You can avoid plagiarism if you follow the three steps below each time you use a source:
- Record the source directly.
- Quote or paraphrase in the right way.
- Mention the source reference by following the citation style you should use in the bibliography.
- Save the source
In a thesis or a dissertation, you will use several sources. To keep an overview, it is important to record the sources you use as you go. You can then easily find your sources and do not forget the sources used. People often use project topics and materials for details.
If you have consulted several sources on the Internet, it is useful to add these pages to your favorites (make a bookmark). You can make a separate folder in which you add all these pages.
Quote or paraphrase
Once you’ve decided to use a source, you have two options:
- To quote.
The rules for citation and paraphrase are independent of the citation style (APA, Chicago…) that you use and they concern the way you treat the sources in your text. So it has nothing to do with your bibliography.
To clearly distinguish between your own ideas and the ideas of others, you can highlight the text with ideas that are not yours when writing.
For the sources that you use often, you can choose different colors. By doing so, you can immediately see where the sources are in your text.
Add a comment in Word, on the origin of your source and if you need to rephrase or paraphrase the extract. Remove the comment only after the text is written in your own words, after you have added the source in the text and in the bibliography.
Reference the source
Whenever you use an idea from a source, reference to that source in the bibliography is necessary. How you write the source in the bibliography depends on the style of citation you are using.
Check with your university to find out which citation style you should use. Once you have chosen your quote style, you should use that style throughout your work.
Immediately note the reference of the source of any idea that interests you: in this way, you will never forget the source.
Do not fully format the source according to the rules of your citation style until the final phase of writing your work.
With all these resources, it is easier to prove plagiarism when it is proven.
Copyright from creation of the work
Copyright refers to all the prerogatives enjoyed by the creators of literary and artistic works. From its creation, a work, by its originality, benefits from copyright. There is therefore no filing formalities to be completed for the following works: literary, cinematographic, audiovisual, choreographic, advertising creations, plans, software, fashion sketches … Ideas, concepts and methods are not protected by copyright.
To strengthen this protection, it is however possible to deposit his work with an author’s company.
To detect plagiarism
There is software capable of detecting plagiarism
To search for duplicate content on the internet:
- Copy a few representative keywords, or even whole sentences from the original content, avoiding special characters (apostrophes, parentheses, commas, periods, etc.).
- Paste the sentence in the Google search engine in quotes.
The search results should appear from the first 10 pages if there is a copy and the extracts are well chosen.
There is also software that can avoid tedious Google searches. Turnitin plagiarism checker is one of the website where you can detect the plagiarism.
Finalize your memory
If in doubt, mention the source. If you doubt and are unsure whether to mention a source, you should always choose to mention it. You can never use too many sources!
For example, when you reach a certain conclusion in your memory, it is a good idea to name which sources you used to draw that conclusion.
Finish your memory
If other people have contributed to your thesis or your thesis by conducting experiments or by answering a survey, you must mention it in your thesis. You can mention them in the preface, for example. If a text was written by more than one person, you need to establish which parts were written by whom.