sites that can help you know which sources are credible and those that are not. Websites can be found from a simple Google search and you can use the same websites to consult and refer to sources. There is also a universal suggestion that in order to know which sources can be used, the internet is a helpful source and from a copy pasted search, you can get accurate and updated information regarding a particular source. With doing this, you can be sure to avoid dealing with issues of plagiarism that result from the use of non reliable sources.
- Cite authors accurately. In the middle of your research, you have to incorporate what is known as in text citations where you give a summary of the author and the year of publication followed by the page number is which the data is gathered from. Other than citing inside your text, a proper section of bibliography must be composed to make sure the authors are cited correctly coupled with the title for their development. When do this accurately, you avoid confusing your readers. Among all concepts of avoiding plagiarism, it is very vital that you do not mix ideas of authors and find it hard to show your audience which author discussed what. The bibliography section helps your audience to click on a link that would directly lead them to that particular source. Make sure when you cite the authors to your source, your audience does not remain puzzled. Crediting authors is a very vital step in staying away from plagiarism allegations. It is one thing to cite your sources correctly and it is another thing to cite and have your readers confused. Make sure citation is done properly.
In a Nutshell;
Combating plagiarism is very easy and by following the steps discussed above, one can be sure to stay away from issues to deal with theft of information. As a student, you should remember that the responsibility to avoid plagiarism rests on your shoulder and in as much as your instructors have a role to play, the greater role is yours as a student. In trying to avoid plagiarism, be sure to talk to your instructors any time you are not sure of what you are about to do. Always read the material before writing or before paraphrasing because reading prior to writing makes you have the whole idea of the author’s argument and you can choose to use certain ideas from what you have understood.