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Simple Steps in Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as “presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered “common knowledge” may differ from course to course (Indiana University Bloomington). ” Plagiarism was derived from the Latin root word plagiarius which means to kidnap.

Avoiding plagiarism is critical especially in the academic field and in the field of journalism which involves a lot of writing and dealing with facts and other specific details. On a good note, there are plenty of ways to avoid or detect plagiarism. It is important to know how to use proper citation styles when quoting from sources. Any information gathered from sources which is not considered as common knowledge should be followed by a citation of the source. It is likewise important to evaluate what is common knowledge and what is not.

Incorporating common knowledge in written works is not considered as an act of plagiarism. Paraphrasing should be observed, however, it not advisable to paraphrase if the context would be changed. In these situations, one may choose to quote directly guided by the proper use of quotation marks. Terms coined specifically by the author should also be put inside quotation marks. These are the most basic steps to avoid any intentional or unintentional plagiarism. One easy way of detecting plagiarism is through the use of search engines such as google.

com in the Internet. By using some keywords as search items, it is possible to detect if the written work was plagiarized from an online source. Search engines like google. com offer various types of searches such as advanced searches and keyword searches. It is up to the person how he/she will make use the options available to detect plagiarism This however is limited to materials available on the Internet that are immediately available to the public.


Indiana University Bloomington. (2005, September 7). How to Recognize Plagiarism. Retrieved

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