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5 Easy Steps to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Use these steps to help you avoid plagiarism:
- Use your own original ideas and opinions. Only repeat another's words exactly when it is particularly relevant to your topic.
- Use quotation marks when you are using a direct quote.
- Paraphrase other's ideas in your own words, but be sure to cite it!
- Cite your sources. When in doubt, cite it!
- Ask for help from a librarian or your professor.
More Tips to Avoid Plagiarism
How can I tell whether I’ve plagiarized?
If you still aren’t sure whether you’ve plagiarized, double-check your work using the checklist below.
You need to cite your source, even if:
- you put all direct quotes in quotation marks.
- you changed the words used by the author into synonyms.
- you completely paraphrased the ideas to which you referred.
- your sentence is mostly made up of your own thoughts, but contains a reference to the author’s ideas.
- you mention the author’s name in the sentence.
**The moral of this handout: When in doubt, give a citation.**
Source: UNC at Chapel Hill Writing Center
Video: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It
Website: Purdue OWL Is it Plagiarism Yet?
Coulter Library, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY