Colleges and universities are always working on ways to combat plagiarism. But what exactly is this? And how can you avoid it in your written work?\n\nWhat Is Plagiarism?\nPlagiarism is presenting someone else\u2019s words or ideas as your own. This may involve a number of things, but common examples include:\n\n\n \tUsing someone else\u2019s ideas without acknowledging them.\n \tCopying text without attribution.\n \tPresenting other people\u2019s images or illustrations as your own.\n\nAll the above can be seen as \u201cstealing\u201d someone else\u2019s work. A journalist, for example, might use quotes from another source without attribution. Or a student might copy a paper from the internet. And it doesn\u2019t matter whether this is deliberate or accidental. If you use someone else\u2019s words or ideas without acknowledging a source, it could be considered \u201cplagiarism.\u201d\n\nWhat Counts as Plagiarism in an Essay?\nIf you are a student, your school should have guidelines about plagiarism. Punishments may include losing marks on a paper or essay, or even losing your place on your course. As such, it is vital to check your institution\u2019s guidelines (you can usually find this info online).\nNevertheless, things that usually count as plagiarism in an essay include:\n\n\n \tFailing to cite sources when using someone else\u2019s words or ideas.\n \tNot using quotation marks when quoting a source.\n \tUsing images or photographs from the internet without a source.\n \tGiving incorrect information about sources.\n \tHanding in work that is mostly other people\u2019s words, even if you have cited sources (e.g., an essay that is 80% quotations).\n \tTurning in someone else\u2019s work (e.g., a paper from an essay mill).\n\nThese examples vary in severity, but you must avoid them all.\n\nHow to Avoid Plagiarism\nTo make sure your writing is free from accidental plagiarism, make sure to:\n\n\n \tCheck your style guide for information on referencing.\n \tKeep a detailed list of sources and cite them in your text.\n \tAlways use quote marks when using another author\u2019s words.\n \tCite any images or photographs used in your work.\n \tTry to paraphrase instead of quoting, adding your own ideas where possible (e.g., as well as describing someone else\u2019s views, provide your own commentary or critique).\n\nAnd don\u2019t forget to have your work checked by our specialist student proofreading service. As well as correcting errors, we can highlight issues that could be perceived as plagiarism, such as missing citations. You can then go back over your work and make sure it is perfect before submitting it.