How To Make Sure You Don't Plagiarize a School Paper

Plagiarism is one type of academic dishonesty that is highly disapproved by instructors in the educational institutions. This is the act of using another individual's written work, idea, opinion, or any information from public papers, the school newspaper, community papers or private papers that is not of common knowledge, without properly citing its author. With the advent of the Internet, more work papers have been published online, which also makes plagiarizing a person's material much easier, by simply copying and pasting text onto a school paper. As a student, here's how to actually make sure that you don't plagiarize your school paper, and get that grade that you deserve.

  1. Document every source that you use for your. Keep tabs of every source when you are out finding references for your school paper. Don't forget to list the name of the author/s, title of the book, place where it was published, the publishing company, and the year of publication. Of course the format varies depending on the material. The format will be a bit different if it comes from other media, like charts, maps, magazines, or even e-mail. Also, don't forget to double check with your instructor what style will be used, whether APA, MLA, CSE or CMS. So if ever your instructor asks you where a certain quote came from, you're ready to present your notes.
  2. Use the most recent source you can find. There are old school paper materials that are being sold, and you don't want to be involved with such an atrocity, so make sure you choose references that are at least one year to five years old. Also, make sure that you will have a wide range of references. Don't be overly dependent on the Internet. Go to your school library and check the public papers, community papers, and other sources to add to your reference list.
  3. Consult your instructor. Don't hesitate to speak with your instructor, especially if you are thinking of working on a certain theme for your school paper. Ask him if it would be okay to use your idea, and who knows, he might be able to suggest a few good references for you. Also this would give your instructor an idea of how serious you are in writing your school paper.
  4. Use a plagiarism tool to check your school paper. More often than not, instructors use a software programs to check for plagiarism on school papers. So before submitting your work, try going to to see for yourself and for you to be able to make the necessary corrections.

It would be better if you are well aware of your school's policy on plagiarism. It pays off to be careful with such things, as plagiarism can earn you a failing mark on the paper, an F in the course, or expulsion from school.


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