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How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when ideas or words that you advance as your own have actually been taken from other people.


  • Step 1: Use quotation marks Place quotation marks around any phrases or words you borrow directly from another source.
  • Step 2: Paraphrase Attribute any ideas you take from other sources to their originators. Rephrase in your own words, but mention where they came from.
  • TIP: Although plagiarism is a violation of professional ethics, most examples fall short of copyright infringement, a legal offense.
  • Step 3: Keep notes Keep your own ideas separate from those of others by taking notes as you read.
  • FACT: Did you know? Plagiarism comes from the Latin plagiarius, which means "kidnapper."

You Will Need

  • An original text source
  • Notebook or note paper

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