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Academic Honesty: How to Avoid PlagiarismEssay Editing Service

Essay Editing and Writing Tip

Every year, students consistently get lower grades than necessary simply for failing to cite and quote sources. Professors, meanwhile, are becoming increasingly savvy about tracking down text from the Internet, so taking refuge in uncited web sources simply doesn't work. Further, services that sell papers can't guarantee you a high grade, or a high quality product. In a 2002 interview for Wired, Kenny Sahr, who owns one of the most popular "paper mills," stated that most of the papers he sells to students "stink." Fortunately, academic dishonesty isn't hard to avoid.

We define academic dishonesty as intentionally misrepresenting one's actual knowledge of the subject at hand. Academic honesty, conversely, means writing only what you know about your topic without stealing somebody else's knowledge of it. Invoking the MLA and APA guidelines religiously can help writers avoid academic stealing and its pitfalls -- lost points and terminated careers. These and other professional guidelines are fairly clear: if you use an idea from another writer, mention him or her; if you want to use their words, quote them.

You should approach your paper with a set of three basic assumptions. 1) Assume that professors and lecturers have read most of the work in their various fields. 2) Assume that they know how to use a search engine. 3) Assume that they can tell the difference between another expert's writing and your own.

After you quote a source, with these assumptions in mind, the real work begins. Your next step is to apply the ideas you just quoted to the thesis of your essay and the content of your course. Effectively conveying your understanding of another person's idea, of course, requires clear writing. Consulting peers, professors, and professionals is the best way to ensure that the idea you've created not only gets read, but understood.

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