Working on a paper and trying to make sure you aren't cited for plagiarism? Here are a few tips to help you avoid common plagiarism mistakes.

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Citations 

Your first step in avoiding plagiarism is proper citation. Even if you try to give credit to the original source by including it in your works cited page, it will be marked as plagiarism if you don’t do proper intext citations. There’s plenty of resources online to help you with proper citation, but if you’re not sure double check with the Writing Lab or your professor.

Quotations

This is a simple and vital step to avoid plagiarism. Make sure anything you’re using word for word from a source has quotations around it. If you miss a quotation mark, your paper will be flagged by plagiarism checkers. Double checking is worth not having to email your professor to explain a high plagiarism score.

Paraphrasing

It’s easy to point out plagiarism when it’s a word for word copy, but paraphrasing without citation can be overlooked by writers. If what you’re writing is a summarization of something you read you need to give credit. Even though it’s your words the ideas and information are not.

Avoid Free Plagiarism Checkers

It’s good that you want to double check your paper for plagiarism, however, free plagiarism checkers could be storing your papers and selling them to other students. Check with your professor to see if a free Turnitin check is available or submit your paper to the Writing Lab to make sure your citations are correct. 

Use the Writing Lab for Help

Southeast’s Writing Lab is a great resource when you’re writing a paper. They can see if your paper stays on topic while answering the prompt, and double check your citations. Turn around time for a submitted paper is 3 days on average.