Avoiding Plagiarism in Your Essay

Plagiarism is like stealing. You’re going into another writer’s portfolio and basically taking away their writing without their knowledge. By committing plagiarism, you are disrespecting the former writer, the academic community, and worst of all – yourself. Committing plagiarism is like crying out: I can’t do this, and I’m not going to try. This simply isn’t true. You have the brains, you have the skill – you just need the confidence. You don’t have to plagiarize when it comes to your essay. You’re better than that, and you know it!

By the way – plagiarism doesn’t just happen to people consciously attempting it. Students have been accused of plagiarism that never intended to copy or steal work from another writer. These students fall prey to very simple and honest mistakes. Most of the time, they simple quote too much. They think filling their essay with lots of juicy quotes from reputable sources will amp up their grade. Unfortunately, this makes the essay less about their ideas and more about repeating the ideas of others. The same thin can happen when students directly write from different sources. There’s no mixing and matching of identical sentences from various sources in paper writing; it just doesn’t work. Students need to avoid these deceptive pitfalls when writing essays. In order to avoid plagiarism in your next essay, follow these three easy steps:

Use quotes sparingly

Essays needs quotes and other cited research in order to make them credible. However, that doesn’t mean you should cop and paste three paragraphs of a research paper into the middle of your essay. That, in an obvious sense, would be counted as plagiarism.

Rephrase or paraphrase

If an article says something in the exact same words you want to say it in, that’s not an excuse to copy and paste. Your job isn’t to mimic what your sources claimed; it’s to relate their evidence while establishing your own conclusion. When you come across and idea you love and wan tot emulate in your essay, simple restate. Find the meaning and heart behind the words and retell it in your own. This will not only keep you from plagiarizing, but it will better introduce your voice into the essay.

Establish the difference between common and specific knowledge

It’s common knowledge that chickens have two legs. It’s not common knowledge that chickens lay stronger eggs if you change the amount of light they’re exposed to. Know what the difference is between common or general knowledge – knowledge that needs no patenting – and specific knowledge that is attributed to a study, scientist or organization.