How to Avoid Plagiarism in a Finance Assignment
Plagiarizing your work can lead to getting a zero on your finance assignment and, in extreme cases, cause you to get a suspension or even an expulsion from your university. The assignment you present to your instructor must be original and as plagiarism free as possible. Make sure to read your school’s plagiarism policy before submitting any work to ensure that you remain in the clear.
Although you are not expected to have original ideas in most assignments, and most of the work you present comes from research, you are also not expected to directly copy your work from books and web sources.
Here are ways in which you can avoid plagiarism in your assignment;
1. Learn how to correctly paraphrase your work.
To avoid plagiarism in your assignment, you will have to learn how to rewrite the texts you discover in your research into your own words. This is referred to as paraphrasing. Don’t just copy your report or essay directly from the web or publications and books. Learning how to paraphrase words from the original text is one way to present ideas from research work without getting a penalty. To correctly paraphrase, you first have to understand the sources from which you are getting your research.
Take your time while researching to understand this, then summarize the concepts learned. When paraphrasing, make sure that any direct quotes from a book are written in quotation marks, and in case there is any doubt, just include the citation in your text. For reports on say portfolio analysis and how it can be done effectively, ensure that you first understand what portfolio analysis is, then write in your own words what you understand from the text. Get the definition and, where necessary, use quotation marks to add this to your report
2. Take notes as you research
As you do the research for your assignment, ensure that the notes taken are 100% thorough to help avoid plagiarism. Ensure that you indicate which ideas are sourced from which sides of the web and which ideas are directly from you. This organization of your ideas, while taking notes of phrases from others, will ensure that you avoid plagiarism in your assignment once you begin writing. Note-taking is also important as it will ensure that you cite all the authors whose work has been used in your paper without leaving anyone out.
For example, you are writing a paper on principles of corporate finance. For this research, you are using a book by say Richard Brealey. You jot down your notes about the principles cited in the 14th edition of his book, but you forget to write down your sources. When you begin writing your finance paper, you incorporate into your assignment the material in your notes, without citations, which will be considered plagiarism. To avoid this, ensure that every source you use even before you begin writing is noted down.
3. Always cite the sources used in your assignment
The best way to avoid plagiarism in your assignment is to ensure that every phrase or idea used in your paper that is not originally yours is correctly cited. Ensure that you include in-text or footnote citations that identify the original author of phrases and words used in your assignment. Also, ensure that every citation used in your paper also has a full reference on the list provided at the end of your paper. Having these citations helps you avoid plagiarism by acknowledging the different sources of the information presented. It will also help your instructor locate the sources easily.
Different fields will have different citation styles, and each style had its own set of rules so ensure that you are using the one instructed in your assignment instructions. The common styles are MLA, Chicago, and APA. The style you use for your assignment will be determined by your instructor’s instructions. Ensure that you apply only one style consistently throughout your assignment. To avoid plagiarism, always ensure that your professor can very clearly identify every source used in your assignment.
4. Use a plagiarism checker
There are a variety of tools available online that can help check whether your work or sections of your work are plagiarized. They work by scanning your text, comparing it to web pages, and highlighting sections of your texts that appear to be similar to those in other web pages or publications. Employ these tools to ensure that areas, where you need to add citations or quotation marks, are highlighted to avoid submitting a plagiarized paper.
Using a plagiarism checker will also ensure that you have peace of mind when submitting your paper since you are assured that there will be no problems with it. You can even make it easier by using citation generators that are available on the web. This ensures that citations are generated as you write your assignment and you can easily download the list once you are done writing. Plagiarism checkers can also help you rephrase text that is highlighted as similar so that it is more different and plagiarism free.
5. Insert quotations
You can avoid plagiarism in your essay by using quotation marks around words gotten from an author to show that the words are not your own. As a general rule, you should use quotations sparingly and only in cases where, you cannot rephrase the original text without losing its meaning, where you want to maintain the authority of the original author’s work, and where you are using an exact definition given by the author.
For example, Original text
- Leverage is a common term used to refer to the ability of a firm to use available resources to make maximum profits for the stakeholders. (Ojo, 2012)
- Leverage refers to how a firm uses its resources to make profits for its stakeholders (Ojo, 2012)
- By definition, leverage can be used to refer to how “a firm uses the available resources to make maximum profits for the stakeholders” (Ojo, 2012)
6. Commit to writing your own work
To avoid plagiarism, do not go into writing your assignment ready to copy from the web. Instead, ensure that you have planned enough time for both writing and researching your paper. Although finance assignments and terms can be difficult, with enough research and enough time to write, you can come up with original ideas for your assignment. Self-plagiarism is also not encouraged, i.e., where you use text previously written in another assignment for the current paper.
Take time to do good research and to understand what plagiarism is according to your school’s policy so that you can avoid it. It is advised that you get the content for your assignment from a variety of sources. This will be essential in helping you understand the various concepts so that it is easier to paraphrase without plagiarism. Take detailed notes from the different sources you use, making sure to note the ideas that are not originally yours, and use this to make up your essay. By following these tips, you can avoid plagiarism in your work and avoid having your assignment rejected or getting a low grade.