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Updated by Samisha Govender on Jul 24, 2018
Headline for A Writer's guide to avoiding Plagiarism
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A Writer's guide to avoiding Plagiarism

Here are some useful resources that will shed more light around the mythical concept of plagiarism. Each of these resources will be discussed in terms of the key issues that were highlighted, common themes and grey areas surrounding plagiarism. In addition, guidelines to avoid plagiarism will be included.

Five Most Effective Methods for Avoiding Plagiarism

The blog post above attempts to provide 5 of the authors methods to avoid plagiarism.

Guidelines Provided

  1. Many people do not understand the concept of plagiarism and therefore will not understand what they're doing wrong. Avoiding the plagiarism issue will be harder if you do not understand why it is wrong.
  2. The writers ideas tend to get lost amongst the many ideas of various authors that are cited within your work. Therefore, it is important to create a good outline of your ideas and the sources that will be used to emphasize these ideas.
  3. Use word-processing tools to help you cite your work using correct formats, as well as generate a bibliography for you.
  4. Make sure that you use valid and reputable sources to avoid unintentionally plagiarising another authors work.
  5. It is important not to rush, so that you don't "write blind". This generally results in you writing phrases that actually come from a particular source and unintentionally plagiarising it.

This University describes what Plagiarism is, as well as ways that scholars may avoid it. Examples have also been provided to illustrate the concept further.

Key Issues Identified:

  1. Plagiarism is defined to ensure that scholars have a good idea of what they are attempting to avoid.
  2. Several comman mistakes have been identified to ensure that any misconceptions surrounding plagiarism have been cleared up.
  3. Two simple rules have been provided to avoid plagiarism
  4. Examples of text that has been plagiarised are provided to ensure clarity around the issue.
How to Avoid Plagiarism: In 5 Easy Steps

This short tutorial video defines plagiarism and outlines 5 easy steps for how to avoid it.

Guidelines Provided:

  1. Use original ideas and opinions
  2. Paraphrase work that is not your own
  3. Cite information using a particular referencing style
  4. Use quotation marks to directly quote an author
  5. Ask for help from your librarian, or use an open source bibliographic tool.
The punishable perils of plagiarism - Melissa Huseman D'Annunzio

This video creatively explains the antics of those who plagiarize.

Key Themes:

  1. The first issue discussed pertained to the copy and paste technique that writers use without any form of citations or paraphrases that is usually easy to find.
  2. The next form of plagiarism includes creating fake book titles or authors to cover up the plagiarism. In addition, synonyms are used to paraphrase ideas.
  3. Self-Plagiarism is discussed
  4. Delt with the misconception that one can never be accused of plagiarism if they paraphrase and cite their work.
  5. Mentions how writers paraphrase some bodies of text perfectly to cover up text that is plagiarized.
Tips to avoid Accidental Plagiarism

This video provides 5 useful tips that writers can use to avoid plagiarism

Guidelines Provided:

  1. Acknowledge the work of others using citations and a bibliography. Make sure your past work is also referenced.
  2. Use quotation marks should you wish to directly quote a particular author.
  3. Paraphrase your work correctly and ensure that citations are used
  4. Take notes carefully, so that you are aware of what text needs to be cited and what text is your own idea.
  5. Acknowledge what is common scientific knowledge however when in doubt, cite the source.


Common Issues and Themes:

  1. A key issue discussed by most of the resources includes the lack of understanding around the term plagiarism and therefore textbook definitions are provided to shed more light on the matter.
  2. Various types of plagiarism were discussed in three of the resources (Example self-plagiarism)
  3. The importance of referencing was highlighted in numerous resources
  4. The importance of paraphrasing correctly was also highlighted in many resources

Grey Areas

  1. The concept of self-plagiarism needs to be fully explained as it may often be overlooked by many writers.
  2. Bibliographic tools can be used to assist with storing information pertaining to various sources as well as automatically generate a bibliography. This was not widely discussed.
  3. The various types of referencing styles such as Harvard or APA were not explicitly mentioned in many of the sources

General Guidelines:

  1. Ensure you understand what plagiarism is as well as what types of plagiarism exists.
  2. Ensure that you understand the requirements of your project so that the correct referencing style is used.
  3. Always ensure that the work of other authors is cited
  4. Ensure that the work of other authors is correctly paraphrased and cited
  5. Use bibliographic tools to help you accurately store information about your sources and generate accurate citations
  6. Use quotation marks if you need to directly quote another's work.
  7. Use reputable websites when looking for information.