Once in a while, there is a time when you feel less creative, and you cannot come up with original ideas to write. In such times, you are likely to borrow other people’s ideas and include them in your article without citing or referencing them. It is a dangerous practice, and it is known as plagiarism. It is an offense with dire consequences which might include revocation of a permit, expulsion from an institution or reduction of points in an exam. You must be keen to avoid it as much as possible because its consequences are detrimental. However, it can be easily avoided and presently, you can find several guidelines and tools on the internet to help you write a plagiarism free article. This article explains how you can avoid plagiarism in your writings.
Plan your writing – Planning helps you to do your work in time so that you avoid the last minute rush which gives an allowance for various mistakes including plagiarized sentences. With a plan, you can find enough content about your subject and revise before submitting it. Having a colleague around to go through it is important to help you see mistakes that you could not see. A different pair of eyes can point out what you could not detect thus you end up with a perfect and plagiarism free article.
Copyscape – Several tools are available on the internet to detect plagiarism in articles, and Copyscape is one of them. This tool is essential for any person that has any business to do on the internet. It is simple to use, and all you need to do is to copy and paste your article into it, and it will show you all the sections are similar to other articles already online. It is a handy tool for many writers because it is helpful in writing plagiarism free articles. You will be able to edit the sections that are adversely affected so that you have content without plagiarism.
Cite and reference borrowed ideas – Sharing information is the essence of knowledge and should you borrow information from other sources then you must be ready to quote the author or do reference accordingly. Not just other authors but even yourself when you borrow an idea in your past articles and research works. With proper citation and referencing, your article will have not plagiarism. You can use different citation styles such as Chicago, MLA or APA formats.
Use facts – Under no circumstances will facts change no matter when they are used in different articles. If you borrow exact text from a source, then you must cite it. Your observations, thoughts and personal opinions should not be cited as long as you have not used them in another article. You also need not cite scientific findings from an experiment which you have just discovered.