How to prevent plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of crime. For this reason, the prevention of any form of plagiarism is extremely important. When starting to write the thesis, care must be taken to prevent plagiarism. Mark from the beginning all the sources you have used, correctly quote and paraphrase and respect the rules of the style of bibliographic citations you have to use.

3 tips to prevent plagiarism

It’s very simple. You can prevent plagiarism by following these simple tips every time you use a source:

  • Save the source immediately.
  • Quote or paraphrase.

Enter the reference to the source following the style of the chosen citations.

  1. Save the sources

Many different sources are used during the writing of a thesis. To always have the situation under control, it is important to save all the sources used. In this way, finding a specific source will be more practical and faster, it will be easier to remember to have used a source and there will be no risk forgetting to bring it back correctly. Some of the most widespread bibliographic management software are EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero and CiteULike.

Practical advice

Alternatively, you can save and store various PDFs, Word files and the like on your computer. In this case, the best thing to do would be to rename the documents clearly. For example, you can use the author’s name and publication date. Subsequently, this information will be useful to draw up the list of bibliographic citations.

When many Internet sources are consulted, it would be useful to add these pages to the bookmarks bar (creating bookmarks). You can create a specific bookmark folder in which to save all the pages viewed.

  1. Quote or paraphrase

Once you decide whether to use a source or not, you have two options. You can quote or paraphrase the source text. The rules that determine the choice of a citation rather than a paraphrase are independent of the style used to cite the sources and concern exclusively the way in which it was decided to treat these sources in their thesis. For this reason, it has nothing to do with creating the list of sources.

Practical advice

To clearly distinguish one’s own ideas from the ideas of the source, it is possible to highlight all the ideas that are not the result of one’s own ingenuity.

In this way you will have an immediate overview of the personally written text and the text reported by a source. For the sources that will be used several times you can choose a different color. In this way, the various types of sources present in the text will be easier to distinguish.

Or, while writing the thesis, it is possible to leave a comment in Word about the source of this idea or if it is the case or not to reformulate or paraphrase the fragment of text. It will be possible to remove the comment later, once the source has been rewritten with its own words and added to the list of sources used.

  1. Cite the sources

Each time an idea is also reported from a source, it will be necessary to create a bibliographic reference to that source. The way in which you must write the reference to the source depends on the style of the citations you want or need to use.

The university or the speaker often indicate which style you need to adopt for the quotations or can suggest some options, among which you will have to choose and follow one.

Practical advice

Immediately mark the source of any idea could be useful in the paper; in this way you will always know which idea comes from that particular source. At this stage, it is not yet essential to write the bibliographic reference to the source following the rules of the style of the citations one has chosen.

This will be done only in the final stage of writing the thesis. Just make a quick copy and paste of the sources and draw up a bibliographic list of all the sources of the citations in the text.

Complete the thesis

Step 1: Report all sources correctly according to the style of the citations

Now that the work is almost done, it is important to write the list of sources following the style of the chosen citations. If you want to use the APA Style, you can use the APA Scribbr Generator. This generator will allow you to create a list of all the sources used easily and quickly following the APA Style.

Step 2: Check if there are plagiarisms in the document with Scribbr Plagiarism Check

As much as we can pay attention, there is always the risk of unintentionally plagiarizing. Use the Scribbr Plagiarism Check to check for plagiarism thanks to the official Ephorus database.

Final Council

When in doubt, always quote the source

Don’t you know if it is the case or not to make a bibliographic reference to a source? When in doubt, always report the source. The sources that are consulted are never enough and a good list of bibliographic citations will do nothing but enrich the elaborate. For example, when outlining the conclusions of the thesis, citing the sources that led you to those particular conclusions is always a great idea.

Complete the thesis

If other people have participated or contributed to the writing of the thesis by doing experiments or surveys, it is always good to mention it. You can do this in the preface, for example. If a thesis has been written by several people, it is a good idea to indicate the author of each part of the thesis.