How to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Articles
Once in a while, there is a time when you feel less creative, and you cannot come up with original ideas to write. In such times, you are likely to borrow other people’s ideas and include them in your article without citing or referencing them. It is a dangerous practice, and it is known as plagiarism. It is an offense with dire consequences which might include revocation of a permit, expulsion from an institution or reduction of points in an exam. There is no excuse for it, and you cannot claim to it all happened as a coincident. However, it can be easily avoided and presently, you can find several guidelines and tools on the internet to help you write a plagiarism free article. This article explains how you can avoid plagiarism in your writings.
Plan your writing – The essence of planned writing is to avoid the hastes that one does when the deadline is fast approaching because these rushes can lead to mistakes and plagiarism. You have time to do an in-depth research and revise your article over and over. You can also have a peer review where a friend or a colleague can step in to help you revise and edit the writing accordingly. A different pair of eyes can point out what you could not detect thus you end up with a perfect and plagiarism free article.
Copyscape – The internet is always resourceful, and if you explore it, you will find several tools for detecting plagiarism including Copyscape. This tool is essential for any person that has any business to do on the internet. Its application is not only relevant to online business proprietors but also writers who want to upload their articles online. It checks if there are other articles with the same wordings on the internet. From there, you can edit it accordingly to do away with plagiarized sections.
Cite and reference borrowed ideas – Sharing information is the essence of knowledge and should you borrow information from other sources then you must be ready to quote the author or do reference accordingly. It also includes those articles that you had earlier written, and now you are borrowing ideas from them to complete your current article. With proper citation and referencing, your article will have not plagiarism. You can use different citation styles such as Chicago, MLA or APA formats.
Know the facts – You cannot copyright a fact, and thus, it should not be cited. If you borrow exact text from a source, then you must cite it. Your observations, thoughts and personal opinions should not be cited as long as you have not used them in another article. You also need not cite scientific findings from an experiment which you have just discovered.