Writing tasks are essential in every students’ academic journey. Doing this enhances your writing, reasoning, and critical thinking skills. Aside from these, it also tests your honesty and integrity as a student. Whether you like it or not, you need to do them countless times. Every time your teachers give you a task, they give you specific instructions to follow. They also warn you about late submission, but most importantly, plagiarism.
Institutions have different definitions for it. But in essence, it is an academic offense you commit by copying unoriginal ideas without correct citations. Because this is a serious matter, you must avoid plagiarism in your essay. As a student, you must uphold intellectual honesty in all your outputs. To learn more about how to write an essay without plagiarism, you should read the tips below.
• Write from Scratch
While it is tempting to get ideas from other papers, it is best to start from scratch. It will allow you to put your own insights without other people’s opinions distracting you. Sometimes, we like to read and look at others’ ideas to help us develop our own. It might be helpful for others, but it could lead you to copy without noticing it.
However, it would be best if you understand that all academic writings are not entirely original. Researchers always refer to previous studies and literature to establish context and show their study’s relevance. They do not even plagiarize definitions. It only shows that they value other people’s work as well. It is admirable if their ideas inspire you, but you must not exclude them from your paper.
• Paraphrase and Summarize, but Cite
At some point, you must have asked yourself this question: “Can’t I just reword in my essay?” Although it is a quick way to finish your paper, you will be guilty of plagiarizing by doing it. It is still a form of copying if you do not cite and use the correct format.
Paraphrasing and summarizing are two vital skills you need to have in writing. You do the former when you reword something while keeping its entire thought. On the other hand, you do the latter when you restate something but in a simplified manner. So, you may paraphrase someone else’s idea or summarize a research’s results as you see appropriate. Doing these allows you to shorten the information you have gathered to fit in your work. You will also find it easier to contextualize them in your essay once you do. But, you need to make sure that you are only using credible sources. Whatever you use, you must always cite it.
However, the best way to write an essay without plagiarizing is through citations. If you cite a source, it shows that the statement is not yours. It prompts the reader that you derived the information or idea somewhere else. Whether you are paraphrasing, summarizing, or quoting, you can avoid essay plagiarism through this action.
• Keep Track of the Sources you consulted in your research
Before you start drafting your paper, you have to read multiple resources first. This process will allow you to have more information about your topic. It can also help you formulate a more specific and clear thesis statement. Moreover, your research will lead to insightful and relevant resources.
When you read many articles, it is unavoidable to forget where you found some of them. So, it would be best to keep track of the sources you read and consulted. An effective way to do this is by bookmarking the website for you to revisit. First, you should create a bookmark folder on your browser, specifically for the essay you are currently doing. Then, use the bookmark function to save each website or source. It will also help if you put the sources’ links on the outline you created. It will enable you to access the most significant resources faster. If you wish to write without plagiarism, keep track of them as soon as possible before you lose them later.
• Credit the Original Author in the Correct Style
At this point, you already understand why they are necessary. It is all about giving credit to where it is due. Someone’s original research and its results are considered their intellectual property. When you include something from their work without crediting them, you are stealing what is theirs.
Crediting the original author is difficult if no name or author is indicated on the source. You can find numerous websites that look credible. However, you may be surprised to see that they do not always put any author’s names. To free yourself from this dilemma, you should only refer to journal articles and scholarly papers. You can access these kinds of materials through Google Scholar. Also, it would help if you maximize the accounts that your school gives you to access online libraries.
As mentioned earlier, you can also commit plagiarism by citing incorrectly. You need to know that there are various citation styles used in the academe. APA, MLA, and CMS are the most common ones. They vary in the format of their in-text citations and reference list. So, you need to make sure that you are using the one your teacher required. To write a paper without plagiarizing demands your utmost attention to detail.
• Use a Plagiarism Checker
The advancements in technology have helped many writers in avoiding plagiarism over the years. Nowadays, anyone can use free checkers to help detect plagiarized content. Companies have also developed paid ones that have a more extensive collection of resources. Once you upload your file to their software or website, they will generate reports on your work’s uniqueness and originality. In that report, you will see the parts you have failed to cite and where you can find them initially. Also, you can check which segments you should work on and improve.
It would be best if you maximize the tools that are available for your convenience. The developers created them to help students like you. If you do not run your essay on these checkers, you are putting yourself at risk. Remember that your teachers will use them as well.
In conclusion, there are many ways to avoid producing plagiarized works. You can start from scratch, paraphrase and summarize the materials while citing using the correct style. You can also maximize browser bookmarks and plagiarism checkers for a more efficient writing process. Remember that reading plagiarism articles like this is pointless if you will not apply the tips given. Even though these tasks are challenging, it is worth doing if you do not want to plagiarize.