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Plagiarism: How to Avoid Plagiarism

Take Good Notes

  • Use quotation marks when your notes are direct quotes.


  • Record the citation information in your notes. This will save you time when you start writing.



Synthesize Information

  • Paraphrasing means putting ideas into your own words. You still have to cite, because the ideas are someone else's. Putting someone else’s ideas into your own words is hard, especially if you have recently read their work. Try stepping away from the reading, or turning it over, and describe what you read in your own words. Pretend you are explaining the reading to a friend.


  • Take a break for several minutes.


  • Describe or explain the main points in your words, without looking the reading or your notes.