How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?

A person can avoid plagiarism by citing and crediting sources within the text of a paper or essay using the correct format, such as MLA or APA, paraphrase information and include a citation noting the author, put quotations around information that is word-for-word while also crediting the source and providing a Works Cited page to accompany the written work. Writers must also cite personal interviews as source information.

Primarily, giving credit where credit is due is the ultimate strategy to avoid plagiarism. For example, if a student uses an idea or theory that was presented by another individual in a scholarly article, book, speech, video or presentation, it must be noted in the paper or essay where the information originated using an in-text citation. To avoid plagiarism, writers must also avoid submitting written works from other students, past assignments in other classes and essays purchased from the Internet.

Incorrectly citing sources or paraphrasing without giving credit is also a form of plagiarism that needs to be avoided. When using MLA or the Modern Language Association's citation format, writers should reword the material when paraphrasing and include the author's name and the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence where information from a source was used.