How to avoid plagiarism in an academic thesis?Order Now
Once you know those situations that can constitute plagiarism, it's time to find out how we can avoid it. First of all we would advise you to be clear about the style of references to use (Vancouver, Chicago, APA, Harvard, MLA, ISO 960 and so on).
For example, in psychology, the bibliographic style of the APA (American Psychological Association) is usually used, while Vancouver is used in the biomedical sciences; in this respect, each branch of science has a preference for a style and way of citing. We must take this factor into account as it will determine the way to attribute the merit to our sources!
After learning to quote it is important to learn to paraphrase. The first case is generally specified in the bibliographic style guides; however, for the second case it is not usually so. So, how can we make a good paraphrase? First of all, there is nothing to change only the position of the words and use synonyms.
If we do it in such a basic way, even though we are apparently paraphrasing correctly, the only thing we are doing is plagiarizing the way of representing an idea since your text is structurally very similar to the original. Remember all the actions we can perform when paraphrasing:
• Modify concrete words by generic and vice versa
• Add information.
• Make structural changes.
• Synthesize or delete phrases.
• Change from active to passive and vice versa.
• Use synonyms.
In short, all these techniques allow us to create a paraphrase qualitatively different from the original text. Always remember to quote the original source, not use the same phrases and achieve a structure different from the source! Of course, we are careful not to change the meaning of the text when we do it! The best paraphrase, in addition to the previously stated characteristics, should allow critically contrast the ideas of another author with more current data.
The anti-plagiarism software will allow you to check, after completing the writing of your thesis, if we have correctly quoted and paraphrased throughout the text. Do not take it as a means to avoid them but to improve!