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How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Paper

Published on: Jul 11, 2023
Updated on: Aug 15, 2023
Table of content
  • Why can you be accused of plagiarism
  • Basic citation rules
  • Source evaluation
  • 4 ways to avoid plagiarism
  • Checklist
  • Summing up

Students spend many hours trying to do the best paper for the university or college by studying literature and researching. And when somebody says that their work was plagiarized, it seems wholly unjustified and offensive. Besides the fact that such a situation looks unfair, it can affect your reputation during studying and job search.

How to avoid plagiarism in a research paper? What to do to make your research paper professional and immediately liked by the professor? We will tell in this article, so keep reading!

Why Can You Be Accused of Plagiarism?

Why, when a student writes a paper, can they be accused of plagiarism? There may be several reasons:

  • they used someone’s ideas;
  • they did not indicate the author;
  • they accidentally repeated someone’s thoughts.

Whatever it was, the accusation of plagiarism is a serious violation for which you can be expelled from the university. Thus, it is better to not plagiarize and write research papers themselves. Plagiarism is not only unethical, but it can also have many other consequences. It can destroy your academic reputation. And if you want to avoid it, you must put in the effort.
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Basic Citation Rules

There are several forms of plagiarism, but it can be avoided if you follow all the citation rules.

  1. You must cite all books and resources used in your research paper correctly. It includes both direct quotes and paraphrased information.
  2. Plagiarism can be avoided by understanding the difference between common knowledge and original ideas. Common knowledge, such as historical events or scientific facts, does not need to be cited. Any original ideas or opinions should be appropriately attributed to their source.

Today it is almost impossible to write a completely original research paper. Firstly, a lot has been researched, and secondly, you initially rely on existing knowledge. For example, when exploring the terrain, you initially rely on Earth being voluminous, not flat. Next, you rely on data that other scientists have received about this or that rock, type of atmospheric plates, etc. Thus, your research is influenced by many other people’s data and knowledge even before you write the first word.

You could be accused of plagiarism even if you wrote all the work yourself. Therefore, thousands of works have been written on various topics today, and it is very difficult to be unique. You can accidentally write an idea that another person has already voiced and get accused of plagiarism.

But do not rush to get upset. There are ways to protect yourself from accusations!

Conducting Proper Research and Source Evaluation — the Best Way to Avoid Plagiarism

During research, you need to use reliable and trustworthy ideas and sources. It is especially vital in today’s digital age, where information is readily available but not consistently accurate. You should follow a few key steps for proper research and source evaluation.

First, start by identifying your research question or topic. It will help you focus your search and ensure that you are finding relevant information. Once you have your topic, you can begin searching for bases. It is essential to use various sources, including books, articles, and websites, to get a well-rounded view of the topic.

Next, evaluate the sources you have found. Look for sources written by field experts, those published by reputable organizations, and ones that have been peer-reviewed. Avoid sources that are biased or have an agenda, as these may not provide accurate information. When evaluating websites, look for signs of credibility, such as a clear author or publisher, a date of publication or update, and a list of sources cited. Be wary of overly promotional websites or use sensational headlines to grab attention.

Finally, properly cite your sources in your research paper or project. It not only gives credit to the original authors but also helps to establish the credibility of your work.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your research is based on reliable sources and is accurate and trustworthy!

4 Sure Ways to Avoid Plagiarism

Always try to do your best to avoid plagiarism. It doesn’t matter if it’s a student essay or large-scale research. You must be careful and correctly identify all authors whose thoughts or ideas you use when writing your own. These easy ways will help you maintain your academic reputation and write quality, original papers.

1. Use your own words.

Forget about just copying text from someone else’s work. Read the author’s thoughts several times, and choose the ideas you want to quote in your work. Then paraphrase in your words. Attribute the author of this idea and add your thoughts on this matter. Why do you agree or disagree with the conclusions? Don’t forget about this rule so you can avoid unintentional plagiarism.

2. Show whose ideas you include.

If you use someone’s paper, give them credit by citing your sources correctly. Many students believe that if they rewrite an idea with new phrases, this cannot be considered plagiarism. But this is a mistake. You can include using in-text citations, footnotes, or bibliography, depending on your style guide. It is the main rule. Simple citation saves you from any problems and accusations of plagiarism. It would be best to quote those sections where you took the text word for word and what you paraphrased. This way, you give respect to the author and show that you did an excellent job on the text. Be careful to stick to the one citation form accepted at your university.

3. Use special programs.

Many online tools and algorithms can help you check your assignment for originality. These tools can compare your essay or paper to a vast database of other sources. If, as a result of the check, you see that some sections are indicated as plagiarism, delete or rewrite them. All students’ work after delivery is checked for originality, and low-quality text will be immediately noticeable. All plagiarism checkers use similar principles, so if your research paper looks like plagiarism, the professor will see it, even if they use a different checker.

4. Save the notes, drafts, and source lists to get away with plagiarism accusations.

If you did everything yourself but are still accused of plagiarism for some reason, drafts and a list of used sources will help you save your reputation. You can show how you worked on the document’s text and what information you relied on. On this basis, bypass accusations of plagiarism. Keep the drafts until the study paper is accepted and graded by the teacher.

Following these main ways will help ensure the work is original, honest, and credible.

Checklist for Students Who Want to Prevent Plagiarism

As a responsible student, ensuring your work is plagiarism-free is vital. To avoid plagiarism, you should use a simple checklist with every new essay or research paper.

1. Plan the work before making the research paper: Ensure you understand the topic before writing. Research thoroughly and take notes from various books and sources.

2. Don’t forget about quotes and citations: Always provide proper attribution when using someone’s ideas in the research paper.

3. Rephrase carefully:  If you need to use someone’s ideas, use this method. Rephrasing doesn’t mean changing a few words here and there. It means expressing ideas in your unique style with new thoughts and analysis.

4. Write down all the sources you used: You may forget to name an author at the time of writing. And the list of sources used will help you find the one who owned the thought.

You can create an interesting and original paper by following these simple steps to avoid plagiarism. It not only helps you maintain your credibility as a writer but also helps you avoid any legal issues.

Summing Up

Composing the study paper can be really challenging. You need to understand the theme and question you research, make a lot of work, and mind norms. Sometimes you can be captured with plagiarism unreasonably. But you can save yourself if, before handing over the paper, you:

  • check the papers with the anti-plagiarism algorithms;
  • save the drafts to show the work process and ideas;
  • quote all the ideas that you use.

Try these tips on your following paper and enjoy the result!
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