Writing academic papers isn’t an easy process: you need to consider and choose a suitable topic, conduct thorough research, and provide the analysis of the information you’ve collected. No wonder, many students struggle during this process, encountering various problems–among them, plagiarism. This issue is considered a serious offense in the academic community: plagiarism is essentially stealing the ideas of other authors without admitting their input. Furthermore, it prevents the professors from fairly evaluating the achievements of students and creates an atmosphere of distrust between the researchers.
Hence, the punishment for plagiarism can be severe: from low grades to expulsion from your college or university. What’s more, plagiarism can even be accidental, if you don’t know the rules, so if you’re a novice writer, you need to be especially careful to avoid it. We’ve prepared several recommendations on preventing plagiarism and eliminating it completely from your writing: check to ensure that your essays are fully original.
Cite all your sources
The first thing to do is reference all the books and articles you use to complete your essay. All the ideas that are not your own but taken from outside sources should be cited properly to address the work of their authors. Furthermore, even if you use data from your own previous articles and essays, citing is necessary. This approach also helps the professors, who evaluate the quality of your writing, see if the sources are relevant and trustworthy. However, you don’t need to cite common facts and knowledge that everyone takes for granted. For example, noting that smoking is harmful to an individual’s health does not require a citation, but you’ll have to cite statistics on the number of people who smoke in the USA during specific periods of time.
Use proper citation style
However, don’t forget that different disciplines call for different citation styles–sets of rules that determine which information about the article you include and in what order it is written. The most common of them are MLA, mainly reserved for humanities, APA for psychology, education, and other social sciences, and Chicago for history and science. However, some universities or academic journals have their own rules and guidelines concerning citing and referencing, so check the instructions of your assignment carefully. Using a proper citation style demonstrates your attention to instructions, provides all necessary information about the sources you use, and helps you receive an excellent grade for your work.
Write down your sources
If you work with an extensive research paper, you can easily get confused and forget from which source you’ve got some particular bits of information. To prevent this problem, keep track of the texts you use and write down the name of the author, the article’s title, and the number of pages where you’ve found the data. This way, if you later need to check something for your reference list, you’ll be able to access and review the source easily. This expert approach allows you to save time and ensure that everything borrowed from other authors is properly cited and referenced.
Use outside assistance
No one would argue that writing academic papers is challenging, and avoiding plagiarism doesn’t make this task easier. However, you don’t have to rely on your efforts alone: nothing prevents you from using support from outside experts and services. For example, you can hire a tutor to help you with your studies and check your papers for plagiarism and grammatical errors.
Another effective approach is asking for support from a specialized company that provides academic support to students in the form of individualized essay samples. CustomWritings.com or a similar professional website provides students with essay writing help by producing customized papers completed according to your instructions. Of course, you cannot buy a paper from these companies and simply submit it: it would be considered a case of plagiarism as the paper wasn’t written by you. However, a professional example offers you personalized guidance in writing an original essay on your own and various sources to borrow.
Use a variety of sources
If you wish to create unique papers from scratch, developing extensive background knowledge and using it in your works is a must. Hence, drawing information from various sources would be the best decision since you’ll be able to analyze the data thoroughly and include your unique conclusions. Such an approach demonstrates your ability to develop novel ideas and complete research to find the required knowledge. Don’t forget to ensure that the knowledge you add to your paper is trustworthy–use published books, articles from peer-reviewed journals, and other reliable sources.
Develop your own writing style
Though direct citations are sometimes required, most of your work should consist of paraphrased information and your own conclusions based on it. Hence, developing your own writing style and using it to create informative and interesting papers is vital for staying on top in class. To accomplish this, you need to read regularly: preferably scientific books and research articles, to understand the specifics of academic writing style. Furthermore, practicing is a must since it improves your English skills and provides you with the more hands-on experience necessary for making your essays perfect.
Use plagiarism checkers
Let’s say that you’ve completed your essay: but how can you know if everything is paraphrased properly and there are no traces of plagiarism? In this case, using specialized checkers is a logical choice: these programs highlight potentially plagiarized sentences, provide links to original sources online, and evaluate similarity percentage. Some plagiarism checkers, for example, the one provided by Grammarly, also highlight grammar errors in your writing, offering you more appropriate spelling.
Hence, using plagiarism checkers can help you improve your paraphrasing skills, ensure that there are no too-similar sentences and wording in your text, and even improve it from a grammatical standpoint. They are also usually free or work for a pretty cheap fee, so becoming their customer is possible for students in different financial positions. You can take a look at the online reviews to check if the program suits your needs.
Plagiarism is one of the most serious problems in the academic world, and the punishment for it is accordingly severe. However, the main issue of this approach is the breach of honesty and integrity principles which spreads mistrust in the community of researchers in any field. Hence, avoiding it altogether is the best decision young writers can make if they wish to succeed in their academic careers. Thankfully, it’s entirely possible even if you don’t have much experience in writing custom essays and research papers.
First, citing all ideas you borrow from other authors appropriately ensures that their contribution is addressed. Don’t forget to paraphrase their words–your article shouldn’t consist only of direct citations. Using various sources and thoroughly referencing all of them helps you provide all information in your article. However, you can turn for outside assistance to ease this challenge. Asking a tutor or a professional service to guide you in the writing process or running your paper through a plagiarism checker yields great results and helps you ensure that the text is fully unique.