With the increase in knowledge, and the subsequent advent of the internet, there has been a relatively free and quick exchange of information. Researchers churn out tons of articles daily on the internet with the intention of selling knowledge, creating a brand or sensitizing the public. With these articles at the finger tips of students, there has been little or no need to maintain the essential and intellectual task of research and academic integrity. This has led to all forms of plagiarism.

Plagiarism, which is “literary or academic theft”, is the act of intentionally or unintentionally, claiming a writer’s intellectual ideas, views or expressions, without acknowledging the writer. Plagiarism is considered a big offence in the academic world. Aside a self-imposed consequence of not learning anything new, nor having the privilege of contributing to knowledge, plagiarists are largely viewed as incompetent. They could suffer academic sanctions of forfeiting an opportunity for academic advancement, a drop in a grade or the repeating of the course or supposed assignment.

As students and probable researchers, we can actually enrich our work with others’ ideas without necessarily bowing or succumbing to academic theft. Below are some ways plagiarism can be completely avoided.

Keep Clear Records During the Course of your Research

When given an assignment, or involved in writing a research paper, one core proof of scholarship is your ability to read sound and relatable articles to your topic. Your readiness to get drowned in the sea of others’ research work will open your academic eyes to more information or knowledge, hanging in-between the lines of your studied papers.

During the course of this research, you must be able to take notes that are carefully ordered, to give out a differentiation between your own creation and borrowed facts. They are to be separately documented so as not to jumble everything, during the course of summing up every minute details.

Use of Quotation Marks or Acknowledging your Source

During compilations, it is important that the ideas of others are acknowledged using the MLA or your choosen documentation style. Following the formats of your documentation style, you can incorporate others’ views into your work, with the help of speech or quotation markers, and other information of the writer, enclosed in parentheses. In doing this, you’ve projected and kept your academic integrity and have succeeded in giving “honour to whom honour is due”. This does not only make your borrowed ideas conspicuous, but also places the writer’s work on a spotlight, necessary for academic examination and laurels.

Paraphrase and Write Creatively

Through a deep observation and thorough study of the works of other researchers, be sure to create and enrich your work by writing creatively.

With the intention to clarify, restate in your own words, the views and opinions your studied papers project (paraphrase), after which, you should developed your own writing style by incorporating these paraphrases to whatever inductive inferences you gathered during the course of your intense study and observations.

Express your View

In a thorough research, discrepancies are always noticed amongst similar works by different writers. These discrepancies, when carefully studied, could be the foundation on which new research views are born and through which, a researcher can contribute to knowledge.

In your research work, be expressive of those minute discrepancies that should be foundational to your views. In as much as they are clearly backed up by cogent or relatable evidences, you will not only be able to avoid the web of plagiarism but you will also be able to bring a hypothesis forward, that could later become a theory, thereby contributing to knowledge.


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