How to Avoid Plagiarism - Tips on Citing Sources

Plagiarizing’s a big problem in any writing. It’s treated as a major offense and in case your text is found to be plagiarized you are very likely to receive a bad mark, fail your exam, or straight up get kicked out of your school, college or university. The nature of those strict measures regarding plagiarism is pretty simple – while making a mistake or not understanding something is a natural thing for a student and only means one would need to be more patient and study harder, plagiarism is an attempt to deceive the teacher in order to achieve your goal. Thus, plagiarism is treated the same as corruption – as an offense rather than a mistake.

But, contrary to what people sometimes imagine, plagiarism isn’t always an intended offense. Sometimes students do it intentionally, however, it’s unlikely you’d do such things if you’re reading how to avoid plagiarism. But still, let’s say it out loud at least once. Intentional plagiarism is unacceptable, so in case you’re thinking about committing it – don’t, no matter what. But how could unintentional plagiarism be possible and if so – what’s the action to steer clear of it? Let’s talk about How to Avoid Plagiarism – Tips on Citing Sources.

Keeping track of your sources as helpful a concept

Imagine you’re planning to write an original text. Your first step would most likely consist of searching for information and writing down your main thoughts and ideas. How could it lead to plagiarism? Let’s say you simply forgot that a thought you have written down was an original citation from a website source and then you pasted that original thought in your text. Congratulations, that part of your text is now plagiarized!

Keeping track of your sources helps significantly with that issue. If you maintain some sort of structure while doing notes on your future text and mark thoughts that are taken from the internet and books to distinguish them from your statements, you will not accidentally put those words into the paper without citation. This little trick might save you from a bunch of hustle!

Avoiding plagiarism when quoting – tips and themes

But what in case you’d like to paste statements in the exact same wording into your work? That’s referred to as quoting and it’s quite normal – some definitions shouldn’t be rewritten and in case you’re using terminology or important note, it usually fits the text better if used without changing the wording.

If you consider quoting something or someone, you’re obliged to follow some rules to avoid it being plagiarism. The quote has to have an introduction and it has to be accredited to the original author. Use something like “As Person X has written” before or after stating. The quoted part has to also be enclosed in “”. In case the quote is longer, the correct format would be a block. However, we suggest paraphrasing longer quotes rather than writing them directly. This should help a lot with avoiding plagiarism when quoting.

Avoiding plagiarism when paraphrasing – main challenges and advice

Rephrasing is an alternative way of introducing someone’s original thought or statement in the text. However, paraphrasing means making the same statement or providing the same idea without directly pasting the words from the source. Avoiding plagiarism when paraphrasing isn’t so complicated, but can also be tricky.

One could think that changing two or three words in an original phrase is enough to paraphrase it. This is wrong. Paraphrasing is a process when you completely rewrite the statement you are trying to use from an external source. Rephrasing a piece means you must write the same thing from scraps to tell the same story.

Citing your sources correctly – general themes

Citing your sources correctly is also complicated. Firstly, adding a citation is obligatory whenever you quote or rephrase anything in your text. A notion regarding the original piece has to be included either in the text or in a footnote. 

Exist various citation styles with their requirements. If your task mentions the style required, the best way to deal with it would be to use an online guide or a citation generator of that style. Citation generators are quite useful in case you possess a link to the source for citing and the format of the citation. Using them is quite simple and intuitive, so give it a try. If there is no citation style mentioned in your task – use the widely implemented ones. We suggest using APA or MLA.

Citing a single source: suitable examples

A paraphrase would look like this:

Foo and Kelso (2001) showed that goal-directed meaning connects perception and specification.

This is how this example of citing a single source would look in your reference list:

Foo, P.,  Kelso, J. A. (2001). Goal-directed meaning connects perception and specification. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(2), 222 – 223.

Citing multiple sources and examples

Citing multiple sources of the same author would look like this:

(Barton  Bryant, 2015; Calhoun et al., 2018; Goodwin, 2019)

Or like this:

(Department of Veterans Affairs, n.d., 2017a, 2017b, 2019) Zhou (n.d., 2000, 2016, in press)

It is crucial to note, that works are listed in alphabetical order!

Try our Checklist: Plagiarism prevention

Here’s a simple checklist for testing everything to assure the text contains no plagiarism. 

Checklist: plagiarism prevention:

  • I’ve marked every thought I found in an external source
  • I’ve quoted every fragment from an external source
  • I’ve correctly paraphrased any indirect citations I used
  • I’ve included proper citations of all the sources used in my text
  • I’ve obeyed the rules of citation of the citation style used
  • I’ve used professional software

If your answer to all of these questions is”yes” – your text’s most likely original and won’t trigger any plagiarism detectors.

Use our service for avoid plagiarism

There is one final way to avoid plagiarism in your text – buying it from a writing service. Custom writers are always patient about their sources and list the original works correctly. They are familiar with all the citation styles so the list of sources will always be flawless. Custom authors are also good at quoting and paraphrasing meaning they know how to use them correctly for the best effect!

Our service hires only professional and reliables writer. We are really strict in our politics about plagiarism and find it unacceptable. We guarantee, that a text written by us will contain no plagiarism. Our writer will find all the needed sources, list and use original works correctly and avoid citation mistakes. We only use reliable sources or can follow your requirements if there are any sources you would like to be used. Our writers also use plagiarism-detecting software to detect and fix any issues regarding the citation of sources and plagiarism in general.

We also have a team of experts who double-check our works – they will go through the list of sources, use professional software to detect possible issues, and inform the writer about any mistakes. Flawed text will be rewritten. Feel free to use our service for avoid plagiarism and any similar issues!


Yes. In fact, unintentional copyright breach is a way bigger problem than intentional one. Inexperienced writers often get lost in their sources and mistakenly quote the original work thinking they are making their own statements. Some phrases could be plagiarized just because they are generic and widely used. This is why it is really important to use plagiarism-detection software and be patient with your sources while writing an essay or a paper. Such measures help to avoid plagiarism or detect it and rewrite the text while correctly citing every source you have used. Writers fix the issue by using professional soft and maintaining a double-check policy to make sure nothing goes unnoticed!

It is common and often even obligatory to use external sources in your writing. To use an original thought in your text, use either quotation or paraphrasing.


The quotation is a process of writing the exact words from the original source and noting, where are these exact words from. The quotation is useful but requires strict structure – you must refer to the writer and his work, say, that that exact words are a quote, and use inverted commas. 


To rephrase – write the same idea in your original way. The structure is a bit less strict but you still have to show the fact that the words aren’t indeed original and refer to the author. Both quoting and rephrasing require a citation that must be written following one of the existing citation styles.

It’s of course impossible to manually see plagiarism. A human is unlikely to remember even remotely the existing literature, let alone all the online websites and journals. To find plagiarism, special software is usually used. This software checks the text against all the existing web pages, looking for matches. If a fragment of the work matches the texts online, the software will see that.

The simplest case of copyright breach is copying the entire work and presenting it as your original text. Doesn’tmatter if you allude to the original work of such copy-paste, it won’t be accepted as your own work.


A citation or rewording without mentioning the origin and indication of it also breaches copyright. To avoid such offenses you should correctly form citations of all external fragments used and use inverted commas to indicate a quote or simply mention the fact that you are paraphrasing if it is a rephrase.


A case of unintentional plagiarism is represented by any popular or widely used phrase. Such fragments of your original writing could also be recognized as plagiarized.