Do you want to write research reports without falling into the trap of plagiarism? If yes then this guide will help you do that in just 10 ways.
Students and researchers have to dig into multiple sources to gather evidence to support their research, sometimes in the form of literature, previously discussed ideas, and values of other researchers’ works.
Providing evidence in your research report is the mandatory step because it is not an ordinary course assignment that is just for your academic purposes.
Research work is utilized by people all around the globe and being a student your research work can help you reach your career goal only if it is done greatly.
Plagiarism is one such taboo that can not just ruin the quality of your research report but also your personal and professional reputation.
Therefore, it is important to work to save your research reports from falling into the trap of plagiarism, to make this possible, we are going to discuss the 10 ways that can help students avoid plagiarism while writing research reports.
- What is Plagiarism in Research Work?
- Ways to Avoid Plagiarism
- Take Adequate Time for Writing
- Perform Good Prior Research
- Do Not Use Wikipedia as a Source
- Make a List of all the Sources
- Paraphrase when Necessary
- Cite Sources for all the Material
- Know different Formatting Styles
- Use Quotations when Needed
- Refrain from Excessive Paraphrasing
- Use an Online Plagiarism Checker
- Final Thoughts
So, without any further ado let’s get started!
What is Plagiarism in Research Work?
Generally, we can define plagiarism as stealing others’ work and using it without their consent under our name.
Similarly, plagiarism in research work can be defined as stealing the work, ideas, and values of other researchers or students, with or without their consent, whether it is published or unpublished, and using them in your research work without giving credit to the original researcher or student.
Plagiarism in research work is regarded as academic and intellectual theft and can be detected using a plagiarism checker, otherwise, it can serve major consequences to the student including research paper denial by the authorities.
A plagiarism checker will help you eliminate plagiarism indirectly which means you can first highlight plagiarism with this tool and then work on removing it.
10 Ways to Avoid Plagiarism While Writing Research Reports
1. Take Adequate Time For Writing
The most unsurprising reason for plagiarism in research reports is students not taking adequate time for writing their research reports.
Students think writing a research paper is similar to writing an assignment that they can create by just copying/pasting material they find online, which is plagiarism.
In reality, writing a research paper demands proper research to gather ideas and proof to support the research work and it is not something you can write within a day or two.
Remember, writing a quality research report is a slow and steady process, therefore, you have to give yourself adequate time to do this right without falling into plagiarism.
Start with gathering information or any background history you need to know about the topic then divide your time to create a draft to organize ideas that can help you with writing a research paper.
This way, your mind will be out of pressure and you will have enough time to write a research report without the need to copy anything from any source and you will be done with your work without any plagiarism.
2. Perform Good Prior Research
To write a research paper without any degree of plagiarism, students must perform good prior research. This will help students refine their ideas, vocabulary, and creative thinking skills.
Reading and exploring multiple sources results in exposing your mind to other unique ideas that you can use to write research reports without relying on other researchers’ work or ideas.
Many students think investing time in exploring and researching sources is a waste of time, but it is important if you don’t want to lose your credibility as a student for committing plagiarism.
3. Do Not Use Wikipedia as a Source
If you want to avoid plagiarism, you should not utilize Wikipedia as a source in your research paper. There are essentially two main reasons why you shouldn’t use Wikipedia:
In the first place, anyone can change information on Wikipedia. Most edits are beneficial, but occasionally editors make mistakes or purposefully introduce incorrect information.
Because of this, the administrators of Wikipedia frown against its use as a source.
If you do use it as a source, be sure that every key claim you make has at least two independent sources (one of which should be a credible publication) before citing the piece.
Two, many different kinds of publications strongly advise against or outright ban their readers from using Wikipedia as a source.
Journals that have undergone peer review, textbooks, and even some lecture notes at universities all fall under this category.
4. Make a List of all the Sources
Make a list of all the sources you refer to using in your research work. Copy the sources in a separate file so that you don’t lose track of the sources and did not commit accidental plagiarism.
Keeping track of all the sources is important because mentioning correct sources gives credibility and authenticity to your research work.
Maintaining a record of the sources will also help you in citing the sources for your research report, which is another way to avoid plagiarism.
5. Paraphrase when Necessary
To avoid plagiarism in your research report, it is better to paraphrase when it is necessary to use others’ research work or ideas in your paper.
As a student, you may not have the eligibility to write a whole research report on your own, without consulting online sources.
Sometimes you might want to copy a portion of others’ work into yours to prove your point, or just to make your work more credible or authentic.
Paraphrasing original text can help you avoid plagiarism in your work, you can either manually paraphrase the text by restating it in your words, or by using an online paraphrasing tool to paraphrase automatically.
6. Cite Sources for all the Material
To avoid plagiarism in your research report, another best way is to cite sources. Any material you used in the research report that is not yours at all needs to be cited correctly.
Citing sources means that you are acknowledging the original researcher or student for his work which you used in your research report.
But to cite sources there are a few things that you must keep in focus. Identify which citation style you need to use, you can ask your teacher or supervisor about all the citation rules and styles.
Never forget to cite your own material, it is important to avoid seld-plagiarism, if there is any text you used from your previous research report, that needs to be cited.
Moreover, you should know what needs to be cited and what does not, like there is no need to cite sources for common facts and scientific studies.
7. Know different Formatting Styles
The first step in writing any academic paper is to become well-versed in the many formatting options available to you.
The issue is that many students lack the necessary formatting skills. Several distinct formatting styles exist, each with its own canon of strictly adhered-to guidelines.
It is easy to accidentally violate these guidelines if you are not vigilant. You risk being accused of plagiarism and getting in trouble with your teachers and school officials if you do this.
If you want to avoid this, the best thing to do is to be cautious about what you put into your work. A person who obtains a copy of your paper can easily exploit the information therein against you.
This, however, should not be an issue for you if you invest the time into learning appropriate formatting.
Of the many available formats, MLA and APA are the most common academic standards. The two most common have their own regulations to prevent others from plagiarising their work.
8. Use Quotations when Needed
Using quotations can also help you avoid plagiarism, if there is something that you need to use as it is in your research report then use quotations.
Like if there are some phrases or procedure names, scientific terms, or experimental figures that need to be copied directly, you can do that by writing them inside quotations.
9. Refrain from Excessive Paraphrasing
Plagiarism can be avoided if you refrain from overly relying on paraphrasing. Excessive use of paraphrasing has negative effects.
Take care to only copy what you need to understand the material, and then rewrite the material using your own words.
You may easily plagiarize someone else’s work and pass it off as your own if you’re not careful. This is not an acceptable act in an academic environment.
In addition, you should take care to ensure that you are paraphrasing accurately. By “correct,” we mean that the rephrased version accurately conveys your intended meaning.
A common practice among students is to simply rearrange the words in an existing sentence to create an entirely new meaning.
Avoid doing this, as it will likely result in the entire meaning of the statement being altered.
10. Use an Online Plagiarism Checker
last but not least, using a plagiarism checker is the one go-to option you have to avoid the occurrence of plagiarism in your research report.
An online AI-powered plagiarism checker detects the exact amount of plagiarism in the text without taking much time.
Also, it is a good practice for students to run every academic paper through a plagiarism checker before submitting it to prevent accidental or self-plagiarism.
Plagiarism is taboo in an academic environment, students should always take the necessary steps to avoid plagiarism while writing their research reports.
In the above sections, we discussed the 10 ways students can use to avoid plagiarism while writing their research reports.