You are on page 1of 4

4/4/2015

HowtoAvoidPlagiarism:7Steps(withPictures)wikiHow

HowtoAvoidPlagiarism
Plagiarizing,orrepresentingsomeoneelse'sideasorwordsasyourown,will
causeproblemsforpeopleinanystageoflife.Studentsgetflunkedforitandit
evencostJoeBidenashotatbecomingtheUSPresidentin1988.[1]Hereis
howyoucanmakesureyoudon'tplagiarizeonpurposeorbyaccident.

Steps

Understandwhatplagiarismis.TheAmericanHeritagedictionarydefines
plagiarismas:"theunauthorizeduseorcloseimitationofthelanguageand

thoughtsofanotherauthorandtherepresentationofthemasone'sownoriginalwork."[2]
Thusplagiarismnotonlyincludesthewordforwordcopyingofanotherpieceofwork,
butcloseimitationofitalso.Usingsynonymsandotherwordchoicesisnotanexcuseto
justifyplagiarism.Youshouldwriteapieceoftextstrictlyinyourownwordsandthen
citeyoursources.
Originalsource:"Thelawofthelandprohibitedslavesfromseeking
remunerationfromtheirmastersforeventhemostheinouscrimes."
Plagiarizing:"Thelawofthelandforbadeslavesfromseeking
damagesfromtheirmastersforeventhemostvilecrimes."
Notplagiarizing:"Eveninjured,tortured,ortauntedslavescouldnot
pressforremunerationfromtheirmastersaccordingtoUnitedStates
lawatthetime.(Jefferson,157)"
Plagiarismcanalsoapplyto:[3]
Downloadingapaperfromtheinternet.
Hiringsomeonetowritesomethingforyou.
Attemptingtomaketheideasofothersappearliketheyareyourown.

Befamiliarintheareathatyouaretalkingabout.Byunderstandingthesubject,
youaremorelikelytowriteinyourownwords,ratherthanrestatesomeoneelse's

definitionofthissubject.Lookforinformationonthetopicyouwanttowriteabout.This
canbeontheInternetorinbooks,althoughbooksarealmostalwaysmoreauthoritative
thantheInternet.
Thetrickhereistograbseveraldifferentsourcesofinformation.Ifyou'rerelying
onjustonesourceabookaboutslaverythechancesarehigheryou'll
inadvertentlycopyorplagiarize.Ifyourelyonthreebooksaboutslavery,one
documentary,andtwooriginalsources,thechancesaremuchlowerthatyou'll
inadvertentlyplagiarize.

Restatethesubjecttoyourselfacoupleoftimes.Thekeyistounderstandthe
materialandbeabletoexpressitsmeaninginyourownwords.Trytoavoid

http://www.wikihow.com/AvoidPlagiarism

1/4

4/4/2015

HowtoAvoidPlagiarism:7Steps(withPictures)wikiHow

readingfromanotherauthor'smaterialtoomuch,asyouwillbemoreinclinedtorestate
thatauthor'sexactstatement.
Originalsource:"Slavesworkedgrueling12hourdays,fromsunuptosun
down,survivingonlittlemorethan1,200caloriesofstarchesandtheirown
blood,sweat,andtears."
Reworked:"Survivingonabouthalfofwhatwetodayconsiderthe
suggestedcaloricintake,slavesinthe19thcenturyworkedbitter,back
breakinghours.(Jefferson,88)"
Reworked:"Inthe19thcentury,slavesworkedforaslongasthere
waslight,receivinglittleinthewayofnutrition.(Jefferson,88)"

Referenceyourquotesandsources.Youshouldincludeabibliographyorworks
citedinyourpaper.Ifyouuseadirectquotefromanotherauthor'swork,thenyou

shouldquoteitandciteitproperly.ManyteachersacceptthestandardMLAformat,
unlessotherwisespecified.

Whenindoubt,givecredit.Therearealotofwaystodothisinordertoavoid
plagiarism.Hereareafew:
Mentionthesourceinsideyourparaphrase:"AccordingtoRichardFeynman,
quantumelectrodynamicscanbedescribedusingpathintegralformulations."
Putquotationmarksarounduniquephrasesyouthinkcouldbeinterpretedas
beingcopied:"A'paradigmshift'happenswhenonescientificrevolutionforces
thecommunitytothinkoftheworldinafundamentallydifferentway."

