Everyone is at Risk of Plagiarism

When people think of plagiarism, the first thing that might come to mind is someone intentionally stealing or buying someone else's work and claiming it as their own. But, a lot of plagiarism happens due to a lack of understanding regarding citation standards and even negligence. Below are tips on how you can avoid plagiarizing. 

Avoiding Plagiarism

  1. 1. Cite Your Sources

    When you use the work of another person and incorporate it into your work, you must give credit to that person. This includes not only direct quotes, but also ideas that are not your own. Check out the Incorporating Others Work Into Your Own page to read more about the ways you can responsibly incorporate other's work into your own.

  2. 2. Give Yourself Ample Time to Complete Assignments

    Start your assignment early. The temptation to plagiarize or get lazy with your sources gets stronger if you are rushing to meet a deadline. If you give yourself enough time, you'll be able to review your work and more carefully examine whether you've used other's word responsibly.
  3. 3. Keep Track of Your Sources and Take Notes

    Make sure you save all of the sources you use in your paper and note when and where you use them as you write, even if you just make quick notes to address later. Take notes (in your own words) while you are reading your articles. That way you can know where each idea is coming from and can cite it properly in your paper.

  4. 4. Use Direct Quotes...

    ...if you are uncomfortable with paraphrasing. Paraphrasing other's work can easily fall into plagiarism if you don't make sure you cite correctly. If you're nervous about whether you're paraphrasing correctly, you can use a direct quote instead. 

  5. 5. When in Doubt, Cite!

    If you are in doubt whether or not you need to cite someone's work, you probably need to. It's better to be safe than sorry. Another thing you can do if you're unsure is ask your professor. Send them a quick email or chat with them for a minute before or after class to get their advice.