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Plagiarism Tutorial: How do you avoid Plagiarism?

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

Often times plagiarism is unintentional. This is called accidental plagiarism. Watch this video by Editage to learn some tips for how to avoid accidental plagiarism. 

[Editage]. (2013, Mar 22). Editage - Tips to avoid Accidental Plagiarism. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Three Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism can be avoided if you take the time while you are researching to remember where your research is coming from and keep track of what is your words and what is others.

  1. Keep track of your sources.
    While you research, keep a working document of sources you are finding. It's a good idea (and will help you later) to actually document these using your preferred citation style. That way when it comes time to compile your bibliography, the citation is done! Keeping a list of sources will also help you get back to your information if you need to reference it again when you start working on your paper or project.
  2. Take notes on your sources as you go.
    One of the most common forms of accidental plagiarism is writing in your own words and forgetting to cite where this information came from. On your working source document (step 1 above), you should also get in the habit of taking notes on your sources so you remember exactly what author(s) said what. Watch the video below from U of G Library for note-taking strategies. 
  3. Cite your sources!
    Citation is the main method by which we avoid plagiarism. There are three commonly used citation styles: APA, MLA, and Chicago. Each citation style has rules and guidelines for how to incorporate sources in your writing and how to properly document (also called cite) your sources so your reader knows where you got your information. Check out the "How to incorporate sources tab" and the "Citing Sources" tab of this guide for more information. 

Note-taking's Role in Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the best strategies you can use for avoiding plagiarism is making sure you are doing the pre-work necessary to document your sources and know what information comes from which sources. This means doing the work to take notes while you are in your research phase. 

Watch the video below from U of G Library on strategies for note-taking:

[U of G Library]. (2019, Sep 26). U of G Library - Note-taking and writing tips to avoid accidental plagiarism. [Video file]. Retrieved from