Plagiarism refers to literary theft of thoughts and ideas which is not considered as a crime but a breach of journalistic ethics. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to understand what it means and then take initiative measures to eliminate it. It occurs from a belief that ideas and words of an author can be owned. Plagiarism can be an accidental also if unaware of the cultural conventions and citation.
The following can help to avoid plagiarism:
1. Develop topic based knowledge and try to invent something new and innovative out of it.
2. Rely on expert and authoritative knowledge but improve and add to that information
3. Credit must be given to previous researchers, but author’s contribution should be clearly mentioned
4. Avoid reading the author’s material too much as it will incline your mind towards the language used there.
5. Reference quotes and sources
6. Don’t forget to give credit if in doubt.
7. General observations, personal experiences, folklore etc. should not be cited.
One thing, which should be mandatorily, taken care of isthe copyright issues. Plagiarism at its extreme stage can violate the copyrights which can in turn lead to disciplinary actions.