Avoiding plagiarism is probably one of the biggest problems with academic writing. Sure, you never intend to steal somebody’s ideas. Still, be sure to do everything possible so that nobody can accuse you of theft. Here’s how to avoid plagiarism with 3 proven tactics.
We should probably start with clearly defining plagiarism:
Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of somebody’s words or ideas in your papers. In other words, if you copy a phrase consisting of more than 4 words and paste it into your paper, a plagiarism checker will easily catch you on it. That’s why it’s better to use the following ways to avoid plagiarism and the related troubles (bad mood, penalties, and failed courses).
Convert active to passive voice and vice versa:
The easiest way to pass plagiarism check is to change the voice:
- Active: The company employed 10 college graduates.
- Passive: 10 college graduates were employed by the company.
*Note that you shouldn’t overdo it using passive voice. It’s usually not recommended by most grammarians. However, if the doer of the action is not very important, feel free to go for it.
One more effective method is to use synonyms, trying to replace most notional words:
- Before transformation: The company employed 10 college graduates.
- After transformation: The firm hired 10 young specialists.
Properly cite your sources:
Another difficulty is the risk of ‘stealing’ somebody’s ideas. Even if you do your best to paraphrase the quote, you should also make certain that the ideas you use are your own. In case you want to cite a certain source, consider the rules of the appropriate citation style.
What is your strategy for avoiding plagiarism? Do you believe in life after plagiarism check?