Plagiarism is something that should be taken very seriously.  In regards to making sure you avoid plagiarism in your own writing, always list the proper sources you obtained your information from.  Using a common citation format such as MLA or APA will definitely help validate your sources and the way you have cited them.  Whenever you directly quote someone or something, put it into quotations and immediately cite it.  If you are paraphrasing, make sure to put some sort of preface saying that either you are paraphrasing or the person you’re paraphrasing said this.  If you ever feel that you may be plagiarizing or have already plagiarized by mistake, make sure to send out a public correction and cite whatever it is you feel you could be plagiarizing.

One area that can be especially dangerous for possible plagiarism is blogging.  Whenever quoting anything or anyone in a blog post OR comment, make sure you at least reference to it not being your original words and say who was the author.  But still, you should properly cite the source with either MLA or APA citation formatting to be completely sure.

One last tip for avoiding plagiarism would be to make sure that you try to write with originality from the ground up.  Writing completely original content will always prevent you from plagiarizing in the same way the abstinence prevents teens from running into premarital pregnancy and whatnot.  It removes the possibility of it, but you must still go check around other blogs and publications to make sure your original idea are as original as you think they are.  Sometimes you may think you’ve come up with something original when, in fact, it is something you saw or read earlier, forgot about, and subconsciously assumed to be original when you wrote it.

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