How to Avoid Accidental Plagiarizing in Your Research Paper?

Plagiarism is the process of appropriating other people’s ideas. It can be either intentional or accidental, but regardless of whether you are doing this on purpose or not, you will suffer the consequences if the plagiarism is proven.

The most common reasons behind accidental plagiarizing are:

  • Poor note-taking
  • Lack of understanding the differences between quoting and paraphrasing
  • Leaving the task till the deadline is close

As you can see, this problem can be easily avoided with some smart time management and studying the rules of quoting.

Here are some simple tips that will help you avoid accidental plagiarizing:

  • Learn how quotes and references should be integrated into papers
  • Don’t forget to use quotation marks, even if the phrase you are borrowing from another source is short.

  • Paraphrase properly
  • Bear in mind that you will need to state the source of every paragraph or idea that you’ve paraphrased.

  • Make notes and keep them in order
  • It’s essential that you make clear and simple notes when doing your research and keep them organized. This way, you won’t lose any quotes and won’t accidentally appropriate someone’s idea.

  • Keep your notes separate from your drafts
  • The most difficult thing when writing a huge paper is differentiating between your ideas and those of other people, because when researching, you will delve so deep onto various sources that you may literally lose track of your own thoughts. In order to avoid this, you will need to make detailed notes citing all the sources you’ve researched and write down your own ideas on a separate sheet of paper, as to not get them mixed up.

  • Leave enough time for research
  • Research can take up more time than you’ve anticipated. If this happens, you will be in a hurry to complete the paper before the deadline. This may lead to some slips and accidental plagiarizing.

    These things are difficult to predict, but you should be able to avoid them if you plan your research and accommodate some room for various unforeseen circumstances into this plan.

  • Be careful when using electronic sources
  • It’s easy to lose track of your sources when working online, so be sure to copy every electronic document you use in your research and save a link to the source. If there is some information about the article’s author available, you’ll need to save it too.

  • Credit every source
  • It’s not only the authors of books and articles you quote that should get credit, but every person whose ideas you use for either reference or inspiration.

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