How not to plagiarize

The ‘plagiarism’ issue strikes back on Filipinos. After business giant Manny Pangilinan was charged of copying parts of speeches delivered by prominent US personalities, here comes a comedian-turned-Senator Tito Sotto facing the same raps for allegedly using parts of an American blogger’s post.

For years, I have been writing reports, speeches, and messages for myself (and for others) and I have always feared of being called a plagiarist.

Thanks to the numerous Chemistry Lab reports I made in college wherein I was bound to include an APA-style reference list every report (once a week), I became more patient in ensuring that those who must be given due credit are included in the bibliography.

Add to that, the “Ateneo Guide on Plagiarism” released immediately after the MVP ruckus reminded me to become extra careful in “copy-pasting.”

Below, I have enumerated my personal tips on how ‘not’ to plagiarize:

1. Have your own outline. No matter how raw your ideas are, nothing beats having your own outline drafted just to make sure that your main idea comes from your own mind.

2. Open a separate file for references. Write down all your sources on a separate sheet or document file (I use Notepad) to jot all websites, authors and references. A blank sheet of paper comes in handy as you write all the titles, authors and pages of the books you use.

3. Review citation styles. Whether APA, MLA or Chicago, you should always follow the standards in citing references.

4. Mention it. If you do not want to give credit to the person who originally wrote an idea, it is better not to mention it at all.

5. Google it. Look it up over search engines, or better yet, you may check it via http://www.articlechecker.com/ (the one SEO writers use) and see to it that you get 0%.

6. Don’t steal photos. Include the name of the photographer/source of the photo you use to supplement your write-up. Now you have a good reason to use watermark option or font size 8.

7. Invest on time, paper and effort. Before publicizing your masterpiece, re-read it, include all your references (even if it entails you extra pages) and review all the contents.

PS. I “Googled” the title of my blog and found two articles of the same title but with different contents. For reference purposes, visit the following sites:

http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/advice-for-students-how-not-to-plagiarize.html

This post was reviewed by ArticleChecker.com and revealed the following results:
Matched phrases in Google and Yahoo: 0%