Understandsomebasicsaboutcopyright.Plagiarismcanbemorethanabad
academicpractice,itcanbeaviolationofthelawifyoubreakcopyright.Hereis

whatyouneedtounderstandtostaylegal:
Asageneralrule,factscannotbecopyrighted.Thismeansthatyouareableto
useanyfactsyoufindtosupportyourwriting.[4]
Althoughfactsarenotsubjecttocopyright,thewordsusedtoexpressthemare,
particularlyifthewordingisoriginalorunique(copyrightcoversoriginal
expression).Youarefreetouseinformationfromothermaterialsinyour
articles,butyoumustuseyourownwordstoexpressit.Toavoidthis,youcan
taketheexistingfactsandputthemintoyourownwords.Thereisagraceon
howdifferentthephrasecanbeaddingacommaisnotenough.However,
changingthegrammararoundis.[5]

Understandwhatdoesn'tneedtobecited.Noteverysinglethinginacademic
researchneedstobecited,orelseresearchwouldbetoopainfulforpeopleto

undertake.Thefollowingthingsdon'tneedtobecitedinyourresearchandfinalpapers:
Commonsenseobservations,folklore,urbanlegends,andwellknownhistorical
events,suchasthedateofthePearlHarborAttacks.
Yourownexperiences,insights,creations,andmusings.
Yourownvideos,presentations,music,andothermediacreatedandoriginated
byyou.
Thescientificevidenceyougatheredafterperformingyourowntests,polls,etc.
http://www.wikihow.com/AvoidPlagiarism

2/4

4/4/2015

HowtoAvoidPlagiarism:7Steps(withPictures)wikiHow

Wecouldreallyuseyourhelp!
Canyouhelpus

Canyoutellusabout

Canyoutellusabout

Canyoutellusabout

ratearticles?

summer
squash?

NewErahats?

reference
requests?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Tips
Someschoolsofferprograms/servicesthatscanpapersforplagiarized
content.Ifyouarehighlyconcerned,thenyoumightwanttoconsider
suchservices.
Here'sonesuggestionforgettingthingsintoyourownwords.Use
Google'slanguagetoolstotakeanarticleandtranslateitintoanother
language:forexample,EnglishtoGerman.Thencopyandpaste
Google'stranslationbackintoGoogle'slanguagetoolsandtranslate
thatintoanotherlanguage:inourexample,GermantoPortuguese.
ThentranslatethatbackintoEnglish.Youwillendupwithextremely
brokenEnglishthatisbarelyunderstandable.Usingtheknowledgeof
thesubjectthatyou'vegainedfromreadingthearticlesand
researching,nowyoucanfixthebrokenEnglishandwillhavean
articlethathasyourowninfluenceplacedonit.
Ifyoumustcopy,donotcopywholepagesorparagraphs!Instead,
putmostofitintoyourownwords,andquotethecopiedpart.Then,
citeyoursourceusingtheproperBibliographyformat.Use
EasyBib.comtociteyoursourcesintheproperformat.
Ifyouarehonestlywritingapaperoressay,thechancesofyou
plagiarizinganotherperson'scontentareveryslim.Ifyouare
consciousofthefactthatyouarecopyingsomeoneelse'swork,then
chancesarethatyouwillbecaught.
Ifyou'reworriedsomethingthatyouhavemightsoundlikesomeone
else's,it'sprobablybecauseitdoes.
IfyouthinkSomethingisplagiarized,goonGrammarly.comorany
otherPlagiarismsite.

Warnings
http://www.wikihow.com/AvoidPlagiarism

3/4

4/4/2015

HowtoAvoidPlagiarism:7Steps(withPictures)wikiHow

Don'ttaketheriskofattemptingtoplagiarize.Notonlywillitcostyou
yourgrade,butalsoyourrespectandreputationwithmostteachers
andcolleagues.Manycollegesanduniversitieswillexpelstudentswho
deliberatelyplagiarize.

SourcesandCitations
1. http://mediamatters.org/research/2008/08/23/mediaoutletsreported
allegationsbidenplagia/144547
2. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/plagiarism
3. http://plato.mercyhurst.edu/writingcenter/pdf/Avoiding_Plagiarism.pdf
4. U.S.SupremeCourtDecision:HARPER&ROWv.NATION
ENTERPRISES,471U.S.539(1985)
5. U.S.SupremeCourtDecision:FEISTPUBLICATIONS,INC.v.
RURALTELEPHONESERVICECO.,499U.S.340(1991)

ArticleInfo

Categories:CitingWritingSources
Inotherlanguages:
Italiano:EvitareilPlagio,Portugus:EvitaroPlgio,Espaol:evitarel
plagio,Franais:viterleplagiat,:,Deutsch:Vermeide
PlagiatsvorwrfeunderfahremehrberdenDiebstahlvongeistigemEigentum,
:,BahasaIndonesia:MenghindariPlagiat,Nederlands:Plagiaat
voorkomen,etina:Jaksevyhnoutplagitorstv

Thankstoallauthorsforcreatingapagethathasbeenread243,087times.

http://www.wikihow.com/AvoidPlagiarism

4/4