Writing academic papers could prove to be a rather difficult task for students if they are not aware of how they can avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism refers to the use of an author’s words as if they are your own without proper citations.
There are several citation styles in which students can write their academic papers. These include MLA, Harvard, Oxford, APA, Chicago, Turabian, and the like. This paper is an in-depth exploration of the methods a student can use to avoid plagiarism using the MLA citation style.
One of the methods that can be effectively used to avoid plagiarism is the paraphrasing of text from books, journals, websites and other sources. After the paraphrase, one should make sure that no five consecutive words are as they are in the source.
The person writing the paper should also ensure that the author of the website, book, journal, etc is duly acknowledged. During paraphrasing, the person writing the paper should just pick the idea being passed by the author and use his/her own words to pass the same idea in his/her paper.
This is an effective method of avoiding plagiarism since the final paper of the student has originality, and it is also relevant to the topic the student intends to discuss (“How to Avoid Plagiarism” 1).
Another effective method of avoiding plagiarism in papers is the use of direct quotes in papers. The direct quotes should be placed within the paper by the use of double quotes within the quotes there should be text from the book, website or journal from which the student is getting the information.
Unlike in paraphrasing, when double quotes are used, the text placed between them should be exactly as the author wrote it.
Direct quotes are mainly used in situations where the alternative, paraphrasing of the text, would either distort the information or make it fail to achieve its desired impression.
Direct quotes are also advantageous to a student who uses them often because they show the credibility of research and the tutor can verify that the student has used the sources he/she claims to have used at the Works Cited section.
Another important part of a plagiarism-free MLA paper is the Works Cited section. This is the last part of the paper in which the student lists the references that he/she has used in the paper.
The references are listed by writing both names of the author, separated by a comma, followed by the title of the website article, in double quotes, and the date the article, and date of retrieval separated by a hyphen.
The URL of the website is then pasted for use by any person who may want to view the site. The URL is normally pasted within angle brackets for MLA formatting style. For books, both names of the author are given as in a website.
However, the title of the book is in italics, and it is followed by the name of the city in which the book was published. The name of the publisher is then given, followed by the year of publication. The two are separated by a comma.
The word print is then written at the end of the book refers to show that it is a paperback. The title of the references should be in italics with a capitalization of each initial word.
That is, Works Cited. The references appearing in this list should be arranged alphabetically (“A Statement on Plagiarism” 1).
For every reference that appears in the Works Cited list, there should be a corresponding in-text citation at the part of the paper that used the specific reference.
The in-text citations are normally put in brackets, and they contain the surname of the author and the page from which the text was captured. The name and the page are separated by a space.
“A Statement on Plagiarism.” Capital Community College. Online. 2010-February 12, 2011, <http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/mla/plagiarism.shtml>
“How to Avoid Plagiarism”. College Board. 2010-February 12, 2011, <http://www.collegeboard.com/student/plan/college-success/10314.html>