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Research: Avoiding Plagiarism: How to Avoid Plagiarism

5 Easy Steps to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional. Use these steps to help you avoid plagiarism:

  1. Use your own original ideas and opinions. Only repeat another's words exactly when it is particularly relevant to your topic.
  2. Use quotation marks when you are using a direct quote.
  3. Paraphrase other's ideas in your own words, but be sure to cite it!
  4. Cite your sources. When in doubt, cite it!
  5. 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?

Citation LibGuide

Coulter Library, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY