Plagiarism refers to taking another person's ideas, words, statistics or inventions and presenting them as your own. It also encompasses the complete or partial translation, paraphrasing or rewording another person's work, without acknowledging its source.
It is acceptable to present another person’s ideas in your work. However, this has to be done in the correct manner to avoid plagiarism. It is mandatory to appropriately acknowledge all information, whether directly quoted, summarized or paraphrased.
Plagiarism can be avoided by taking into account the following guides:
Use quotation marks or indentation when borrowing another person’s text and include the complete reference (author’s name, date, pages)
While sourcing or reading other literature, keep a comprehensive list of all the sources used in compiling your work this includes the title, author, publisher, publication date, and page numbers including website address of information obtained from the internet.
Be conversant with the correct referencing style acceptable to your institution
Maintain consistency in your referencing style throughout your work
The benefits of drawing on other people’s ideas
Quoting, summarizing and paraphrasing are used to:
Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing.
Cite different points of view.
Integrate information by assessing, comparing, contrasting or evaluating it, to show understanding.
Emphasize a position that you agree or disagree with.
Refer to other research that leads up to your study.
Highlight a pertinent point by quoting the original.
Ways to correctly incorporate other people’s work
- Cite - Citing is one of the effective and basic ways to avoid plagiarism that entails addition of the author’s name, and date of publication. Most institutions have the preferred style of citing (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) adhere to the format issued whenever you are presenting any research assignment. Failing to cite appropriately or partial citing can amount to plagiarism.
- Paraphrase or summarize – Once you have identified material that is relevant to your research work, use your own words to incorporate the other person’s ideas into your work, be sure you are not just rearranging or replacing a few words. Although you use your own words to paraphrase, you must still acknowledge the source of the information. Example, “According to Taylor, Education entails transfer of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits.”
- Quoting – When you decide to use a source’s exact words use quotation marks around all the words used and provide a citation for the source of the exact words you used immediately after the quotation. Be selective in your use of quotes. It is preferable to demonstrate your understanding of the topic in your own words. You may want to use a quote if the: quote is unique or strengthens your argument or it would have less impact if paraphrased howev
- Referencing - One of the most important ways to avoid plagiarism is including a reference page or page of works cited at the end of your research paper. Again, this page must meet the document formatting guidelines used by your institution. This information is very specific and includes the author(s), date of publication, title, and source. Ensure your follow the referencing style correctly.
Giving credit for work that is not your own respects and protects the intellectual property of others.