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WAYS TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IN RESEARCH WRITING

WAYS TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IN RESEARCH WRITING

It can be very tempting to copy someone’s work especially when you are too lazy to research or have less time to meet a deadline. It is now very common to find researchers copying and pasting other peoples work from the internet without changing a single word and still claim it is theirs. According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, to plagiarize means “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.” (2004). The University of Oxford explains it more as, “presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition…”

Plagiarism can take the form of copying, quoting or summarizing from any source without given proper credit. Also, submitting someone’s work as your own or buying and downloading a paper and turning it to your own.

One of the major reason researchers plagiarize is inadequate researching time. The chances are high that you would plagiarize when you spend little or no time studying about your topic of interest. So the first way to avoiding plagiarism will be to spend quality time researching and while doing this, you take notes, make bullets points and most importantly, plan before you start writing. Get a plan for the type of research that you want to write as it would help you to organize your ideas.  There are ways that can help you avoid plagiarism; I will be looking at them below:

WAYS TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IN RESEARCH WRITING

  1. Referencing

This one of the ways of avoiding plagiarism; it means to cite the scholarly material or other forms of help you received doing your research. It forms the last chapter in your project – it is called bibliography or citation. There are two forms of referencing: MLA and APA. MLA is mostly used in the faculty of Humanities (Arts) while the other faculties use APA. You must find out the one relevant to your department or research interest.

  1. Quoting

If you ever want to use a quote from a scholarly material, do well to accurately copy            what is written in the text. Do not alter words; this is a serious offence – nobody wants to be misrepresented. Not only that, it could land you in trouble if  you encounter problem in the process of your research or after because the writer may claim that it is not his original words.

  1. Paraphrasing

This means changing an idea into your own told; it is the best way to avoid plagiarism. Learning to express your thoughts is an essential factor in researching. You must avoid copying word for word from a writer’s text.

  1. Citing your own material

If peradventure you happen to work on a topic that you have already researched about in time past, do reference it as you would to other materials you have used.

WAYS TO AVOID PLAGIARISM IN RESEARCH WRITING

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