14 September, 2009

How to Avoid Unintentional Plagiarism

Most people think of plagiarism as a writer blatantly stealing the work of another author and attempting to pass that work off as his or her own. The fact of the matter is that there may come at time when you plagiarize without even being aware that you're doing it. This actually happens more than you may think because of published work on the internet. There are steps you can take to ensure that you don't copy somebody else's work. Here is how to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

Step 1
Write about what you know. This will allow you to work without having to do research, thus keeping all of the information you know about the certain subject your own thoughts. Try to add any personal experiences to a piece that you are working on whenever possible. Doing so enables you to write in your words, thus avoiding any type of plagiarism.

Step 2
Take some time between reading on a subject and writing about it. Plenty of people accidentally plagiarize while paraphrasing because they are writing about a subject they read about only a few minutes before. Instead, read on that subject and then take a 30-minute break. This will allow you to take what you have read and turn it into your own thoughts.

Step 3
Rewrite twice after paraphrasing. This is exactly what it sounds like. After you've put a piece into your own words, write that section again using different words and thoughts. Repeat this step once more. Forcing yourself to twist words and sentence structure will help you to both avoid unintentional plagiarism as well as obtain a better grasp on that particular subject.

Step 4
Write as you talk whenever possible. Many people have a similar writing style but very few people, if any, talk the exact same way that you do. This doesn't necessarily mean “dumbing” your piece down. Pretend that you are talking about the subject that you are writing about with friends or colleagues. Imagine the words that you would use during that conversation and then put those words down on paper.

Step 5
Use quotes and cite sources. There may come a time when you're completely struggling to put a section of your paper or article into your own words. Instead of spending an hour on this, simply place the portion in quotes and make sure to give credit to the original author. Remember that it's better for an entire paragraph to be in quotations than for you to unintentionally (or intentionally) plagiarize.


manzoor_1984 said...

Hmmz ... so does it mean that if i copy something from 1 place and put it on a site or blog thats plagerism ??? what if i give credit to the source from where i copied it from ???? still it will be wrong ?

manzoor_1984 said...

As far as you give the source and credit to the place where you copied the content from its ok i think as long as you clearly state in your post that you have taken the content from a third party site and give its link also :)

manzoor_1984 said...

Thanx for answering my query quickly :)
hmmz ok i understand i'll give link in bottom of page like Source: (link) is that ok ???
i have seen this done at many places :)

manzoor_1984 said...

yes a entry in the last of the post like:

Source: (Site Name & Link) will be more then enough to avoid any plagerism or copyrighted queries or problems that you may face in the future :) have fun blogging

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