Writing a university assignment or research paper for the first time? Keep in mind that the days of randomly writing assignments and copying others’ work have passed. Now you will have to be more careful regarding formatting style, citing other writers, and especially copying the data.
Already started thinking that there is only bad news for you? Don’t worry. This article will not disappoint you but enlighten you with the best ways to make your articles/assignments plagiarism-free and the basic guidelines provided by multiple universities to avoid plagiarism
Let’s start without any delay!
1. Learn to Site Sources
Most of the time, plagiarism occurs in the content when researchers quote others but don’t know how to cite them. They just quote them and think that they have passed the plagiarism test. But this isn’t the case in any kind of writing. Whether you are following APA, MLA, or Chicago style, you need to learn how to cite sources and avoid plagiarism. When you don’t accurately cite the sources, you make your work more difficult than expected.
Before starting writing, always make sure to read everything about the writing style you are going to follow. Besides avoiding plagiarism, writing style manuals help you in many other things. When you don’t read the guidelines, you put yourself in big trouble, and you could have to make significant changes after the whole paper is completed.
2. Improve Your Writing Skills
Usually, those students have to plagiarize who don’t have the writing skills and just want to complete the assignment at any cost. If you are one of them, you should utilize the time at your university to sharpen your writing skills. According to the University of Nottingham guidelines to avoid plagiarism, when students don’t have their own writing style and follow others, they commit plagiarism.
Do you want to plagiarize and be pointed out by the supervisor? If not, work on your writing skills and enhance your vocabulary. When you deposit a lot of words in your vocabulary bank and have your own writing style, you will easily bypass every plagiarism checker without using any unethical and illegal tricks. Besides that, it will also help you in your professional life.
3. Use Quotation Marks
Sometimes students are stuck at a point, and they cannot rephrase or rewrite some information. This happens when they have to define a phenomenon. At that time, they believe that there is only one way to elaborate on what they want to say; using the exact words that other authors have used. There is nothing wrong with this practice. Every researcher and student does this. But the problem occurs when they don’t give authorship to the real author or don’t use quotation marks.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln advises students to always use quotation marks while quoting other authors. Even if you have to write a single sentence, you should use these marks. However, there is a minor issue with it. Every writing style has a different way of writing an exact quotation. So, you have to follow the pattern approved by the writing style.
4. Develop Your Knowledge
Universities and supervisors frequently suggest that students enhance their knowledge about the topic they are writing down. It is one of the most ethical and best tricks that can help in every aspect of their research paper. Students having a command on their thesis/assignment topic don’t need to copy others’ data to prove their point. Although they dig out more research papers and journals as they like the research process, they don’t make intentional plagiarism.
They also learn what else they have to explore and how they can make their studies unique and valid. Take more time to research and develop your knowledge before starting writing.
On the other hand, when you won’t do the required research and have no idea about the thesis topic, you will try to find easier ways that will enhance the plagiarism percentage and could leave you in serious trouble.
5. Use Range of Sources
The University of Nottingham also suggests students collect data from multiple sources. Copying or getting all data from a single or a few sources could be destructive for your research paper/assignment. If you are writing a research paper, make sure to use maximum sources as it enhances credibility and lessens the chances of plagiarism. Usually, students take one research paper or thesis and cite it everywhere. Until you are writing a review about that specific paper/topic, don’t ever make the mistake of citing only a few sources repeatedly.
Now the question is, how can multiple sources avoid plagiarism? Simple, by adding a variety to your paper. When you read various articles, it definitely enhances your knowledge and improves your writing skills. In addition, you have a range of ideas to state a single argument that can help you during and after the study.
6. Check Plagiarism After Writing Every Chapter
Another important thing that some universities and supervisors suggest to their students is to check plagiarism after writing every chapter. The most significant benefit of checking plagiarism after writing every chapter is that it hints at what mistakes you shouldn’t repeat and how much plagiarism margin you have. In addition, it also helps you remove plagiarism in a single chapter instead of removing it from the whole of your thesis or research paper.
You should keep in mind that you must find a reliable plagiarism checker for students that can accurately detect plagiarized parts of your assignment/paper. Plenty of plagiarism software are available in the market, but not everyone is suitable for university students as they cannot check plagiarism accurately. That is why you should do your research and then select the one you believe is the best plagiarism tool.
7. Try Rewriting Method
In case you feel that you have included a lot of exact quotations and now you should avoid doing it. You should go for the rewriting method as it is the best way to prevent intentional plagiarism. Almost every researcher uses this method to make the paper unique, and you can also try it. However, whether you rewrite someone or paraphrase, you should cite the real source of information.
Northern Illinois University encourages its students to learn how to paraphrase sentences and make academic assignments plagiarism-free. However, you must not change the actual data or misinterpret the real source. It could badly harm the credibility of your thesis.
8. Proofread Your Assignments
Another essential thing that most universities suggest to make assignments plagiarism-free is proofreading them before submission. But unfortunately, some students don’t proofread their assignments and submit them to their supervisors, and when teachers check them, they find major mistakes in the whole work. It affects the students’ grades and wastes their time and effort.
To ensure your assignment is free from contextual errors, grammatical mistakes, and plagiarism, always proofread your assignments. Proofreading also helps you enhance your knowledge about the topic, impress your teachers, and get you better grades than you expect.
You can take the help of online tools for this purpose. As there are proofreading tools available on the internet. That can help to proofread assignments/papers within a matter of seconds. Manual proofreading can take a lot of time and there are chances you skip an error. So, find a reliable grammar checker that can help to proofread and find all the grammatical and spelling issues and it will also give you suggestions to remove those errors.
9. Don’t Misinterpret Sources
Wondered why this point is mentioned in this article? Although it is ethical and a piece of good advice, it doesn’t seem fit in the context of avoiding plagiarism. Northern Illinois University has mentioned it on their official website as a suggestion for their students and anyone who visits it.
The real question is still there. How is it relevant to avoiding plagiarism? In case you misinterpret someone, you may accidentally plagiarize another author. Usually, this happens when you write on the common topics that most students prefer to opt for. When you misinterpret an author, and the plagiarism checker detects duplicates to another source, it could create severe troubles for you.
10. Always Keep Notes
The University of London and the University of Nottingham emphasize making notes while researching. Keeping the notes is another remarkable way to make your assignments error and plagiarism-free. The students usually start writing when they find reliable and relevant data. And when they explore other papers or books, they get confused and try to adjust them. This practice can lead them to plagiarism. Therefore, you must not make this mistake. Whenever you collect relevant data, make notes or save it somewhere. When you read all the articles you want to quote, organize everything and start writing. This practice will help you manage the data in the best possible way and avoid intentional or unintentional plagiarism.
Research/academic writing is difficult for those students who don’t want to put their efforts into it. However, the students who want to make their research more credible and achieve better grades and reputation can easily write their papers without any issues. There are multiple ways to avoid and remove plagiarism, but students should only use the methods accepted and suggested by their universities.