How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Papers & Why It Is Important

Describing plagiarism as just copying does not do adequate justice to the practice problem. In some cases, it is a serious crime that has its consequences. But why is plagiarism a problem?

Plagiarism is an offense that involves making use of someone’s words or ideas without citing or crediting them for it. It is the representation of someone else’s work as your intellectual property.

When writing academic research papers, many students often plagiarize from other sources. This is dangerous because there are many implications of plagiarism. This article will explain the dangers of plagiarism and how to avoid writing a plagiarized research paper.

Reasons why you should avoid plagiarism in research papers

Have you ever wondered why is plagiarism bad? No information is completely original, so why should you avoid plagiarism? You may have also wondered how plagiarism affects students and what the implications are.

If you have those questions, just keep on reading. You will find the answers below. The following reasons detail why you should avoid plagiarism:

  • Plagiarism has academic repercussions

Some students may ask, is plagiarism cheating? The answer is yes. When you plagiarize in your research paper, you attempt to cheat the system by presenting an unoriginal work.

If you are caught with a plagiarized paper, you will be likely to face academic sanctions. These include automatically failing the course, suspension, and expulsion. Having a reputation for plagiarism can also taint your reputation and hinder you from studying in some institutions in the future.

  • Plagiarism has career implications

Having a plagiarism charge in college can stop you from applying for certain jobs. These jobs require clean disciplinary history, and having a plagiarism record will prevent you from applying for them -You will be unable to get references from instructors when an employer requests one.

  • Plagiarism has legal repercussions

Many students do not know that an author has the right to sue anyone for plagiarizing their work. In some cases, plagiarism is considered a criminal offense. Plagiarizing an author’s work can thereby lead to a prison sentence.

  • Plagiarism infringes an author’s future rights

There are cases where an author’s idea is plagiarized and published before the author publishes it. In this case, it becomes difficult for the original author to claim their work because the plagiarized version came out first.

  • Plagiarism affects the economy

Plagiarism also has an effect on the economy at large. As students continue to plagiarize, the value of their degrees diminishes. Subsequently, this will produce graduates skilled enough to contribute positively to the economy.

How to avoid plagiarism in research papers

Writing a research paper has to do with collecting information from different sources. In that regard, how do you use the information without plagiarizing? And how much plagiarism is allowed in research papers? Keep reading to find out how.

  1. Paraphrase

Paraphrasing helps to add originality to an inspired wording. When paraphrasing, you rewrite an idea in your own words, retaining the meaning. When done correctly, it is a safe practice as opposed to copy and pasting.

  1. Make citations

Whenever you use an idea or expression that does not belong to you, add a citation that identifies the source appropriately. Ensure you know the citation type you should use for your research paper. This is usually determined by the discipline you are writing in.

If you make use of any content from your previous paper, ensure you cite yourself as well. As funny as it may sound, self-plagiarism is a type of plagiarism.

  1. Use quotations

You can use quotations if you want to retain the exact words from a source in your research paper. Make sure you cite the source to indicate the quote’s author. Quotation marks help signify that the quote does not belong to you.

  1. Include your ideas

There is no harm in including your ideas in your research paper. You can add your points and contribute your original perspective and words to the research topic.

  1. Use a plagiarism checker

Sometimes plagiarism may happen unintentionally. You might use a phrase or sentence that belongs to another author without remembering you got it from them. To correct this, using a plagiarism checker is advisable.

A plagiarism checker is an online tool that helps detect plagiarism in your work. Some plagiarism checkers detect and specify the exact sentences which are plagiarized.


Many students undermine the implications of plagiarism when writing their research papers. This is careless because plagiarism can cause a lot of trouble for them when caught. This article has examined why avoiding plagiarism is necessary and how you can do so.

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