This guide will help you learn how to prevent plagiarism and explore the tools that help keep your writing unique.
Why Plagiarism Represents a Problem?
Even though most college learners these days have heard about plagiarism, the problem is still a serious issue in the academic community, especially if one refers to self-plagiarism or various cases of improper or fake citing. Learning how to prevent plagiarism is essential. Most people face the trouble purely by accident when they get overly inspired by the source and fail to provide relevant references. The definition of plagiarism also includes various “mining” techniques where academic misconduct is distributed through the text like a mosaic. It is a reason why college professors and universities tend to implement various AI-based solutions that seek and detect cases of plagiarism. Unfortunately, not every tool is the same and skilled experts will use a mixture of digital tools and human proofreading. It makes the prevention of plagiarism a challenging task that requires time and experience.
The dangers of plagiarism are evident as students may get expelled from the course or even face criminal persecution when a research paper has been published. Regardless of the circumstances, learning how to prevent plagiarism must be a part of the culture and the morals of every learner. It’s especially relevant for medical and engineering students. According to statistical data provided by the International Center for Academic Integrity, around 58% of college students admitted to cheating as they have been caught by the detection tools or assigned college professors. At least 95% of learners admitted to participation in illegal practices and using electronic sources that have not been authorized by the academic advisors. The same relates to working together when a task is an individual one. It serves as proof that plagiarism avoidance always comes down to responsibility.
Plagiarism Prevention Techniques
It depends on your assignment’s type and the situation. Self-plagiarism issues can be encountered at any stage of the learning process. As you learn how to prevent plagiarism when writing, you should focus on the list of sources that you have and the paraphrasing aspect, which will help you to address most of the dangers.
These are the methods that you should implement to stay safe:
- Paraphrasing. It’s one of the best ways to avoid plagiarism, yet it requires solid knowledge of the subject and good writing techniques. Paraphrasing stands for telling about something in your own words by keeping the original meaning. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that you can paraphrase and leave things “as is” if something is not your original idea. Provide a link to original source even as you paraphrase.
- Correct Citation Methods. Another frequent plagiarism issue modern students face is a lack of knowledge regarding how to cite and what information must be provided. If your citation is incomplete or totally wrong, it is considered a type of plagiarism. Learn the rules of your writing style (APA, MLA, Harvard, Vancouver, etc) and always double-check each reference. If you cannot find sufficient information about your source, it’s better to omit it.
- Balance of Quotes and Analysis. When you process your paper through a classic plagiarism checker tool or send it to your school campus, you will receive an originality report with the percentage. One of the ways to improve things is to use the quotes wisely and add some analysis in between. It will help to keep a healthy balance that will make your writing more unique.
- Proofreading Techniques. Do not forget to proofread and edit your writing by focusing on how your assignment is structured. Don’t start with citations and do not place them at the end of the paragraph. Add at least 1-2 sentences for each part.
- Plagiarism Detection Tools. The use of plagiarism checkers is another excellent way to keep yourself safe from plagiarism risks.
Why Use Plagiarism Detection Software?
You will encounter numerous plagiarism detection tools online, yet not all of them are free and safe to use. The most famous example of plagiarism-detection software is TurnItIn, which has been used by colleges and universities for decades. It’s not free to use and has a serious flaw - it stores your information and compares your text to your own assignment the next time you submit your paper.
Speaking of the safe option for preventing plagiarism, consider a tool by Fixgerald that will check your college assignments without risking your privacy. Just paste your content or upload a document to see the report and edit things to perfection online!
Plagiarism Prevention or Keeping Focused
This aspect is not often mentioned, yet one of the most important factors to consider as you learn how to prevent plagiarism is keeping focused or staying attentive to those little details that include formatting, the accuracy of your citations, and the use of paraphrasing where it’s allowed. It can only be achieved if you know your writing well and follow the rules to the letter. Without a doubt, it will take more time to proofread and edit things, yet your writing will become concise and well-structured as you check every critical point. If you are certain that the use of some theory or statistical information is absolutely necessary, simply highlight these parts in your draft and implement plagiarism detection tools before the final editing. It will help you remember to come back to highlighted essay parts without having to change your writing completely.
Finally, it’s your attitude that should come first! If you intend to copy something, ask yourself whether it’s truly necessary and take your time to paraphrase and provide due citations with an explanation as to why the quote is there. Every college assignment that you provide must be yours and should offer unique content even when you provide a synthesis of available data. Stay honest, check things twice, and you will always remain safe!
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