Tips To Avoid Plagiarism When Writing a Statistics Assignment
All educational institutions expect students to uphold academic integrity. There is no defense to using someone’s work without proper referencing. Even accidental plagiarism can have dire consequences. It will help if you are extremely careful with using external sources in your work. You should always ensure that the work you submit is original and independent. Your stat assignment solution should be shaped by:
- Your ideas about the data you are analyzing
- A body of existing research
- Your original perspective of the topic assigned to you
You should never solely rely on the ideas and arguments presented by someone else in an existing literature. We recommend that you take time to develop your thesis and develop your research questions. Also, take time to understand the rules of collaboration. Sharing ideas with classmates may not be harmful, but you must ensure that you and your mate do not present papers with the same ideas. Statistics is an intricate subject. Discussing the aspects of the statistics assignment with your mates can help you understand and apply the concepts better. However, it is also essential to know when you can collaborate. Your instructor might request you strictly do the assignments as an individual. Your instructor will consider collaboration on such work for credit as cheating. You must solve such assignments independently and be able to explain the solution.
The results and conclusion must reflect your thoughts on the topic if the assignment is based on a case study or research. The entire work must be original and your own. You should never steal or borrow someone's work and submit it as your own. Giving your work to your classmate is also considered cheating. Also, submitting the same paper to different courses for credit is prohibited. Try to complete each work and course independently. Submit original and new work for each.
Unraveling the Art of Plagiarism
Plagiarism can simply be defined as presenting someone's work as your own. It is the responsibility of stat students to educate themselves about plagiarism. Universities and colleges across the globe have developed standards and academic integrity policies to curb this vice. It would help if you familiarized yourself with your university's guidelines on plagiarism and academic writing requirements. Some of the common forms of plagiarism are:
- Failing to cite an argument, quotation, summary, or phrase from someone
- Copying content directly from an online source and pasting it without using quotation marks and citing the source
- Paraphrasing someone's argument by changing only a few words and using the same sentence structure. It is known as improper paraphrasing and is considered plagiarism even if you provide proper citations.
- Handing in a plagiarism-free statistics assignment solution or report that has been written by someone else.
- Handing in the same solution for two different courses
How can one avoid committing plagiarism?
Following the best writing techniques can save you from plagiarizing content. Our professional statistics writers recommend the following tips:
- Have a clear and precise research question. Try to understand your statistics assignment topic and what is needed
- Before you start preparing a draft, prepare a brief outline of the sections and areas to be covered
- Avoid copying and pasting
- Document all the sources you have used in your solution
Using research sources properly without committing plagiarism
Thoughtful writing, taking excellent notes, and citing sources properly can help you avoid plagiarism. Here are some of the steps that you should follow when writing your statistics assignment:
1) Reading and conducting extensive research: Do not just read through all sources. Skim through each source to determine if it has the right information. Also, consider how the information will fit in your outline. Doing this will help you decide on the ideas, data, and examples you wish to include in your solution. Once you have made this decision, you can start taking precise notes in your own words. Do not forget to take note of the source of information. If you wish to quote some passage, write it exactly as it is. Remember to use quotation marks to eliminate any form of confusion.
2) Drafting and citation: You are already armed with thoroughly researched information. The next step is using your notes' ideas and examples to argue your case. Ensure that you paraphrase and summarize information correctly when writing. Properly punctuate the content and use quotation marks where necessary. Use your preferred referencing and citation style for all quoted, summarized, and paraphrased content. Finally, ensure that you include a reference list or bibliography at the end of your solution.
How to paraphrase and summarize the literature
A summary is an account of the main points of a source. It doesn’t consider the evidence and supporting details of how the points were made. On the other hand, paraphrasing can come in handy if you need explicit information or an argument from a specific source. Attribution is an essential concept in summary and paraphrasing. It involves crediting the sources that you have paraphrased or summarized. Your instructor would want to know the source of your idea or who is responsible for it. Many students still struggle with paraphrasing. They use the same sentence structure and only change a few words. Before you can summarize or paraphrase, it would be best to understand and digest the argument or concept. If you do this, you are less likely to use the same words as the author.
Mitigating plagiarism when quoting a passage
One of the best ways of supporting your argument is using quotations. However, most professors prefer paraphrasing to direct quotations. There are some times when you must quote. In such cases, remember to use quotation marks around the content you have quoted and follow the quotation with a precise reference. The quotation marks indicate the words have been borrowed and not your own. It would be best to use the correct formatting guidelines when quoting someone. Always be honest in your quotation approach. Do not veer off the author's intent. The quoted text should have the same spelling, punctuation, and wording as the original passage. Use square brackets or ellipsis dots to highlight changes you have made to the quotation. Most referencing styles, such as APA, require the writer to use a footnote or parenthetical reference to denote the source of the quote.
Understanding the “what” and “when” of citation
The old adage goes, "there is nothing new under the sun." Academic writing doesn't expect you to reveal unknown information but to contemplate already existing knowledge. For this reason, documenting the sources of your argument and ideas is key. Citation not only helps you avoid plagiarism but also establishes your arguments' authenticity and reliability. Also, a reader interested in the topic can easily trace the source. You should always cite information that is not common knowledge. If you are in doubt, ensure that you include a reference. There is no penalty for citing many sources.
Here are some rules that you should consider when referencing papers:
- Cite all external sources used in your paper. The information may include someone else’s data, figures, examples, etc.
- When you summarize, paraphrase, or use someone's words in your solution
- Have a list of all the sources you have used to prepare your paper
All universities and colleges have their preferred citation and reference styles. If your instructor has not mentioned the formatting style, consider consulting them. Plagiarism can cost you your academic career. We hope these tips equip you with the knowledge and skills to avoid it.