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Rookie Mistake: How to Prevent Accidental Plagiarism in College Assignments

Plagiarism is a severe academic offense that is harshly punished. It is a case of intellectual theft that can get you in serious trouble down to expulsion from the university. However, not all plagiarism is an intentional copy of somebody else’s work. It often happens that you might phrase your sentence the same way it already exists on the web.

And that’s how accidental plagiarism occurs. Of course, academic requirements take it into account by setting a specific percentage of allowed coincidences. But you’re likely to pass this acceptable margin when you’re just starting your academic assignment writing journey. Thus, save yourself some trouble and misunderstanding by following this guide.

Learn Your Citation Styles

The most common mistake that results in accidental plagiarism is an inadequate citation. If you’re not abiding by the given in-text citation rules, the software meant to check plagiarism will read your quotation as copied and pasted text. Thus, consider investing some time in getting acquainted with your paper style requirements and making sure to follow them to a T.

Your university will probably have a list of formatting styles for online assignment writing service, but make sure to research how a proper citation would look for each type of source. We suggest learning the frequently used styles:

  • APA;
  • MLA;
  • Chicago;

Look into the latest editions of the said styles and save templates for the most common sources like articles and books. And make sure to pay attention to cases where you have more than one author or no author at all. Thus, you will have proper citations at hand and won’t risk getting yourself into accidental plagiarism for omitting a coma.

Work Properly With Your Sources

Besides correctly citing your sources, spend some time working on them before writing a paper. Picking up credible sources is a huge part of preliminary research for an essay. Professionals at best assignment services always make sure to do this part properly. And you should put in enough effort, too.

Hence, make comprehensive notes of the main points of each source you’re working with. It is a tedious task, but it’s worth spending time on in the long run. Even if you’re turning to someone providing assignment help by essaywriterhire, pay attention to how the sources blend into the body of an essay to support the thesis statement and arguments.

Besides, the most widespread reason for accidental plagiarism is relying too much on the exact words from your sources. Instead, you should develop your arguments based on them. Try explaining the concepts you read about in your own words, and be sure to incorporate cited information only where appropriate. Critical thinking skill is your best remedy here.

Curate Quotes

If you’re just starting your academic writing journey, you’ll likely be a bit unsure of what qualifies as a quote. Of course, there are in-text citations that you copy from your source and take in quotation marks. However, you should be careful with misusing these and landing yourself in an accidental plagiarism case.

There is a strict requirement of how much space your in-text citations should take. You cannot insert a whole sentence as a quote since the whole paper will turn into citing someone else’s work to meet the word count. So, you have to pay attention to how many words from the source you use and remember to take them in quotation marks.

It can be especially tricky with words that you cannot use synonyms, for instance, when it comes to technical jargon or medical terminology. Thus, here’s a trick from a professional assignment writer: compile a list of relevant quotes while working with your sources. This step will allow you to see how many in-text citations to use without repeating the same phrase throughout the text and creating an accidental plagiarism case.

Master Paraphrasing

The most powerful tool to avoid plagiarizing a text is paraphrasing. Since you’re limited in your in-text citation, you would have to find a way to convey the ideas from the source that is crucial to your argument. And paraphrasing is the exact technique you need to accomplish this task.

As the word suggests, paraphrasing is expressing the same idea in different words. It is essential to retell what the author of the article or a book suggests without quoting them. If you have followed a second tip and worked with your sources properly, paraphrasing would be a piece of cake.

But there are still rules to apply. Always give credit when you explain or use others’ ideas. And do not forget to cite it correctly according to your formatting style requirements. Paraphrasing without acknowledging the source is still plagiarism. So, when you buy assignment that is not written from scratch, you encounter a failure to mention the source.

Use a Plagiarism Checker

Even if you follow all the precautions, there is still a small chance of accidental plagiarism. It is impossible to know that the exact combination of words has not been used elsewhere on the Internet. And there is no malice in accidentally using the same phrasing.

But if it happens too often throughout the text, you can get in trouble. To avoid that, take advantage of the tool every reputable assignment writing service uses – a plagiarism checker. You can find free software on the Internet easily and run your text for potential coincidences on the web.

However, do spend some time researching the best option. There are plenty of websites that will not do the most thorough check. Hence, your paper will still be at risk of accidental plagiarism.

Wrapping Up

And that’s about it. Spend some time learning proper citations in different formatting styles and have templates at hand. Always analyze the source instead of relying solely on the authors’ words and make a curated list of possible in-text citations. To lower the chance of plagiarism even more, perfect your paraphrasing skills and check the result with reliable software.