Sometimes your content or whole assignment can get rejected due to plagiarism. Even if it was not intentional, it is still plagiarism and unacceptable. Unintentional plagiarism is not giving proper credit for someone’s ideas, research, or words, even if it was not intentional to present them as your own. Therefore, you should run your document through a plagiarism checker tool to make sure you have not missed any loopholes that can lead to plagiarism. So, let us have a look at how this accidental copying can take place:
What Is Accidental Plagiarism?
Unintentional or accidental plagiarism occurs when you fail to follow a proper process to cite without the motive to cheat. The phrase: Failure to… is an example of unwanted plagiarism.
- Use a unique source to support your argument
- Be faithful to the tone, goals, or language of a source
- cite an author’s precise words, even if they record it
- Paraphrase or summarise in your own words, even if documented
How It Occurs?
Citing Sources Incorrectly
Sometimes you may plagiarise the content accidentally. It can happen when you fail to cite your referred sources correctly. It is the reason that free plagiarism checker tools are coming into the limelight at this time.
Several pupils think citing a source is only required when utilising a direct quote. It is untrue! It does not become your work just because you put someone’s concept into your own words. Even when paraphrasing, you still need to give the original author credit.
Not Citing Paraphrased Information
The difference between your paraphrase and the original paragraph must be clear. It takes more than a few word substitutions or rearranging the author’s words to paraphrase. A successful paraphrase will correctly relay the writer’s arguments while maintaining your distinctive voice.
Unintentionally Using the Wrong Source
Sometimes you do not have the motive of copying someone else’s work under your name and try to give them credit. But what happens, is you cite the wrong source due to improper citation format. Therefore, this leads your content towards a plagiarized one. So be very cautious while citing a source.
How to Avoid Plagiarism?
The first and most crucial step to avoid plagiarism in your content is to use your unique thoughts. To do this, the best option is to take notes while reading or attending a lecture. To do this, you must jot down the quotes or sentences with the person who said them. It will help you smooth citations when it comes to providing credit. In addition, it will make your work easy, and you will not have to look at the original source again in the end. If you forget to note it down, you can use the free plagiarism checker tool to remind yourself.
A crucial step to refrain from plagiarism is to learn how you can paraphrase the original content. There are several methods to do so.
Leave the document you referred to for some time and note down what you have learned from it. It is done with the motive of noting the points in your own words. You can use it when you are regularly taking notes while doing research. Whenever you come across an interesting piece of information, you can note it and use it later in your writing.
Try to isolate the key phrases in the quote if you must paraphrase a passage. Write down the main ideas from the quote once more. This approach is helpful if your notes contain several direct quotes. Although it may be tempting to cite such passages in your essay, consider the majority of your work should be original. Do not use too many quotations. It can also lead you to change the meaning of a sentence, for this, you can take the help of a grammar checker UK.
Sometimes it can be an injustice or insult to an author when you rephrase their quote in your words. For such times, quoting the content is the best way. It provides justice to the writer and will save you from coming under suspicion of plagiarism thing. Remember that quotations should seldom be more than a few lines, and only use them if you believe a statement has a unique style or method of delivering information.
If you have used any idea, fact, or quote from a particular source, you must cite it. Otherwise, the content can be referred to as plagiarised. To do this, there are several styles that you can use. Sometimes these are told to you by your professor, and if not, you can choose any of them. Some of these are:
- MLA Citation Guide
- APA Citation Guide
- Chicago Citation Guide
- Harvard Citation Guide
So, this article comprises the meaning and the reason for unintentional plagiarism that can occur in your content. In addition, it must have equipped you with ways to avoid these mistakes. Even after this, if you doubt you might have missed something to cite, you can use a plagiarism check for cross-checking. These tools will help you find copied content in your document and prevent you from committing this crime.
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