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How To Avoid Plagiarism When Writing a Paper: Student Guide


Having unlimited amounts of information at your fingertips has a downside; you can easily get lost or feel overwhelmed. The first approach when writing a paper is to research hundreds of sources, looking for useful information and deciding what to keep. How can you be sure that after this, your paper stays original and relevant? Let’s discuss how to write a paper using a high level of uniqueness and originality.


Why original thinking matters

The skill of original thinking may very well define your future career and success. By using this skill, you can develop critical thinking and boost creativity. In fact, learning to think originally prepares students for the future at companies that headhunt creative employees with groundbreaking ideas.

Original thinking and academic integrity go hand in hand. Plagiarism leaves no room to express your own opinions. By keeping academic integrity intact, you learn to doubt different sources of information and present your original views on the topic.

The ability to think critically, analyze information, and make credible decisions based on that information comes in handy during and after your academic years. Here's what Teresa Fishman, Educator and Integrity consultant says about it: “The most important thing students do in college is to learn how to learn – which is one of the most important reasons that we must continue to care about academic integrity.” Even more, a proven track in academic integrity can help you build a reputation of trust and professionalism.


Checklist to Avoid Plagiarism

Ideally, a concise and original academic assignment should be built on first-hand experience, exhaustive research, and the author’s expertise. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so research taken from others is often the go-to for students. This is where you must be cautious and avoid all kinds of plagiarism, especially unintentional. We have composed a checklist to help you avoid plagiarized content:

Choose a subject that appeals to you

The cornerstone of success is covering subjects you're passionate about. An appealing topic can motivate you to excel, and help provide fresh ideas. When you’re interested in a topic, it will drive you to look for novel resources, find appealing examples, and cite unique authors rarely used by other students. Before you even begin the actual research, you’ll be able to share your thoughts on the topic and better validate your information sources.

Conduct proper research

To prove your writing is credible, you need to cite authors, sources of research, statistics, ideas, etc. One important key in credibility is to follow the rules of citation from APA style, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA style, or any other style required by your institution. Incorrect citations are just as bad as no citations at all.

Use a plagiarism checker

Last but not least, ensure the uniqueness of your writing by using a plagiarism checker. Even if you don't plagiarize intentionally, you may accidentally include some phrases and sentences that stuck with you during research. Plagiarism checkers detect the unoriginal ideas and incorrectly cited sources, so you can resolve them. To avoid plagiarism (intentional or not), use an essential online plagiarism checker for studentsstudents, there are many online..


Bottom line

Original thinking is an important skill you need to master your future success. Now, however, originality is paramount to the academic success of your papers. So, in addition to citing and validating information resources, it is essential to use a plagiarism checker while composing your paper.

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