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Avoiding plagiarism

Published On: 05/23/2018

The Plagiarism is a form of fraud. Therefore, avoiding plagiarism is of crucial importance. Once you start writing your thesis, you should strive carefully to avoid plagiarism. Write down all the sources you have used at the same time, make correct use of citations and paraphrasing and follow the rules of the style of references you should use. Actually, it's pretty simple. You can avoid plagiarism by following these three steps each time you use a source:

The Plagiarism is a form of fraud. Therefore, avoiding plagiarism is of crucial importance. Once you start writing your thesis, you should strive carefully to avoid plagiarism. Write down all the sources you have used at the same time, make correct use of citations and paraphrasing and follow the rules of the style of references you should use. Actually, it's pretty simple. You can avoid plagiarism by following these three steps each time you use a source:

Save the source

A large number of sources is used in a thesis. To maintain an overview, it is important to keep the sources you use. In this way, you can quickly find the source again and do not forget the fact that you have used a source, or run the risk of losing the source. For the management of the sources, you can use software programs like EndNote, Mendeley, CiteULike, and RefBaseand Papers.

  • Practical advice

You can also decide to save the fonts on your computer in PDF, Word and similar. In this case, the most judicious thing is to give all the documents a clear name. For example, you can use the name of the author and the year of publication. Then you will need this information to create the source reference. When you have consulted many sources through the internet, it is useful to add these pages to your favorites (create bookmarks). You can also create a separate folder of bookmarks to which you can add all the pages.

Appointments or paraphrasing

Once you have decided to use a certain source, you have two options. Either you can quote, or you can paraphrase the source. The rules about quotations and paraphrasing are not related to the style of references that you are going to use, but rather to the way in which you treat the sources in your thesis. Therefore, this still has nothing to do with the list of references.

  • Practical tips

To make a clear distinction between your own ideas and the ideas that come from your sources, you can highlight the text that exposes ideas that are not yours. In this way, you can have an overview of the text that is yours and of which it is not. For the fonts you use frequently, you can use particular colors. If you do so, you will know immediately the sources that your text contains.

As an alternative, you can write a note while writing the thesis, with a comment in Word, indicating the source of your source and specifying whether you should rephrase or paraphrase the fragment. Do not delete the comment until you have written the source in your own words and added it to the source reference.

Sources reference

Each time you use an idea from a source, you must include that source in the source reference. The way in which you must write the source reference depends on the style of references you have to use. Your educational program will always indicate clearly which style of references you should use or identify a few acceptable options, among which you must choose. Once you have chosen a style of references, you will have to use this same style throughout the text.

  • Practical advice

Point immediately to the source reference of any idea that appeals to you; in this way, you will never forget which idea belongs to which source. At this stage, it is still not too important to format the reference completely following the rules of the reference style. You can do this during the final phase of writing your thesis. At that time, you can quickly gather the sources and put them all together in a reference list with just cut and paste.

Final tips

In case of doubt, always quote the source

If you have doubts about whether you should include a source, you should always choose to mention it. It is impossible to use too many sources, and a good list of references will improve your work. For example, when you reach a certain conclusion in your thesis, it is good to mention the sources you have used to reach that conclusion.

Finalization of your thesis

When other people have contributed to your thesis doing experiments or writing a survey, it is convenient that you mention this fact in your thesis. You can include this mention in the preface, for example. If a thesis has been written by several people, you should mention which parts have been written by whom.