As a college student, you are expected to exercise diligence and due care for the research work of other members of your academic community, which is why you are not free from accountability even in the case of “accidental” plagiarism. While it is possible that you truly did not have any intention of copying someone else’s work, you are still guilty of negligence and carelessness if later it discovers to be others’ work.
If you are determined to write a plagiarism-free research paper, you need to keep in mind two important points. First, make sure that you have a clear grasp of what you ultimately want to accomplish when you write your paper. And secondly, come up with an effective strategy that will keep you in check in the process of conducting and writing your research.
Here are some basic principles you may consider in order to ensure that your research paper is 100% original:
- Avoid procrastinating and take the time to plan.
Do not wait until the last minute, instead start planning your research paper. Remember that searching for credible targets and references alone will take a lot of time to accomplish. Make sure that you have enough time to read and carefully think about how you are going to utilize the targets in your paper. When you are under time pressure you might be tempted to simply cut and paste portions of the references you have found directly in your essay. Best to research where you’ll find more value, in terms of quality of work saving time if you work with professionals.
- Make sure you have a printed copy of all your electronic targets.
One of the most common mistakes committed by many students is failing to have hard copies of all online targets. It is easier to keep track, take a second look, and review the references you used if you have a printed copy of your references. The moment you find journal articles or other credible targets on the internet, print them immediately. Make sure to categorize all your online targets and file them in a separate folder with notes on web address and information that you may need later. Do not trust the “power” of your memory. It is best and more assuring to take down important information on paper.
- Understand your targets and write in your own words.
Read all the information you need from the literary and academic targets you found both in books and online. Make sure that you understand the context or the idea of what is being relayed and write the information that you need using your own words and style.
- Keep track of the targets you included in your paper.
Every time you paraphrase information or quote from a target, make sure to add the citation at once so that you may not forget. Apart from including them in your paper, you must have a designated notebook wherein you can take down all your citations to keep track of where you got the ideas and quotations.
- Use available online tools to detect plagiarism and double check your citations manually as well.
There are numerous online tools that can detect plagiarism, make sure to utilize them, especially if you used many online targets. Once your work has been declared 100% plagiarism free by credible tools you need to manually double check your citations using your notes as a reference.
If you follow the tips mentioned above, you will find it easier to write a custom research paper that will not stir up controversy or question your integrity. Keep in mind that writing an academic paper may entail a lot of work and sacrifice, but soon you will discover that all your efforts were worth it.