Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a “deliberate or reckless representation and copying of words, phrases, thoughts, or ideas of other researcher without giving attribution and citation.” This is an infringement of the honesty of academics. Plagiarism can take place in various forms as stated below:

  1. Direct plagiarism – This is taking another person’s work, ideas, words, and phrases without giving appropriate citation.
  2. Self-plagiarism – This is quoting your own previous work, ideas, words, and phrases as part of a current assignment without permission from your very self.
  3. Mosaic plagiarism – Quoting another’s work without proper quotation marks. It is also means replacing words in another person’s work ideas, words, and phrases with synonyms while maintaining the same overall structure and meaning.
  4. Accidental plagiarism – Deliberately or in-deliberately forgetting to cite sources or misquoting sources or paraphrasing sources without giving due credit.

The legitimacy of these instances and possibly many others, are reliant upon the purpose and framework in which they are or may be produced. Just to put it right, the best and safest way forward is to follow based on these circumstances is: 1) Totally avoid them or 2) Make sure you have taken permission and have confirmed to use the work with appropriate citations.

Furthermore, there are six common ways to avoid plagiarism:

  • Paraphrase
  • Citing
  • Quoting
  • Citing Quotes
  • Citing your own material
  • Referencing

General citation rules:

Since there are many correct ways of citation, depending on your choice, the works cited will look a bit different. However, generally all citations must include most or all of the following:

  • Last name, First name of Author (s)
    • If there are more than certain number of authors, write the maximum amount with the words “et al.” after the last to imply authors one through #, with company.
  • Title of article/book/journal
  • Name of article/journal/source
  • Volume, issue, and page numbers (if it’s a journal article)
  • Publisher information (either company, individual name and/or state)
  • Date of publication
  • Correct format (book/print, journal, magazine, web, PDF…)
  • URL (if it was found online)
  • Date accessed

For example:

  • Book:
    • Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. New York. Doubleday. 2003. Book/Print. 4 March 2016.
  • Article:
    • Fan, Jiayang. The Golden Generation. Why China’s super-rich send their children abroad. The New Yorker. New York. 22 Feb 2016. Article. 4 March 2016.
  • Website:
    • Long, Heather. Red Flag: Oil company defaults are spiking. CNN Money. New York. 22 January 2016. Web. 4 March 2016.
  • Journal:
    • Chankao, Kasem and Narongrit, Chada. Development and validation of rice evapotranspiration model based on Terra/MODIS remotely sensed data. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment. Vol. 7. Issues 3&4. Pages 684-689. WFL Publisher. 2009. Journal. January 2016.