Plagiarism is the use of an author's work and the representation of it as ones work. In other words, it is to commit literary theft and is punishable by the law. Original thoughts and ideas are considered intellectual property and are protected by copyright laws. Plagiarism occurs in some ways for example: using words or ideas that belong to someone else without giving credit or using so many words from a source in your work without giving credit.
The field of academia is the worst hit as the quest for academic accolades forces scholars to submit other people's work as their own. Researching for a paper is easy. However, it becomes an uphill task to put down the information acquired in a paper without plagiarizing. There are steps that can ensure that as you submit your paper only original ideas or quoted ones are used.
Plan ahead. Allocate enough time to search for sources of information and take notes. Having already identified your area of interest it should not be difficult to incorporate ideas from your research. Enough time also means that you will be able to work on using your language and not the one used on electronic media or the books.
Do not copy and paste. Never transfer work from the Internet straight to your essay or make adjustments to an already existing work. Instead, open a new document and begin your work carefully using own words with the help of your research. If you are to use the information you have copied, include the full citation information needed.
Paraphrase: It is the use of own words to express the meaning of an existing article. Make sure that you do not use more than two words following each other from the original work, quotations marks will be needed if you do.
Cite. You should make a point to cite your work as it is the most effective way to avoid plagiarism. The citation style you choose to use should be uniform in the paper. Make sure you add citations to you notes to help in easy retrieval.
Referencing. Always include a reference page or pages at the end of your research paper. The referencing style should the one specified and should be uniformed in all the entries in the references page. The reference should include the name of the author, publication date, title and the source.
Quoting. Exact use of a quote as appears in the source, avoid misquoting for some quotes maybe well known. Indicate a quote by use of quotation marks. If the quote is from or obscure author, do not attribute it to a well-known known author.
To sum up, you can avoid plagiarism if you:
n Plan for the research of the paper.
n Avoid copying and pasting from the Internet.
n paraphrase your sources.
n cite and reference your work.
n Keep your written work and your source separate.
n Keep away from the common sites when sourcing for information.