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Always Check Your Work And Here's Why: Overhead view of a vintage typewriter.

Always Check Your Work And Here's Why

writing

by Kym Farris


 

As a writer, I have found there are 2 main reasons to check your work. 

  1. Plagiarism 
  2. Spelling

 

Plagiarism is easily explained. It’s taken someone else’s work without giving them the credit. Until I started writing I used to think plagiarism only happened in school. You know, copying someone else’s paper. Well, it turns out it happens to writers more often than not. A lot of times we don’t even realize we’ve done it. For example, you’re writing a paper or blog and you start reading something that you can add to what you’re doing. So you take this idea word for word and add it to your paper. And why wouldn’t you especially if you think it benefits or strengthens your paper? The problem is it wasn’t your idea. So now someone reads what you have written and they realize they’ve read this before. But where? See it’s okay to do this but you MUST credit the original author by citing their work. 

The first thing citing someone's work does is show that you have done the proper research for what you are working on. Second, you are giving them credit and acknowledging their idea. 

One way to avoid doing this is to keep track of the sources. If you read an article and took something from it, write down the article and the person who wrote it. If you’re doing something on your computer you can bookmark it to come back when your paper is finished. 

Something else you could do is paraphrase from the original source ( and add your own ideas}. What this means is that the sentence says “ A baby can walk 10 feet before it falls”. Now how can you use this without plagiarism? Simply add your own words. “Before a baby falls it can walk about 10 feet” You’re still saying the same thing just in your words. 

Plagiarism reflects highly on you as a writer. You want to show others you have your ideas. By having your own ideas it shows your creative side. And trust me if you have a following, being creative will keep your audience intrigued and wanting more. 

Below are some books on how to avoid plagiarism. 

 

Amazon.com: Teaching To Avoid Plagiarism: How To Promote Good Source Use: 9780335245932: Pecorari, Diane: Books

How to Cite, Reference & Avoid Plagiarism at University (Smarter Study Skills) by Dr Kathleen McMillan (21-Sep-2012) Paperback: Amazon.com: Books

 

Spelling is one of my biggest issues. Mainly because I think I'm smarter than the average bear until I start to write and realize I can’t spell. Now I’m not speaking simple everyday words. I’m talking about words I never use or the ones my phone automatically changes for me. Technology has been a benefit and a curse. The curse being no one needs to learn to spell anymore just start to type and the phone or computer does the rest. Yet, if you don’t know how to actually spell a word, technology won’t help you. A lot of words sound the same and are written differently. Examples: rain, reign, pair, pear, won, one to name a few. You wouldn’t want to write “ I have a pear of new shoes” I mean you could but I know I’ve said this before your writing reflects you as a person. You want your readers to understand you. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, how can someone else? 

I have the perfect example. I was writing a paper on cooking for school and I was doing it from my phone. I decided to use the voice command knowing it never understands my Boston accent but I was being lazy. I was trying to say baking and it heard Bacon. The sentence should have said, “ I was baking chicken and potatoes when the alarm went off”. Instead, it said “ I was bacon chicken and potatoes when the alarm went off.” If I had added a comma after bacon it would have been fine but I didn’t think to check it. My biggest mistake. I get graded on my papers in school and little mistakes like this can bring my grade down no matter how good the paper is. 

I never thought at my age I would need to learn to spell or check my work with a fine comb. But technology isn’t perfect. Computers and phones can make mistakes too. So double-check even triple-check. If you’re still not sure, send the paper to a friend and have them go over it. The more you do can only benefit you!

 

Amazon.com: Chambers Adult Learners' Guide to Spelling: 9780550102249: Betteridge, Anne: Books

Amazon.com: The Vocabulary Builder Workbook: Simple Lessons and Activities to Teach Yourself Over 1,400 Must-Know Words: 9781939754813: Lele, Chris, Magoosh: Books

Amazon.com: Spelling Strategies & Secrets: The essential how to spell guide: 9781096168492: Rudling, Joanne: Books

 


 

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