Plagiarism is defined as the deliberate representation of one’s words, ideas and viewpoints without any special attribution to the authors’ academic work. When students use others’ ideas by posing as if these are their own ideas, it is known as the offensive act of plagiarism.  When the college students put the ideas of others on their on academic papers, the teachers should instruct them how to distinguish between the developing ideas, borrowed from other people and the creative or innovative work of writing of their own.

Following are some tips, which can be used by students so as to steer clear of plagiarism in their term papers, essays, research reports, dissertations etc:

  • Give evidence of your clear understanding of the topic by reading and referencing relevant material
  • Always give references or proper citation to support your ideas, as to where and which sources did you get your ideas from
  • There should be an evaluation of your ideas, which can be done by comparing ideas of other authors
  • When you provide a reference to your original source, you offer a proof of expert’s ideas which you want to convey to your readers
  • Always try to evaluate your own academic essays, the main points or ideas presented in it. Your further need to organize your ideas from the sources to validate your central idea.

Some people always engage themselves in paraphrasing rather than creative writing. Paraphrasing is a conversion of one’s ideas into your own words. What these people do is change the entire sentence structure while retaining the genuine words, changing some words with synonyms and certain changes in phraseology. This is also taken as paraphrasing. If the students are tempted to rearrange sentence by changing some words to their synonyms, it would still be considered as plagiarism.

Though paraphrasing is an appropriate way to use one’s ideas to validate your arguments, but it is valid as long as you refer the material with in-text citation in your academic papers.  It is the best way to prevent plagiarism. For this, it is necessary for the students to be supervised from time to time and they should be accustomed to work hard rather than stealing others’ writing. It is the duty of the teacher to make the students realize their personal integrity, ingenuous use of creative writing, value of intellectual property etc. When there would be awareness in the minds of the students as to what a major crime plagiarism is, they would never try to do it!

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