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How to avoid plagiarism

TIP: You may like our education resources section which includes free lesson plans on plagiarism and referencing.

Free Lesson Plans

Avoiding plagiarism:

The most efficient way to avoid plagiarism is first to find out how and why plagiarism is occurring, because only when you understand the cause, can you deal with the effect.

So, to avoid university plagiarism, or plagiarism anywhere, take a careful look back over a recent piece of your work and compare it with your notes.

Looking at both simultaneously, ask yourself the following questions - your honest responses will help you to avoid plagiarism:

Any combination or single instance of these could be a reason why you might have plagiarised either accidentally or deliberately and by recognising it you are well on the way to avoiding plagiarism in the future.

One of the most effective ways of beginning to avoid school, college or university plagiarism is to be more careful when taking notes. It is so easy to be careless with note-taking, especially when you are in a rush or when you are embarked on a long piece of work such as a thesis or dissertation where originality is essential.

These tips on avoiding school, college or university plagiarism should help:

Most tutors will tell you that they would rather have your original thoughts than even the most eloquently expressed sentences of another so don't be tempted to plagiarise because you think a thought is expressed better in a source: plagiarism is never preferable to originality.

Try to approach research in an analytical fashion, so that you are constantly asking where your ideas fit with another's: do they challenge it or agree with it? By adopting this method you reduce the risk of plagiarism because you are contrasting your ideas with those found in your research and it is therefore easier to avoid plagiarising because there is always separation between sources and interpretation and you also improve the overall cohesion of your work.

Reference your work properly

Another key step to avoiding plagiarism is to get your referencing right. Make sure you:

Consequences of plagiarism

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